By Kamaria Muntu
8 June 2012, 19:15 GMT
Some of the images below may be disturbing.
Pervasive in our society is a narcissism that’s not only appalling, it’s dangerous.
I had sworn off any more debates about use of the N word. It seems absurd that a people who have endured what Africans have endured since the Transatlantic slave trade and imperialist conquest, would embrace a word that was and remains a precursor to Black bodily harm and often times death. As such, I refuse to embrace that which murders the Black body and Spirit. I refuse to embrace that which defecates on the graves of our Ancestors and obfuscates their proud and illustrious history. They who were tortured, terrorised and enslaved. They who would become abolitionists, winning their own emancipation at cost of life and centuries of hardship, determined that future generations would know freedom.
And after all the storms by day and by night, after all that hell – to
have their legacy and dignity sabotaged by narcissists who think holding on to such a vile vestige of Black assignation and Black self-hatred is cool – that they can somehow make the word more palatable and less powerful is a sobering commentary on the state of modern arrogance, not to mention modern stupidity. It’s also strange that in these folks’ insistence that they are neutralising the effectiveness of this racial slur, the ‘lynch-Black-people-without-repercussions-mentality’ racially motivated killings has not been deterred. Not by the lynching of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Jones, Shaima Alawadi, Kenneth Chamberlain, Sean Bell…
The roll is longer than I can name, and more tragic than any of us can bear. What do you think these victims of racial hatred were called before being so brutally lynched? I’ll give you a hint, it begins with N. So much for mitigating the impact of the word.
I’m sorry that Gwyneth Paltrow thought it appropriate to use the N word.
And I don’t give a rat’s toe about how many Black rappers and pop stars she was hanging with when she used it. She’s old enough to know better. But then it’s not about the aforementioned victims of the most brutal and final racism – its about her right as a white woman of considerable privilege to use the word, right?
Sadly Paltrow’s ‘good natured slur’ is an indictment of how high profile celebrities use their popularity and transient status to ignore what’s in the best interest of society in order to placate their own vanity.
The very best people I know who comprise many racial backgrounds and heritages, absolutely abhor that word and categorically refuse to use it. Not only is it a cruelly objectifying and inhuman term with a verifiable history of violent association, it’s also downright uncouth. There are certainly less savage ways to refer to one’s self and others. But I said I wasn’t going to argue this anymore, because it’s just so painfully obvious. Why hold on to such a demoralising word Gwyneth and the lot? Why continue to be bound by ignorance and spineless indifference?
She heard the names,
swirling ribbons in the wind of history:
nigger, nigger bitch, heifer,
mammy, property, creature, ape, baboon,
whore, hot tail, thing, it.
She said, But my description cannot
fit your tongue, for
I have a certain way of being in this world
and I shall not, I shall not be moved.
And I shall not be moved on this point.