Column: The white founder of Black Restaurant Week said the N-word. What should be done? [Long Beach]
If you are a white person, no matter how cool you think you are, just do not use any version of the word. Whether you end it with an “a” or “er”, it will still bite you on the a$$ eventually.
The irritating aspect of this is the obvious double standard with its common usage in the black community. But sometimes life is messed up like that.
One doesn’t “earn” the right to say the word through other forms of allyship (performative or genuine). There’s always the question of why a white person would want to say it and the ease with which some can is concerning (what are they harbouring).
This is different to the issue of forgiveness. That can be earned through statements and follow through with action although it is not automatically owed.
I think that might be all I have to say on this because after that, it really is an individual case where we’ll see what happens.
With apologies to HeeHaw, if it weren’t for double standards, we’d have no standards at all.
This is very well put.
It might be common in some black communities, but none that I’m a part of, or at least not around me.
ETA, I don’t suffer the “B” word either.
It was many years ago, but I worked my way through university by working as a bellman at a Grand Hyatt Hotel. Half the bellstaff was black guys, mostly inner city but some college students, and the other half was white guys, mostly college students plus a few good old boys from the Carolinas. I am still friends with most of the black guys because they stayed in DC but lost track of the white guys after they left the DC area.
The white guys NEVER even thought about calling anyone the N word. It just was not done. Or thought, to the best of my knowledge. These guys were my party buddies and we got into many scrapes and not a few arguments, but came out friends. I used to quiz some of them when were at Cap City or Old Ebbitt, why would you use the term with each other when you hate it from others? And the answer was usually some form of “they are brothers” with the unstated “You are not” hanging back there a ways. So maybe that is part of why the use of the word rubs me the wrong way. LOL!
And I am not a fan of the use of the “B” word either.
On edit: That Hyatt crew were the first Hyatt bellstaff in the DC region (I believe) to make demands of Hyatt management with regards to how we were referred to and what we had to wear. We refused to be called bell boys and we refused to wear the “monkey hats”, the little bill-less cylinder hats that bell boys used to wear that organ grinder monkeys would be seen wearing in old movies. I thought we all were going to get fired for refusing to wear them, but the Rooms Exec backed off and eventually the GM did too. And we were almost always referred to as bell staff and bell men. Usually.
It is often considered to be empowering by/for marginalized communities to reclaim terms that were once used as slurs against them. Whether we agree with that or not is irrelevant – unless we are part of those communities.
I can’t help but wonder if age has everything, or almost everything to do with how that works. I think it is experienced differently if you did not grow up with “Jim Crow” laws, or "The Civil Rights Movement ", or did not know people who did.
Of course, there are any number of different opinions within marginalized communities - they’re not some monolithic thing.
But I think you are on to something. I see similar differences in the LGBTQIA+ crowd, although there it seems to be the opposite: older queers being more comfortable using terms that millennials or Gen Z would find offensive.
What I am saying is that it is not up to those outside of these communities to judge the use of these terms within the communities.
It’s not really a double standard.
Growing up, I was taken by my parents to the Catskills where many famous comedians honed their trade. Jewish comedians told Jewish jokes, Italian comedians told Italian jokes, and so on… the very same jokes people laughed at from one comic would be offensive coming out of the other’s mouth. One comic could make the joke familial, while the other comic made it a serious disparagement. Nobody had to say it, they just knew. The single standard was always, ‘telling on your own.’ That hasn’t changed.
I like the explanation Kendrick gives at the end of ‘i’. To keep this about food, there is an Ethiopian restaurant in Paris with that name, but you should listen to his song first.
Me either! Don’t get me started …