Save the word "nigger"

Save the word "nigger"

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By Marc J. Randazza

A few weeks ago, someone who I despise, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, used the taboo “n-word” on her radio show. She didn’t say it to be mean, nasty, or racist. She was quoting someone else.

And that turned into a shit storm.

Apparently, now the word “nigger” has become so taboo, that even uttering it means that you’re a racist. Despite Dr. Laura’s protestations that “context matters,” the hysterical boob on the phone with Schlesinger decided that since she lost the argument, she would just focus on the fact that Laura allowed “nigger” to pass through her lips.

Dr. Laura was forced to apologize. And now, she’s leaving radio. (source) Personally, I say “good riddance,” because Dr. Laura is a retard, and her show makes its listeners dumber with every minute that they tune in.

Nevertheless, I am with Dr. Laura on this one.

Lenny Bruce said:

it’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. Dig: if President Kennedy would just go on television, and say, “I would like to introduce you to all the niggers in my cabinet,” and if he’d just say “nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger” to every nigger he saw, “boogie boogie boogie boogie boogie,” “nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger” ’til nigger didn’t mean anything anymore, then you could never make some six-year-old black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger at school.

Just in that quote alone, Lenny Bruce said “nigger” 14 times, yet nobody could credibly say that Lenny Bruce was a bigot.

Of course, context is everything.  Lenny Bruce can say it 14 times, and he’s not a bigot. But, you can whisper it under your breath at someone, and that makes it a pretty nasty verbal barb.

That seems pretty simple to me. Context matters.

I went to law school with a guy who wasn’t the least racist guy I have ever met. He didn’t ever use the word “nigger.” However, he explained to me that he called black people “Canadians.” Why? “So when you see some black person acting like a dumb nigger, you can roll your eyes and say ‘Canadians,’ and nobody knows that you’re being racist.”

Context is everything.

This kind of thing gives critical crybaby theorists and every other kind of “victim studies” blowhard a raging boner. But, for those of us who actually contribute something to society, all it does is get us to a place where the message gets lost in endless quibbling over words. The Newspeak police are so damned hypersensitive that innocent use of the word “niggardly,” a word derived from Old Norse (which means “cheap” or “miserly” can create a national freak out, and even “Water Buffalo” (a Hebrew translation) can be perceived as racist, thus labeling the user as a thinker of racist thoughts, ergo someone who needs re-education sensitivity training.

More times than I care to remember, I meet idiots who quote from the movie “True Romance,” after they ask if “Randazza” is a Sicilian name. I don’t like being called a “nigger” either. I don’t like being called a daygo, a wop, a guinea, a greaseball, or anything of the sort.

But, the words are not magic words that I will not tolerate being uttered by others. There’s a country called “New Guinea.” I take no offense. I don’t insist that we change the name of the Guinea Pig to something less racist.

If we’re going to have words that are so magical, so blasphemous that we can’t use them — EVER — not to quote someone else, not to demonstrate a point, not to use them in any way at all, because some useless bag of shit might feel “offended” at the mere sound of the word, then I want to submit my list of words to the thought police as well.

Or, we could just go with Plan A: Take the power from the word and think about the real issues underlying the discussion. That’s why I will never say “n-word” when “nigger” is what I really mean. Because if I want to be an asshole, I can just as easily say “fuckin’ Canadian,” and it means the same damn thing in a nasty, racist context.

Dr. Laura Schelsinger is objectionable, nasty, and stupid. She should be off the air. But, she should be off the air because the marketplace of ideas rejects her views so resoundingly that listeners would rather listen to a microphone stuck in the ass of a sumo wrestler who eats nothing but Taco Bell. Personally, I think you could learn more from the sumo farting network than you could learn from Dr. Laura.

Nevertheless, the marketplace of ideas did not reject Dr. Laura. The PC police drove her from the marketplace with the torches and pitchforks of “sensitivity”. The fact that the marketplace did not reject her means that either:

a) Dr. Laura’s ideas had validity; or,
b) Dr. Laura’s ideas were bad, but they had not yet run through the crucible enough to be proven so.

Either way, the PC police took something away from all of us when they drove Dr. Laura off the air. Either we lost her correct ideas or we lost the benefit of throwing our own ideas into the marketplace to compete with hers and probably triumph over them.

Don’t let them win.

Please don’t say “nigger” as an insult. It makes you an asshole. It might even get you a much-deserved ass kicking. But, no matter what the word, there is a time and a place for it, and context matters. If we let these fuckheads take ONE word and put it in the “magic words” bin, then the process of linguistic devolution is already complete. Don’t give them that power.

Save the word “nigger.” Even if you save it just so that we can kill it, Lenny Bruce style, by finally making it not mean anything anymore.

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