by Roland S. Martin
Host and Managing Editor of TV One’s NewsOne Now
I’m sick and tired of black folks coming up with the most asinine, silly, nonsensical, pathetic, grossly unintelligent and shameful defenses of us using the N-word.
Ending in “A” isn’t the same as “ER.” Please, shut up.
Calling the N-word a term of endearment between African-Americans is something we have gotten used to. OK, gotcha. And for years we have gotten used to eating everything fried, but that don’t mean we can ignore the effects on our heart and cholesterol.
I. Am. Sick. Of. This. Nonsense.
At some point its time to grow up and admit that the N-word is corrosive and nothing more than a continuation of white supremacy. This is not a debate. This should not be a lengthy discussion. It’s time to have more self-respect for our ancestors and us and strike the hateful word from our vocabulary.
Did I used to say the N-word? Yes. I heard it growing up around me. But I reached a point more than a decade ago where I realized it was no good and needed to be stricken from my mind.
In fact, anyone using the N-word on my Facebook or Twitter page is barred from doing so, and I will block him or her. Zero tolerance means just that: zero tolerance.
Now the NFL may get in on the issue by proposing to flag any football player for using the N-word on the field. The proposal comes at the behest of John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, the group behind forcing the NFL to adopt the “Rooney Rule,” meant to foster opportunities for minority coaches and executives to get hired.
Wooten told CBSSports.com: “We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room. Secretaries, PR people, whoever, we want it eliminated completely and want it policed everywhere.”
Numerous folks have blasted the NFL decision to consider the proposal, saying such a ban targets black players and is unfair because it will be enforced by a league where all of the owners are white.
Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks defensive back, has come out in full force against the proposal, even going as far as calling a potential rule “racist.”
RELATED: Richard Sherman: NFL Ban On N-Word ‘Atrocious Idea’ That Is ‘Almost Racist’
“It’s an atrocious idea,” Sherman told themmqb.com. “It’s almost racist to me. It’s weird they’re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then?”
Seriously, Richard? Just stop.
When Sherman caused a national brouhaha after his post-game interview after the NFC Championship Game, he sat down for an interview on the Fox Sports desk. Could Sherman freely use the N-word there? Nope. Why? Fox has rules against that.
In fact, nearly every workplace has rules that prevent such language. You can’t call women the B-word. You can’t toss around gay slurs, anti-Semitic slurs and any directed at Hispanics.
So because African-Americans have been foolish enough to claim the word in some weird kind of kinship with racists of the past, we should somehow create a different rule? No.
The NFL should expand the declaration against the N-word to include other offensive words as well. And I don’t care if the referee, the league executive or the owner is white and the players are black. If any of them called a player the N-word, they would be up in arms. Well, have the same self-respect towards one another.
How bad is it to call someone brother, homey or any other word? The N-word could easily be replaced, pure and simple.
The other day I said the same thing to a young person on Twitter, who took offense to my objection to the word.
RELATED: JOE MORTON: The N-Word As Sculpture
Joe Morton, the veteran actor who is lighting up the small screen on ABC’s “Scandal,” replied to the both of us with an essay called, “The N’word as Sculpture.” It reads:
“The N’word has been burned into the psyche of black folks in this country not unlike the numbers branded on the bodies of living Jews in concentration camps and its stigma is equally as indelible. If I were a sculptor, I would create a memorial to all those who have suffered form its poisonous and debilitating affects.
“I would construct the word out of deeply scarred and rusted steel to symbolize its onerous antiquity and unfortunate endurance. I would make the letters as tall as the average person to suggest that human beings, not animals, were demeaned by this world. I would overlay the tarnished metal with clumps of thick black paint, let them dry, and pick at them, leaving deep wounds, to emphasize that African culture that was debased, cut away and let to decay.
“I would inlay the ulcerated with hair, segments of human bone, and dogs’ teeth, to recall the outrageous violence with which the protesters, marching under the banner of civil rights, were met. I would take flesh-like fragments of the American flag and embed them in the corners of the word to represent the lacerated tissue of American democracy.
“I would do the ‘it’ with the ‘Eye of Providence,’ as seen on the back of our tone dollar bill — but with a cataract — to remind us that this word, as connected to slavery, and blinded by religion, was all about profit and oppression. I would put at the end of the word an exclamation point made of whips coiled together and dotted with a cannon ball to recall the civil war and the end of slavery.
“I would stain the word with ‘blood’ — the blood shed by freedom fighters everywhere — and bury the entire construct in “barren ground,” so one could stand over it and read it and to illustrate that wherever this word is planted, nothing grows.”
Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, should make copies of this and post in every locker room in the NFL so every player, including every Black one, can see it.
There is nothing left to say, folks. It’s time for the N-word to go. Now. Forever.
Roland S. Martin is senior political analyst for TV One and author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.” Please visit his website at www.RolandSMartin.com. To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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