Just a thought…difference of opinions matter…you decide.

As the national presidential primary campaigns erupted into unprecedented chaos on both sides with Republican presidential hopefuls leaving the race; Sanders besting Clinton in the latest primary, and “The Donald” becoming the GOP presumptive nominee, there are other issues facing Americans especially if one listens to the liberal  and conservative “talking heads” media voices.
For me, I am intrigued with the ongoing issue of use of the dreaded “N” word.
At the recent White House Correspondent’s dinner, the host, Larry Wilmore, at the conclusion of his comedic remarks (which quite frankly often missed the mark especially the far too long Cruz/Zodiac killer routine) used the “N” word (though to be fair, he used the "a" and not the "er" at the end of the "N" word) when saluting and referring to the President of the United States.  “My n-----” accompanied by Larry's traditional pounding of his chest/heart, and brother hug of Obama sent nervous and eruptive tremors among the majority of the evening's dinner guests.  For the TV viewer, it appeared that the overwhelmingly white audience thought Wilmore’s gesture was disrespectful, and a shock.  Even former Black radicals, who used to understand what the intent and purpose of Wilmore’s gesture signified, changed their radicalism to conform with their capitulation to the majority analysis.  These former radicals called the Wilmore gesture disrespectful and unwarranted.  Regular, hard-working and enlightened community folks easily realized that these former Black radicals now have corporate cable media “talking head” jobs that pay good money (no argument here about suggested adjustments to minimum wage,) and what is that saying about “not biting the hand that feeds you.” 
Here is the deal.
Every ethnic/racial/cultural community has the right to define who they are; how they refer to each other within the community, and when to forcibly take on the use of community language by others who do not look like the community members or represent their best interest.  As colored people became Negroes or vice versa; then onto the challenging heated community debates over being called “Black” and then eventually accepting African-American over Afro (remember the Afro comb?) American nomenclature, the “black” community is complex in is use of descriptive words to define who we are.
In the Nineties, I conducted several racial understanding workshops for community college faculty members and staff, and realized that the use of the “N” word was mainly generational.  Civil rights era advocates disdained the use of the word. The post-civil rights, Black Power Sixties/Seventies generation, embraced the word as an endearment and respect within the community to one another.  All generations agreed that the “N” word was not in the purview of or for use by white folks for any reason.  Why would “Blacks” accept the use of that word by majority people whose history, actions, beliefs, and proven historical disdain for people of African descents cause them to believe the use of that word by whites was a sign of acceptance, endearment, or embrace?
So, why is this word usage issue still with us?  The majority culture still controls and advocates what it wants the rest of us to believe.  As long as there are artificial divisions and obstacles to person to person, community to community pertinent discussion and understanding, racial disharmony will continue.  Institutional racism will go deeper into the fabric and consciousness of society.  This simple characteristic will keep the powerful in control to do just that…control, manipulate and direct the masses to believe that they really have a say and more importantly, a choice in any regional or national discussion.
What is there to do?  A simple but complex solution is for each community to elect and establish the cultural mores and ambiance for that community including the use of words, and articulate those deliberations to other communities who should accept those deliberations. 
My bottom line prompted me to canvas my vinyl record collection since I remembered that a national best-selling recording and a runaway hit in my community (released by the powerhouse R&B/Soul recording label, Stax Records, Inc. in 1974) did not cause any discomfort, uproar or decrease the number of people attending his sell-out concerts. ’Nough said. You decide.    

Stay creative,

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aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.

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