Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The "N" Word

I received a heart-breaking call, no, actually, a heart broken call, from my step daughter lastnight. First, let me start by reminding those that may not know or remember; I have two wonderful step children who happen to be black and Italian. I love them like they are my own. She has a five-year old, Vanessa, who is just a trip and a half!! Can't say enough. Anyway, the call. She was crying, hysterically, her heart was just ripped in half. The father of her daughter, (not together), had made a racial comment. About her. He called her the "n" word. In front of Vanessa. Refusing to take it back, without apologizing. Stating he doesn't want her, the child, around, "those people."

Now, there is nothing, other than love her and Vanessa I can do. I would love to rip his tongue out of his throat. Not to mention, the very least of what her father wants to do at this very moment. But when all is said, which it has been, how am I supposed to act around him, LATER, when I have to? Right now, she doesn't want him around her until he apologizes. I don't blame her for that. She's absolutely right. But this will stick with all of us; mostly her. That hurt her hard. Hearing the pain in her voice lastnight was just awful. It was stinging.

So how does one go about continually overlooking the faults of those comments? This was the first time he's used THAT word. But his comments are not uncommon. His stupidity is not rare. His meanness, often unexpected. Like now.

What would you do? If this were your family? Really. Not in general, but real family, real life, flesh and blood. Put this in your daily life situation. Let it sink in somewhere. Put a word that fits in your vocabulary, one you prohibit, or dislike; allow it to fester under your skin. Use against a loved one, and tell me how to handle it. Because I know in my heart I'm to forgive him, and I must.... 70x7 and I know it was so cruel. I know judgement is not mine. Perhaps I just answered my own question.


Gayla said...

We are all guilty of throwing out words that we don't mean, that are so hurtful and we're especially prone to throw them at the people we are supposed to care about most. It's human nature. Doesn't make it hurt any less...

My grandmother used to say that when people choose such words, it's for lack of a better vocabulary and shows their true ignorance. Sounds like that might be the case here.

Stupid is as Stupid does, right?

I will admit I'm guilty of using 'that' word, but it was toward my own WHITE cousins and was used in the truest sense of the word - that cousin is a slothful lazy person who refused to work and expected her elder and ill parents to take care of her and her 5 children.

Not something I'm proud of, but I was *that* angry.

Seems to me the 'N' word applies to every race - God knows my family has it's fair share of the true 'n' word kind :(

So sorry your family in what they've had to endure.

Isn't it pitiful that families are more disrespectful to their own than they are to strangers?

The best advice I can give is to look up the word in a different language. Perhaps go to translate.com and find a 'positive' meaning for the word and think about it in THAT direction. Sometimes overpowering one bad memory with a good one can help.

Hope time heals ya up girl!


H. Lewis Smith said...


United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. presents its Benedict Arnold list for those Blacks who insist upon publicly using the n-word including Daman Wayans.

No longer is it acceptable to trample upon the memories and honor of those who were tarred and feathered, burnt alive, castrated, hung, boiled alive, sodomized and tortured with hot pokers, disemboweled, unmercifully tortured in countless numbers of other ways, all in the name of the n-word simply because since the victims were considered to be a n***er it was okay to perform such atrocious, despicable acts. And yet as evil and heinous as these acts were there is something that transcends it and that is descendants of these canonized victims taking the word n***er and embracing it with tender loving care and using it endearingly and affectionately among them. How idiotic and moronic can this possibly be?

DAMAN WAYANS and JOHN RIDLEY names have been placed on this list.

To learn more please go to http://www.theunitedvoices.org.

Spencer said...

huh. i tried to comment yesterday, but it looks like it didn't take.

basically what i said was this: i'm angry for you. i'm hurt for you. maybe 30 years ago, this would've been just an off-color remark. but these days, racially insensitive comments made regularly and directed at family members (!!) are more usually viewed as verbal abuse. that's how i perceive it. i'm sure (hoping) he has other wonderful qualities, but this is the only aspect of him i have been exposed to.

i'm sorry. i wish i had all the answers, or could fix this for you and your daughter. but i'm sorry.

Jennine said...

Wheras Gayla has the ability to give beautiful and thoughtful advice, I just want to be your alibi when you rip his tongue out of his throat.

I'm sorry for your step daughter. I still remember the name I was called on the playground in 6th grade. It's one thing to forgive and another to forget.

God bless your entire family.

ErinM said...

Wow. I can't even imagine. I don't have the grace and composure that some other people do. I'd say something next time I saw him.

Emily said...

darn. that comment that says it's from spencer? that's me. my husband hadn't signed out, and i didn't notice!!