Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rant #73: The "N" Word Means "No" In My House (and Car)

Am I out of touch with what is going on or what?

My son’s 14th birthday was on Sunday, and we had some of his friends over to watch the Pay-Per-View WWE Summerslam Wrestling event. One of his best friends slept over that night.

The next day, after work, I had to take my son’s friend home. It is about 20 miles away, and being that it was rush hour, it took some time to get him back to his house.

My son got an iPod Touch for his birthday. It is a pretty nifty little device, but the niftiness of the gadget led me to think that I must be behind the times.

I don’t like my son to put certain rap music on his iPod; the vile, disgusting, curse-laden stuff really gets my dander up. But, like most kids his age, he is going to find a way to do it anyway, and I discovered this as he played a “song” (I use that term advisedly) for him and his friend to listen to.

Well, the song used one curse word after another (from what I could understand), and the tune, by a black artist, used the “N” word pretty regularly.

When I heard the “N” word, I told my son to shut the thing off. I felt bad for his friend, who happens to be black, and who was listening to this trash.

Well, you know what the kid told me? When I said I didn’t want to hear this trash and the “N” word in the car, he said to me, “It doesn’t matter.”

I replied, “Yes it does,” and I said that word was vile for not only blacks, but for people of any skin color, and it was not a word I allowed in our home or in the car.

The kids moved onto another song without even flinching.

I don’t know, am I out of the loop? And a black kid is saying this to me yet? I know the saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” might come into play here, but I don’t know, I think that word is one that should be removed from our language.

I mean, growing up in a black area, I heard the word plenty too, and I heard it plenty from blacks themselves. Back then, the word was pretty much a “touchstone” for a lot of verbal drivel, but today, I think the word has become so commonplace in some rap music that it has become part of our collective culture.

I don’t know, I think that’s not a good thing.

I know, some artists use it to show that they are immune to its connotations. But when it becomes part of our cultural verbiage, I think, as a parent, I have to draw the line.

Another word in a similar situation in today’s world is pimp. If the kids knew what the word represented, maybe they wouldn’t use it like they do. Or maybe they would.

But again, I don’t care about the media. These are words that should be expunged from our language, as are many other terms that represent such human negatives that I won’t repeat them here in any form.

And I am not talking about curses, because we all use them and they will never go away. I am talking about words and phrases that humiliate people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, and have been used against blacks, Jews, Asians and others for decades.

There is no use for these words in our language, and I wish the kids of today understood what these words meant, and stopped using them themselves—and took to task those who did use them.

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