The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) recent “funeral” for the derogatory racial epithet “nigger” is symbolism without substance. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution goes on trial whenever African-Americans take offense at non-African-Americans using the hated, hurtful word. This form of pressure group censorship was displayed during the 1940’s NAACP funeral of Jim Crow.
After the Crow funeral, the NAACP successfully hounded television networks during the1950s until they eliminated the “Amos and Andy Show” sitcom due to its alleged demeaning characterization of African-Americans. Today’s black entertainers who appeal to a more tolerant hip-hop generation discount the verbal power of white or other-than-black persons to “hurt” them by using the infamous N-word. Instead, “authentically” black contemporary entertainers relish in the freedom and sacrilegious irony of using a powerful symbolic word of racial negation as a prop to establish their superiority to uptight traditional middle-class blacks.
A certain disparity appears when black rappers can say things which white rappers cannot: i..e. ONLY black rappers can safely and commercially use the N-word with impunity. And, for some blacks, the N-word is a cool term of endearment which is a sanitized conversational social term devoid of its psychological venom. But whites are barred from its usage, unless they want to meet directly with civil-rights icons to ask forgiveness for their displayed “hatred.” Alas , some of us are freer than others. And while one in 10 young African-American men enter the criminal justice system, are they reassured to know that their “black” leaders are fighting imaginary racial ghosts of political correctness instead of addressing the self-destructive culture in our inner cities which blocks a generation of Americans from assimilating into the mainstream?
Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is local legislation manager for The Heartland Institute.