You can’t have it both ways

Those who are too sensitive to deal with certain words might as well move on to another section of the newspaper.

Because we are going to talk about the word “nigger.”

Yes, we realize polite circles would write “the N-word.” But let’s be honest. The way that word is being bandied about lately around here by various public officials means it’s time to address it.

Before we get into the latest scenarios of what has transpired in our community, let’s acknowledge that a form of the word nigger is used by white and black kids as a term of endearment, friendship or whatever. No, we don’t understand it either.

That word is “nigga.” Check out any social media site and you’ll see black and white teens bantering about “yo, my nigga” or “hey nigga” and so forth. Teenagers have their own language, and despite the derogatory term most adults see in even that word, for some reason it’s okay among teens. We’re not even going to address rap music.

The word “nigger” is something else. It has never been a term of endearment. In fact, it is probably the most racist term a non-black can use against a black person.

Which brings us back to our own little Paula Deen controversy.

Within the last week, Grantville Police Chief Doug Jordan was suspended for seven days and then resigned before the full city council could hold a personnel hearing on his actions.

His crime? About a year ago, Jordan, who is white, was part of a group text message discussing an alleged black drug dealer. In the various conversations, which included a black officer, Jordan used the word “nigger.”

Those texts were later presented to Grantville Mayor Jim Sells by an Atlanta television reporter. Sells, after questioning Jordan, suspended the chief for seven days. Jordan resigned a couple of days later. It’s important to note those texts were not given out by the black officer, whom Jordan said in an interview with this newspaper did not have a problem with the texts.

Now we learn that Grantville Councilman Barham Lundy, who is black, called someone a nigger in a conversation taped about a year ago.

In an article in Wednesday’s paper, Lundy said black people use the word “nigger” in speaking to and about each other without meaning anything demeaning or unkind. He also said his comment was made to other blacks during a routine conversation where he was not acting as a city councilman.

“I wasn’t talking about a white person,” he said. “I wasn’t talking about a Mexican. I was using that term to talk about a member of my own race. It wasn’t a racial slur.”

So, according to Lundy, who wanted Jordan fired, it’s okay for blacks to use the term, but whites can’t.

Let’s look up the definition of racism: “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

Let’s also check out the definition of equality: “The quality or state of being equal: the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.”

We cannot have a double standard. We can’t fire white people for using the term nigger about blacks but say it’s okay for blacks to use the term. And we can’t go around firing black people for using the term honky, cracker, redneck or whatever about whites but say it’s okay for whites to use the term.

Either is racism. Pure and simple.

A white police chief is basically forced to resign. A black city council member, despite calls for his resignation by the mayor and other members of the city council, remains.

Where is the equality?

If we are going to use the word “nigger” and take actions against someone for using it, then it should apply to all, regardless of race.






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