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Oct 19th

Bravo! Eddie Griffins use of the N word gets him yanked off stage

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Bravo! Eddie Griffin's use of the 'N' word gets him yanked off stage

Eddie Griffin is old enough to know better. You don't - not in this day and age - get up at a Black Enterprise event and, never mind who or how funny you are, pepper your presentation with repeated use of that one particular word (you and I both know what the word is). Eddie Griffin is old enough to know better. You don't - not in this day and age - get up at a Black Enterprise event and, never mind who or how funny you are, pepper your presentation with repeated use of that one particular word (you and I both know what the word is).
Accordingly, his getting yanked in mid-performance on Friday, Aug. 31, was exactly what his hand called for.

There, of course, are those who think the crowd that gave Black Enterprise publisher Earl Graves an ovation after the Griffin was pulled should just get over themselves. And they need to pay close attention to this. The nationally publicized mock funeral for the word, held just the month before, by the NAACP in Detroit, was no hollow gesture. It was about doing away with an intrinsic assault on African American dignity. When knuckle-dragging rap stars get filthy rich by keeping that epithet in young people's vocabularies (even suburban white kids listening to such noise go around using the word) as part of a degenerate, dead-end lifestyle, whole communities are undermined by blatant disrespect for our very humanity. There is no room left for people choosing to use it as a term of, as it were, rough respect. If you have to do that, well, dammit, do it at home - and hopefully not in front of your kids. Out in the world, society does its damnedest to rob us of self-respect with us doing to it ourselves.

Further, you can take that rhetoric about it being a measure of how Black you supposedly are and fold it five ways. The ignorant are always fast to say of someone who not only won't use that word, but, in fact, refrains from foul language in general and is reasonably well acquainted with grammar that he or she is (okay, say it all together, now) acting white. Well, to the contrary, epithet spewing and gratuitously cussing dolts are, themselves, acting the way white snobs want them to. In such self-limiting fashion that they will never - moronic rappers are the exception, not the rule -- get any place in society where there is a decent dime to be earned.

If Eddie Griffin has the sense God gave a goose he will take some time off and go think about things. And there's a reason I didn't say he ought to hurry up and apologize. First of all, nobody's going to believe he's sorry, just that he's trying to save face - not to mention his butt. He needs to sit down somewhere and ponder just why he got the hook at this function and why the crowd was so glad he did. It wasn't about his talent, which is enormous. It was about his failure to recognize - maybe to even realize - there simply isn't anything the least bit amusing about insulting an entire people with that singularly despicable word. Once he gets his mind around what he actually did wrong, he can come back with an apology that people will believe and - dare we hope and pray - some of his high-profile peers will use as motivation to curb their own tongues.

If Griffin doesn't have any sense and just keeps on about his business - well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't give him common sense. There are Black folk who always have used the word and likely will continue to do so. We can't do anything about them. Except decrease their number by not using that word along with them. Which, quite frankly, isn't a bad idea at all.
 

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