Should the "N" word be banned? Part 2
When I posted my original “N” word article on Blogcritics some two weeks ago, I didn’t anticipate that it would merit a sequel. As it was, the gist of the original premise seemed preposterous if taken literally. Of course, no one could “ban” a word here — this is America, and that kind of thing just isn’t done.
Indeed, though a few who perhaps didn’t read further than the title didn’t realize that the question was, in essence, a rhetorical one, the piece did generate hundreds of comments. Some of these, along with my replies, were longer than the original piece itself.
But most of what was discussed veered from the original question and onto other related concerns such as the state of bigotry — both black and white — in 21st century America. One of my “theories” was that some young African-Americans who bandy this word around so freely and publicly are akin to disenfranchised Muslim youth who both despise the country they live in but are perfectly free to criticize it. Unlike other Americans (with the exception of Native Americans, who of course used to call our country home), African-Americans were originally brought here against their will as slaves. Other Americans originally arrived as immigrants who came here eagerly and voluntarily in search of better opportunities for themselves and their children. As such, they tended to embrace the “American dream” with fervor, and many flourished and gave their children the best that their new country could offer in terms of education and opportunity.
American-born children of immigrants are generally very well assimilated from the get-go, and many, in fact, can’t wait to emerge from their parents’ “ghettos,” eschew the old ways, and embrace their status as full fledged Americans on a par with their peers.
However, there are some — and only some — young blacks who are, in essence, not fully “assimilated” and still reside, both physically and mentally, in a ghetto which they voluntarily embrace, at least to some extent. Those who eschew education as the purview of the “white man” and relish bandying about a word which has such horrible connotations for all Americans has resulted in a tragic, self-defeating cycle. Moreover, the fervently held belief of some African-Americans that there is no such thing as black racism and that they are still left wholly out of the socioeconomic loop is, in my opinion, a strictly 20th century concept. Elders who still pass this self-destructive, counterproductive belief system on to their children are, in essence, harming them grievously and compromising what could otherwise be a bright future, albeit a future with some struggles and challenges along the way.(READ MORE HERE)