Uncomfortable yet? Good. This recent Paula Deen debacle is boiling my blood. Do I care she used the "n word"? Do I care that her (god fucking awful) cooking led to her and countless others' diabetes? For the record, I am white; half Italian, half Mutt and overweight, but not due to Deen's "food".
Making the blog and Facebook rounds today I was in kind of shock at the arguments put forth by my white friends. One friend, who is white, male, and gay is more angry/concerned about how the black community should be upset Deen hid her diabetes from her followers and since a lot of African Americans are diabetics, "they" should be pissed off about that and not the whole "slang word" issue.
Um. Where to begin...After my head stopped exploding, I asked well, wouldn't you be upset if someone was using a pejorative about your minority group? All I got in response all day, from people who should be pissed about language mattering, was "she's older", "she's Southern", "it's only a word", "who cares what people say in private", "she only used the 'n-word' when she was mugged", "it was a long time ago", "what about free speech", "diabetes kills, words don't" and other mind blowing shit.
These responses were from women, men, whites, homosexuals, some blacks. Am I over-sensitive when it comes to language and labeling people? I think it matters, it really, really, really matters. Not because she is a public figure or because she's white or whatever lame excuse you can come up with it is because there are certain words that are heavier than others.
They carry with them a weight of history and of hate and of not just being an adjective. These are the basest of words. Do I have a sense of humor? Yes, juvenile and gross mostly. Do I have a sense of humor about hate language? NO. I have zero tolerance.
I am so angry and saddened by the people who are subjected to intolerance and to fear and to hatred on a daily basis just brushing this whole "slang thing" off. Why are we willing to look the other way when it's "not me"? If anyone thinks that "nigger" is just a word, how much wincing do YOU do when you read the above list of "slang" words? I do not expect the whole wide world to be PC but Sweet Jesus, think before you open your mouth. Words are powerful. I spoke about this a little on my Ubercrummie post.
"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far." - Swami Vivekananda