Futility of “Colorblindness”: The n-word Signifies Dehumanization; No Good Can Come from Its Use

With shock (so distressed, I nearly called to cancel my subscription), I saw that the Washington Post, through reporters Dave Sheinin and Krissah Thompson, as well as Lonnae O’Neal Parker, had published an article about the n-word, the vile English word created to enshrine the idea that Black people are not human beings but rather mere property to be bought and sold. The United States (in particular, the White social control structure), regardless of civil rights laws, has never fully accounted for and compensated to Black people for the blood, sweat, and tears resulting from the abuse that has been imposed upon the Black people of the United States of America.

There is significant resistance to do such accounting and compensation, yet there is an eagerness by the same White structure to provide many excuses for the cruel word of Black dehumanization. This time, through the article, it is posited–

  • that since Black young people use some variant of the disgusting word among themselves,
  • that since “Black singers” use (*abuse*) the abhorrent word in their hip-hop lyrics (sold predominately to Whites and worldwide (people learning English hear this word and learn it like other vocabulary–very sad and distressing), in a music industry controlled by Whites,

the horrible word has lost its sting and thus can be used by all.

Except, White people maintain their humanity (and psychological ownership of “free and equal” Black people), while Black people again have their very humanity on the block to be haggled over, debated, bought, and sold. Simultaneously, the humanness of Black people is disregarded and scattered to the winds. These points fuel the volcanic reaction that bursts forth when a White person deigns to use the word and strong offense is taken by a Black person. [In addition, the swastika or the holocaust would never be considered for such a redefinition, yet it is licit for Black people’s humanity to be played with like dominoes.]

With this word and the bloody context surrounding and involving it

  • no young person,
  • no singer,
  • no newspaper,
  • no journalist,
  • no agent provocateur,
  • no athlete,
  • no actor

nobody–can sanitize (or dare sanction the use of) this ugly word! There must be a full accounting of the blood spilled and denied humanity of Black people first (current time included). Once that is done, then the society will be able to take on the word, which if the corrective action would have been placed into effect, the word would disappear from the lexicon.

I have no hope that this accounting will ever occur; I am reaching-ever closer-the point of giving up on this country. The hapless government response–at all levels, state and federal–with the events in Ferguson, Missouri, with the killing of Mr. Michael Brown, Jr. (his parents have had to seek justice from the United Nations Human Rights Committee against Torture in Geneva, Switzerland), serves as an tiny example of what would happen with of a nationwide focus on accounting for the past and present racial abuse against Black people and to finally recognize the innate humanity of Black people in the United States of America.

{Postscript: There was discussion about the National Football League assessing fines for the use of the vile English word on the football field (ostensibly by Black players toward other Black players). The fact is the football field can be considered a workplace and as such the civil rights laws applicable to the workplace should apply.}