The Media overreaction To The “N” Word: By Paul E. Butler

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Letter from the editor:

Managing Editor, Paul E. Butler

Managing Editor, Paul E. Butler

The “N” word when used for the purpose of demeaning black people is crossing the line. But when a friend or member of any team uses the word as a joke, it comes down to the relationship among the friends or organization. Let’s face it, although many people will argue that the word should just not be used by anyone regardless of race, I think it is quite clear it is woven into the American culture especially among black people. If you don’t know, black folk use it as a term of endearment. White people, especially those that play athletics with black teammates sometimes want to just be part of something so they sometimes adopt the word for that very reason.  It’s as if instead of “Bro”, the other word pops out because they are so exposed to it. That’s up to the guys to figure out if they’re okay with the use of the word.

We have to stop letting the “N” word be such a catalyst for controversy and division in this country. I think most of us understand when it is used in the wrong context or to demean black people.

Another thing that should be discussed. How is calling black people “African American” politically correct? The majority of black people are several generations American.  Origins of what part of Africa is typically unknown.  Let’s just keep it simple. Black people or Black American work just fine. Like white people, most of us born right here in the United States with ancestors that help build this country. We don’t have to call them German American or Irish American. African American is just silly. I think most would prefer just to be called black.

I think one thing the conservative media could actually be right about is how often times the media takes even the slightest mention of race and blows it out of control turning stories into dinner table and coffee shop talk. In no way do I want to minimize the racial problems we have in this country. Stories such as the murder of 17 year old, unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed by neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman are very deserving of the media attention it received. I think it angers those that don’t want to believe racism does exist. But in the end it brings awareness to racial divide in this country.

We have to talk about race. However, it doesn’t have to always be such a negative experience. That starts with understanding of why the “N” word comes from and how it is now used to uplift and motivate some. Even in many cases. White people.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulebutler

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  1. Bryan Driscoll says:

    Spot on! Common sense appears to be lacking in many conversations. The use of many words simply masks the greater underlying problems: hatred, discrimination and ignorance. That’s what the conversation needs to be about.

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