NAACP thinks it can put ‘The N-word’ to death


I guess if you’re gonna try to put the so-called ‘n-word’ to death, then Detroit is probably the place to do it. In a city that is blacker than any other major city in the nation, this is truly the best testing ground to see if they can actually pull this thing off. We’ll see.

Backing up a bit, the NAACP’s national conference is scheduled to be held in Detroit this summer from July 7-12. Resurrecting the symbolism of when the NAACP “buried” Jim Crow 63 years ago, the organization hopes to send an equally powerful message this time around by “burying” the n-word.

 The message, obviously, is that black folks are denigrating themselves whenever – and however – they use the word. In other words, those who persist in trying to make the case that ‘nigga’ don’t mean ‘nigger’ may want to consider keeping their mouths shut. Any person with sense knows that there never woulda been a ‘nigga’ without a ‘nigger’. If two branches are connected to the same tree, it’s a safe bet they share the same roots.

Sorry about that, but saying the ‘n’ word in this instance just wouldn’t quite pack the punch that I was looking for.

Anyway, like I said, we’ll see how successful this burial turns out to be. My prediction? The dead will rise and walk again. Plain and simple. Why? Because the kids that I hear out here every day using the n-word like no other word exists don’t take their cues from the NAACP. That’s not exactly where they go to seek direction. As for the record companies? They are motivated purely, completely, and totally by profit and profit alone. If the anti- ‘n-word’ crowd can effectively shut off the advertising spigot – or manage to convince the industry heads that they have the wherewithal to do so – then maybe they have a shot . Maybe. But if they can’t squeeze the dollar? Forget about it. 

Which means the best route might be the most direct route, namely appealing directly to the entertainers themselves for sanity and support of a worthy cause. Who knows? If they see enough outrage – or, more likely, a threat to their record sales and their profits – then they just might consider getting on board. Maybe.

But here’s the thing about that; the only way that is likely to happen is if the pressure and outrage are sustained over a lengthy period of time. The pressure to keep the lid on the n-word has to have the kind of endurance that would cause the average protester to pass out in the street. Advertisers and entertainers both must be made to see that they will not be allowed a moment’s peace until they cooperate. It’s just like the saying goes; No Justice, No Peace.

Because we need to remember that this word has been with us for a very, very, very long time. This word has  outlived a lot of negroes.


~ by Keith A. Owens on May 18, 2007.

7 Responses to “NAACP thinks it can put ‘The N-word’ to death”

  1. […] Read more here… […]

  2. Imagine all the time, energy, and resources that will need to be used in this massive undertaking. And what is the hoped for result? We hope people will use another word to denigrate us. That’s it. Just please don’t say the n-word. Call me a coon, a jigaboo, darkie, spade; call me anything but don’t say that n-word again. Meanwhile not one more Black person has been lifted out of poverty, not one more Black baby is getting prpoer healthcare or social upbringing, not one more Black business is developed.

    But getting rid of that one word is so much more important than all that other stuff.

    That’s why I don’t get down with these pseudo black organizations, that claim to be helping Black people. But their efforts too often distract Black people from the things that we really should be working on.

  3. Exodus,

    You make a very good point. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say that NAACP is ‘pseudo’ – I think we need to respect the history of what that organization has done – I do agree that they are putting far too much effort into something that is a distraction from the real – and far more dangerous – problems.

    Thanks for your comments!

  4. “respect the history of what that organization has done”There in lies one of the problems,What is the history,complicit in the mail fraud case of Garvey,the organization led the fight for integration of the educational system but was lagging on self help.The right to spend your hard earn dollars at a lunch counter,instead of acquiring skills to own one shows historically there releavancy.

  5. Tootsie,

    I hear where you’re coming from on self-help and self-empowerment. I wouldn’t argue that’s the way to go, and integration hasn’t delivered all the goods everyone was promising. No question there. But when I talk to my mother about what life was like before integration – I could never honestly say that the fight for integration was a waste, or that the NAACP did nothing for us. I’ve always been more of a Malcolm man myself, but to say that the NAACP deserves no respect I think is making a mistake. Just my opinion.

  6. I can understand everyone’s points. How much of a difference is ‘burying’ the n-word going to do? It may not change everything, or even make a big evidentual difference. But, and this is a BIG BUT… we have to start somewhere. We are always making excuses.
    “WHY SHOULD I DO SOMETHING? WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL IT MAKE?? WHAT AM I GONNA GET OUT OF THIS??”…these are the type of things that can be heard coming from OUR mouths. That’s just ridiculous.
    It is a good idea to crawl before walking. If we rebel against something that you feel is so small, something that is within reach to be done…then who can be depended on for the bigger events?? If all we do is make excuses, discouraging ourself from even the smallest effort asked of us to make a big difference. Then how many of us can be depended on to march, boycott, take the abuse or do any of the things that were done by those before us. STOP being so negative. STOP fighting those trying to make a change and try fighting with them. If you don’t have a better idea…that you are out there encouraging and fighting for. DONT bring down another man’s plan to make a difference.

  7. Dena!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your views. Much appreciated. You make a great point.

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