A few years back, I was discouraged that my children had to learn the difference between “black” and “white”. Sure, I can hear some of my family and friends rolling their eyes that I’d think it’s possible for my kids to grow up in a world where they could see themselves and other kids as just kids and not a white, black, Asian, brown, latino, or whatever kid.
Sue me for dreaming.
Nonetheless they learned that they were black and different from white. Being kids they still don’t get all of the connotations around what that means, and I’ve tried to shield them from the Black Lives Matter movement. Not because I don’t think there is inherent bias but moreso I just don’t really want my children to be afraid of police officers. Let’s check back in a few years and see if I was just being naive or not – feels scary just writing the sentence.
Nonetheless, in a world where many people are trying to say that racism doesn’t exist anymore my children know first hand that they are non-white and for some reason that matters. They’re not quite sure how it matters but it does.
And frankly, until being a different race doesn’t matter or at least doesn’t negatively impact a particular race they and perhaps their children will always have to contend with this issue.
With that said, can we just please get rid of the N-word? Over the weekend, a baseball player, Adam Jones, was subject to the word at a Boston Red Sox game. I get that you want to root for your hometown team and hate the other team. No harm in saying a player sucks, he can’t hit the back side of a barn, or any other game-related insult you want to hurl. But seriously, in 2017 minority players in the United States shouldn’t have to deal with racial slurs in their workplace. What does this say about our society at large; the people thinking the words even if they don’t say them?
I don’t want to all new age political correct on you all, but I was just at Fenway last August and brought my kids there a few years ago. I’ll likely be back at Fenway at some point and honestly, I feel a little less comfortable about the experience knowing there are folks in the crowd who have no trouble calling a player who is African American the N-word.
If you’re reading this and you’re not a person of color do you think it’s overreacting for me to be concerned about this or do you think this is truly a baseball related comment and whomever said the words was either drunk or just trying to be as bombastic/insulting as possible? If you are black and reading this, do you have any concerns around this at all or is this just par for the course?
Whatever side you fall on in the argument, me personally, I want the N-word removed from our lexicon of quasi-acceptable words.