by H. Lewis Smith
Ever since Black America’s self-prescribed, self-directed, effective, and much-needed Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the American systemic has continually worked relentlessly to find ways of combating or diluting the efforts of the Black community—one of which is paying attention to and promoting only those blacks who are willing to be sounding boards for their plight: White America has autonomously and arbitrarily decided who will be the “spokespeople” or chosen voices for Black America based on some criteria still in support of White America’s mind-manipulation plight.
For instance, consider the recent developments over the use of the n-word in news reporting. The prevailing black voices heard were those of CNN’s Don Lemon and The View’s Whoopie Goldberg.
Don Lemon is in favor of the actual word n**ger being used when reporting the news as opposed to using the n-word metaphor. Whoopie has verbally and actively provided her support of such an idea repeatedly. Whenever a public issue about the n-word arises, Whoopie seems to always be on hand to weigh in with support for open use of the word n**ger. This is the same Whoopie who aided and abetted her former white boy friend, Ted Danson, in appearing black-faced (sambo-style) at a Friars Club roasting of her—which one with the utmost respect for their heritage can deduce that the event was, simultaneously, a roasting and blatant insolence of Black America. She helped write much of the material he used during the roasting and secured the make-up artist who painted his face.
Don Lemon, on the other hand, is just simply a victim of naïveté. Lemon is unaware as to how the national media will use blacks like him to help disseminate racially-devaluing propaganda through the usage of manipulative misinformation. In discussing the n-word, Lemon said, “I hate it in music. I hate those kinds of things. I hate it when it’s misogynistic and rap and all of that. But what I’m saying is in the reporting of a story, you should say the word not to sanitize it.”
Had Lemon went on to explicitly say that the rap music industry needs to “STOP Degrading the Black Community,” “STOP Defaming Black Women,” “STOP Denigrating Black History,” and “STOP Accepting Disrespect”, such a liberating message would have resonated throughout all of America. That type of direct denouncement of the n-word would have helped to dispel any hidden agendas by the news media, and would have allowed America to see that not everyone in media are talking heads—they actually do have their own beliefs and are able to report truly on matters unimpressed by the systemic. Had Lemon been more direct and not as passive, he would have been expressing the concerns of many in the Black community; rather, he seems to be overlooking the real issue and is expressing concerns of the majority (or popular belief) that have no concern regarding Black America’s progression and cultural dignity when he states “you should SAY the word not to SANITIZE it.”
Not to sanitize exactly what about the n-word—the impact that the word “n**ger” carries? Using the metaphor “n-word” versus outright saying “n**ger” does not dilute the term’s impact when delivering a news report across the masses and races; rather, using the term “n-word” serves as a way to report on one’s story while also maintaining respect for self-respecting Black audience members who find the word “n**ger” used in any way offensive.
If use of the n-word was more about mental freedom as opposed to mental enslavement, then Lemon and other black television personalities would be free to enunciate matters of concern relative to the Black community. However, the systemic is not about liberation, it’s about manipulative misinformation. As it stands, use of the word n**ger in reporting the news is inappropriate and counterproductive to human relations and respect for everyone; and if there is a faction who benefits from its use, it most certainly is not the Black community.
The original intent and purpose of the n-word was designed to justify any and all abusive and brutal acts perpetrated upon blacks; corrupt the sense of racial black unity and cohesion; mold the character of self-hatred; engender self-doubt, self-loathing, and distrust among the black group; and insinuate that Blacks should admire, respect, and trust only Whites. The 400-year-old psychological intent of that word has never been impeded; thus, its original meaning is still very much alive in this 21st century.
America’s paternalistic practice of selecting hand-picked blacks to speak for Black America drills the message that Blacks are powerless, of lesser moral presence and intelligence, and thus, require the help of their “savoir”—whites—to save them by governing Blacks’ lives. This idea, in essence, totally detaches African Americans from their sense of power, reality, and their God-granted individualism.
Interestingly enough, white commentators are often impatient with black people and the concern about words when everyone knows that receiving the desired effect from the audience—especially in news reporting—is all about semantics and the spin or play on one’s words. So, in this case, how can the n-word seem insignificant or meaningless? The word n**ger is associated with a brutal social system that denied Black Americans’ humanity. It marks Black people as savages and things, not people, and this is unacceptable.
A man isn’t truly free until the shackles of the human mind, body, and spirit are broken. Until one is capable of taking control of their own mind and thoughts, they are still a slave. Black America’s uses of the n-word is NOT by choice, but, instead, by a 400-year-old mind control indoctrination process that has conditioned blacks to believe they VOLUNTARILY use the word; and to this very day, Blacks are constantly encouraged from within themselves and societal to identify with the pejorative term.
Some Black Americans have their heads buried in the sand and are in denial when it comes to use of the n-word. Their argument is that it is just a powerless word and that there are far more important matters of which to turn one’s focus to within the Black community. Since when did mental enslavement become a frivolous matter, which is what use of the n-word symbolizes? Mental enslavement is the worst form of enslavement that exists. Black ancestors were subjected to both physical and mental enslavement; they were later freed from physical bondage, but NEVER from mental enslavement. Many Black /African Americans deny this truth, but yet are unable to prove differently. As Carter G. Woodson once said:
“If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit.”
The intent and purpose of the Ban the N-word campaign is to make Black/African Americans realize their CONTENTMENT with the mentality racist oppressors instilled and cursed them with centuries ago, and to make African Americans aware that their choice to continue to activate the idiom—in various ways—helps keep the mental chains of enslavement intact. The “endowment” is then passed down through generation after generation of Black/African Americans. The recent occurrence of a black man taking the microphone out of the hands of a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-TV spokesperson and shouting, “I am that n**ger” is symptomatic of a prevailing slave mentality.
Additionally, that act was extremely embarrassing, disgraceful and degrading to the Black community, and, as an elder would say, just “plain stupid”. These types of antics—Blacks going into main stream medium and supporting the use of the n-word either through advocating use or actually using the term—are what keep other races shaking their heads at the Black community in disgust. These types of acts are why no one else takes the Black community, collectively, seriously.
Advocating the use of the n-word or “n**ga” must cease. The Black community has an obligation to improve itself. One is now further realizing that White America has spawned some “inside men” or Manchurian candidates to do their dirty work; these clones have black skin and often “talk” black, however, they do not mean the Black community well. It is up to the Black community’s members to awaken, individually, and not take the word of these brainwashed celebrities and influential figures as “the gospel”.
H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. http://www.theunitedvoices.com; writer for the New England Informer, staff writer for ThyBlackman.com, and author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word. Follow H. Lewis Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1
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