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Oct 30th

No excuse for using the n word

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No excuse for using the "n" word

It's true, for the most part, that there's two sides to every story. Accordingly, after being yanked off the stage at Black Enterprise's recent event, comic Eddie Griffin was a featured guest on "Geraldo At Large" (FOX-TV) and spoke up for himself.

It's true, for the most part, that there's two sides to every story. Accordingly, after being yanked off the stage at Black Enterprise's recent event, comic Eddie Griffin was a featured guest on "Geraldo At Large" (FOX-TV) and spoke up for himself.

With quite a salty attitude, Griffin basically attested that he'd been set up like a bowling pin. He said it went like this: Black Enterprise reps acknowledged that they knew doggone well what kind of foul-mouthed act Griffin does, that it was acceptable to them and that they let him go on. And truth be told, his film Foolish is a perfect example of this guy's work. More stand-up routine than scripted plot, it is a profanity and epithet- laden foray into vulgarity. Then, to continue with Eddie Griffin's contention, in a backstabbing scenario, BE played to the crowd by giving him the hook. BE had a possible motivation that dovetails with his story: the incident resulted in publicity for the corporation that the best money can't buy. On top of which, Griffin told Geraldo Rivera that the word (that infamous epithet for which he was yoked) had been said only twice. So there you have his side of things. Black Enterprise publisher Earl Graves victimized Eddie Griffin in a cynical move that put the comic behind the eight-ball.

For openers, even if you buy the business about Graves pulling a fast one, that's not the point. The issue is that using the word twice was using it two times too many. So whatever axe Eddie Griffin has to grind with Black Enterprise on whatever basis, he still stands on seriously shaky ground. At least so far as respecting the dignity of his people goes.

The audience would not have applauded as solidly as they did if they were not tired of people getting up on stage and gratuitously throwing an insult around - especially as some supposed sign of cultural authenticity straight-out-the-hood. Furthermore, there is nothing admirable about some of the facts of life that can be attributed to "the hood." It is the same lifestyle in which that word is a staple of people's primitive vocabulary -- spewed day and night, in front of and even at little kids - that gives us unwed teenage mothers, drug dealing, jail- bound parasites and the asinine concept that having manners and valuing an education are the same thing as acting like or wanting to be white. It is the perpetuation of self-limiting and self-destructive behavior.

No matter how Eddie Griffin tries to rationalize it by supposedly putting things in proper perspective, the day of using that word - both publicly and privately - is a day we need to see come to an end. It's not funny. It's not endearing. It's not a badge of blackness. It is a tacky symptom and clear sign of sheer, determined willful ignorance.

What room is there in the war we still wage for social gains to walk around shooting off at the mouth like some back alley thug? What impression does it give in the work place? How does it enhance your child's chances of getting anywhere at school? Name one setting worth attending for the sake of profitable employment, empowering education or merely a worthwhile social event where using that word isn't an obstacle and barrier to the man or woman who utters it. It is time to stop "getting down" and to be serious about getting real. Specifically, getting real about what a stone around our necks that word is.
 

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