Thursday, July 17, 2008

NI**A Please!

For the love of Jesus jumping Jupiter, would the media and the old timers of America get it through their thick skulls that young America, whether we like it or not , has adopted the use of the word ni**a to mean a term of endearment.

The recent boiling in oil of the Rev. Jackson over his supposed to be private use of the word in describing African Americans and his concern about how Obama talks down to them, was clearly said in a manner not meant to be derogatory, or in any way racist. There seems to be a reluctance in one generation to accept the new slang of the new generation, and therefore even though the word ni**a is bandied about by millions and millions of people everyday, as soon as someone of importance says it, you would think the world was ending. I'm no fan of the Rev. Jackson. In fact, I believe him to be a blowhard. But to watch him having to meekly apologize because of a roasting over the coals by the media for an imagined insult shows once again how out of touch the media is with the realities of the street.

I am white as the driven snow. But my friends of African descent call me their ni**a all the time. As in "You know you my ni**a right? Well, of course I know that, because you're my friend also.

The hip hop community raised the ire of the older generation over the usage of the word when they started to include it in their music. But what people failed to understand was that rappers, love them or hate them, were actually trying to take the curse out of the word. And they have succeeded in doing so, turning what used to be an epithet into a common word, or depending on the phrase in which it's being used, a word of friendship.
Take a look at another common curse word that has a dual usage and perhaps you'll see what I'm getting at. The word sh*t has long been held to be a word used as either an epithet or to describe something bad. But when one has had a wonderful experience, the youth of America will no doubt exclaim "That thing was the sh*t!" Meaning something good.

I would think that the media would have other concerns. Issues such as global warming, a President who doesn't care what the laws of our nation say, the criminals who are destroying the economy for financial gain, and to try to force the Treasury to give the Federal Reserve more power. But yet, as the summer wears on, the trend towards celebrity gossip, Jesse Jackson wanting to neuter Barak Obama, and drivel articles are once again seeping into mainstream media's mentality. Why are they so focused on meaningless drivel, when they should be taking John McCain to task for his flip flopping around like a fish out of water, slapping Nancy Peolsi all over the country for her refusal to help impeach a criminal regime, (one begins to wonder just what Bush has on her, no?), and getting to the real reasons for the current make believe oil crisis.

Instead, on front pages across the land, we were witnesses to the unseemly spectacle of a forced confession of a man who didn't say what everyone is accusing him of saying. He said the word in much the same way that almost every young person in America is saying it. Maybe it's Jesse Jackson who's actually got his finger on the pulse of the country and not the talking heads who allowed for the besmirching of a good man's name.

As the older generation fades away into history, (and this happens with every generation), they must show their outrage at what the younger generation is doing or saying. It happened in the 1920's, the so called Age of Swing. As that generation gave rise to Elvis Presley, the old Swingers were appalled and tried to have Presley's act shut down. Finally accepted, lo and behold, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones set the entire Presley era ablaze with anger, and when heavy metal entered the scene, well, we all remember the lawsuits claiming the backwards messages causing young people to commit suicide.

With each of those generations came the use of new slang words. Words used to define themselves from the generation before. So too comes the new generation with their hip hop, their fusion of hip hop and heavy metal, and so too comes the new slang with it. It is only the 'Me First' generation that looks down upon them and their new found freedoms in the rave dances they hold, the words they use, the clothes they wear, their piercings and tattoos, and all the other things that define this generation from even mine, the generation just before them. I was taken aback the first time I heard white teenagers calling each other ni**a. Now, having come to understand what they mean by it, I applaud their ability to take a hurtful racial epithet and shape it into colorless form of greeting. Maybe we could all learn a little something from that, and stop trying to perpetuate the bad with false news stories. And maybe, just maybe, these young people are on to something. Something that could be the beginning of the end of the racial divide in America, and the start of a new age.

In fact, when Americans start to drift towards thinking of the 'N' word, don't let your mind automatically assume some racial slur. Instead let us have a new 'N' word in the United States we all love and wish to reclaim. Let the new 'N' word be Neocon...........................

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