Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shut up and do something

I'm a bit pissed. Let me get the most aggravating bit out of the way. Why is it that colored people get all pissed when someone refers to them as a nigger, then they turn around and call another black person a nigger? What isn't firing in their brains?

Here's an example. Kanye West has his song Goldigger, and uses the term "broke niggers" in it. Kanye, if you want to be respected when you open your mouth about politics, don't use the word nigger. It defeats your credibility. This leads to a much larger issue.

Until colored people stop using the term nigger, they won't get the respect they crave and deserve. Why respect people who freely use a term that is one of the most derisive in our language towards them? You don't hear Afghanis calling each other caffers, do you? Leonard Pitts has touched on this issue in the past. If you stop using nigger, do you suddenly sell out? If you do sell out, is that wrong to get a better life, home, etc? I don't get it. So I guess it's ok for Poles to call each other Polack, Ukrainians to use mongol (centuries old derogatory term) and the list goes on.

If that's the case, and it's accepted among the people it's directed to and coming from, why can't another race use those words? Why can't I use the word nigger to refer to a colored person? I mean, they do it to each other! So why get upset if someone from another race uses it? It must be ok, right? Oh, wait, I'm white, so it must mean I'm a racist, but if I were colored, it just means I'm colored. Makes perfect sense. To an idiot.

I raced this past Tuesday night. It was fast, I enjoyed it, and it rained. Rain means roads like ice here in TX, so a few miles from the end when my bike started to try and get out from under me, I backed off a bit and finished about 5 seconds behind the lead group of five. Not bad.

But the real point is a guy who was with us had a prosthetic adaptor on his left leg. It was from the knee down, and was a titanium or steel rod, with a plate on the bottom, and his cleat mounted to that. He was very fast, and a good rider. Turns out he had his leg blown off in Iraq, and was now out of the Army. He was upbeat, not bitter about it, and moving on. He was happy to be there, rain and all. He stayed in the main group once the rain hit, but I was impressed. At one point I put my hand on hs back to help him keep from letting a gap form ahead of him up a hill. He was upset, but I told him it was easier for me to do that than to use a bunch of energy to get around him, and I'd do it no matter who it was so it wouldn't upset the flow of the paceline. Later he gave me a shove and we both laughed.

This guy has every reason to be bitter, but he's not. He's got a lot of things to deal with and to overcome in the future. Next time you get pissed look at what your problem is and put it into perspective.


Capybaras United said...

Good racing - and interesting (while sad) to hear about the fellow who came back from Iraq.

Regarding in-group slurs, you're right about it diminishing others' respect for the speaker, but I disagree about others using the slur: there is something to the concept of reclaiming a word to lessen its power. Lots of groups do it, despite the vulgarity. When "outsiders" use the slur their intent isn't clear, while it is with insiders.

Bearette24 said...

i'm glad to see you finally updated your profile.

Belle said...

Good job on the race!

Amen on the use of the racial slurs.


LostInTX said...

I'm sorry I played Kanye West in the car.