Next: Is it normal for a teen to be a hoarder? It's not really normal at any age, is it? Well, I'm happy to say that after years of fighting about it, my teen is finally letting me help clean out her room. After six hours of sorting, I think we may be about a third of the way through. Four boxes of toys and clothes went to the Goodwill today, and a large bagful of trash was also removed. More giveaways and trash still to be processed. I don't know what brought on this change, but it may have been that after she last "cleaned" it, her friend arrived and seeing her room, offered to help clean it. May have been just the shove she needed. Anyway, what a relief! And can I just say, I'm a clutterbug myself, so if I thought it was bad...
Now that I got the lighter topics out of the way, we come to the last. The one that's been brewing for many weeks now.
If you think I had some clever little joke on the "n" word topic, like, "Oh no! I don't mean that 'n' word, I meant 'Nutterbutters'!", then you were mistaken. I do mean THAT "n" word. Now, I'm not one to bring out heavy topics here on my blog, or really to bring them up in general, but I've had a burr in my butt ever since that parody video done by James Franco and Seth Rogan appeared, and the FB posts and Tweets were abuzz with remarks of how gut bustingly hilarious it was.
What I experienced is different than the apparent majority. I saw a spoof propagating the use of what may the most hideous term I know of, the "n" word. One might say, "Oh, lighten up! It was a spoof. It wasn't like these actors made up the lyrics, they were only copying what was in the original song." To that I would respond: Do I give a crap? No, I do not. If you use the word, you are perpetuating its use. It was even more upsetting to me that no one else was expressing a problem with it.
Here are my feelings on that word. It was created and is still used by many today, as a means to dehumanize a large group of people. It degrades all of us, our society as a whole, to perpetuate the use of something born out of a hatred so intense that it has inspired countless, horrific, acts of violence against innocent men, women, and children.
I've always despised that word, but now it has become far more personal. I am mother to two African American children in an area where people with brown skin are in the minority. Since their first days of school I have watched and worried and been ready to jump to their defense, should anyone ever do or say anything that might make my babies feel that they are less, in any way. When someone uses the "n" word, no matter what their skin color is, it holds people like my children, down. It says, "You are less. Less than others. Less than human."
There was power in that word when it started, and there is power in that word, still. Power to beat down people of color. Power to make those who are blatantly racist, or those who don't even recognize their racist tendencies, feel just a bit more superior to those ones.
Maybe because I'm a writer, I've always believed in the saying, "The power of the pen is mightier than the sword." I do believe in the power of words. They've been used to rally people to commit unspeakable crimes again and again, throughout history. I don't think it's too much to wish for a society where no one would use language like that, while pretending it's harmless.
Well, this was a long rant, but it's my blog, and darn it, I needed to vent! My final comment on that video: I'm not offended by naked men going at each other, nor do I find it remotely funny. Racial slurs and homosexual jokes? No thanks.