First thing’s first: I’m very pleased that President Obama won his bid for re-election. I am not a Romney fan and I am (obviously) a pretty hardcore liberal. That’s right everyone, I love my rights and lady business and social programs and gays and minorities and taxes and environmental activism and rights and all kinds of other liberal shit. I support marriage equality. I support the Dream Act. I support legalizing weed. Okay, so now my bias has been addressed.
But here’s the thing, being liberal doesn’t mean you get to say the n-word. And here’s the other thing, disagreeing with President Barack Obama (or any other person you might label as black) doesn’t mean you get to call them the n-word. Unless you are black, don’t say. Just don’t.
It’s pretty simple: if you are a white person, you don’t get to say the n-word.
I’m white, and I’m not even going to type it. Why? Because I don’t get to use that word. It’s not unfair. It’s not a problem. It’s not hard at all. I’ve never once felt like I needed to do so, and I never will. I don’t think there is any reason, even if I’m trying to talk about it academically, to actually use it.
Just don’t use it.
After the election, there were so, so many people on twitter and elsewhere who felt entitled to use that word. Why? Because they were mad that Barack Obama won the election. Oh, and because they are racists, they called him the n-word. These people largely claimed that they were just expressing an opinion, and that using that word doesn’t make them racist necessarily. Maybe that’s true in some situations – like maybe you’re at a concert and you’re singing along to lyrics that include that word – okay, I still wouldn’t do it, but you’re not necessarily racist because of it. However, if you’re pissed off about something and use the n-word to insult a person, then you’re a racist. It’s pretty simple.
Others have claimed that it’s not “fair” that black people get to use the n-word while not-black-people aren’t afforded the same privilege. If you or anyone you know thinks this, give it a moment to stew. Just think it over for a second. Presumably most of these people are white, and they think it isn’t fair that black people get to say the n-word. They’re mad because that’s not fair. They’re mad because black people are doing something that white people can’t. (Pause to think.) If you didn’t reach the following conclusion, you need to take a college course, watch some documentaries about the 1800s, or 1700s, or most of the 1900s, or just give up: white people are privileged, have been discriminatory and hateful, and owned slaves for hundreds of years. Remember the whole “segregation” thing you read about in high school? Yeah, that was like 50 years ago. It was real. I think white people can give up a few words; that seems a lot easier than hundreds of years of slavery, discrimination, and marginalization.
You can think of other words.
There are so many other words to use if you’re mad at someone. Here are some examples.
If you are a white person trying to justify the use of a racial slur, shut up. You have no reason to use it. You have no excuse. You are being racist, ignorant, and wrong.
If you’re wondering if you can use it in special circumstances, you can’t. Nope. Not okay. Even if you’re the token white friend in a group of black friends and everyone around you is chummy and using that word in a nice, friendly way… you still can’t say it. Even if you and your friends are all making jokes about ALL the races, you still can’t use it.
Sort of like you wouldn’t say the f-word in the grocery store in front of a bunch of kids… you know, except way worse and completely different.
There were a lot of people using the internet (via twitter, facebook, and all other forums, I’m sure) to complain about the results of the election, which I understand. Americans have the right to express their opinion. That said, Americans don’t have the right to be racist or hateful. There are not rights to attack people via social media – cyber bullying is an actual crime. People are not protected when making threats or speaking words of violence. Racist speech, while not technically illegal, should be shamed. It’s already shameful, and the rest of us should make sure those who use hate speech are shamed for it.
You’re a racist. Shut up.
Seriously, it’s 2012. There is no excuse for racism. There is no need for it. If you are a racist, if you use racial slurs, if you think it’s okay to make jokes about other races, etc. you should be ashamed of yourself. Shut up.