Seriously? Why can’t we get rid of the N-word?

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.


  1. CGC

    The problem here is complex. By no means is using the n word a baseball related comment. Clearly racism is still alive and as it has never ceased. It’s changed shape and hide itself for along time. Racism is something that is taught- when we teach our children colors, when we speak, labels we give things like black market, blackmailed, or white lie. It been etched into who we are for generations both white and black and it didn’t just disappear because we marched or because we spoke out about injustices.

    I’ve lived on the Westcoast were most people settled trying to start a new life leaving behind pain of slavery and segregation, hurt and hate. So the overall temperament is peaceful, laid back no worries type of life style. But trust, one wrong move or comment and those roots pop right up!

    While living in the Northeast, I realized racism in underlined tones. I mean come on… when your Black History teacher is an uninvested Portuguese male who fails the whole class on a midterm because he used the wrong answer key and has no interest in regrading until you get the asst principal involved because at the students review of their tests he wasn’t willing to take a second look- you know something ain’t right. Or because you are coming from the outside you can see that the Portuguese (lighter skinned/ straight haired) don’t like the Cape Verdeans (darker skinned/kinky curly haired). Or the Spanish call the Dominicans “El Negro”. Or there is a clear difference to when a Caucasian says they live on the East Side (Blackstone Blvd) to when a Minority says they live on the East Side (Camp Street).

    But never have I been exposed to open racism then that which is home grown right here, living south of the Dixon Mason Line. Because no one ever knows what category of nationally and decent I am- there have been many who have looked me in my face and had right straight from the heart conversations about how they hate all the Mexicans because the are Demons with their black beady eyes. Or the conversations that happened where I was told they hate the blacks because they complain too much.i can’t tell you how many older Caucasians have called me “Lil’ girl” as my name regardless of what my name tag or desk name plate read!

    It took thirty one years for me to be called a Ni@@er straight to my face, not the ebonics version Ni@@a, but old school ignorant I hate you Ni@@er.

    I, too, have three sons- handsome young Princes in the Lord’s Army, we are grooming to become Kings in their own homes. And with the killings of these young boys at such tender ages, the black lives matter movement, the recent presidential candicacy race which activated the sleeper cells of Racism- shielding our children I think is a hindrance to them.

    Looking at the faces of my boys in disbelieve that this great country didn’t like them simply because of their color and background made me cry. But that’s where it became so easy to explain God’s Love and what he has for us is greater than what any man on Earth could ever give us. All lives matter because God said so.

    Sharing with them the Gospel of Jesus and his love, our commissioned responsibility and duty and keeping our mind stayed on Jesus, that gave me joy. Because honestly, wherever we go on this Earth we will get a sideways look, but to God we are all the same.

    We can get rid of the n word. I have! How can I tell my children or anyone’s child, white or black, not to use it if I am? But for the rest of us it will take time and lots of Prayer.

    Great article!


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