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WPGM Commentary: Why People Calling You Nigger Doesn’t Matter

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Earlier this week I noticed Black Americans flipping out on the world wide web over a video where a woman who looked like Skeletor was calling a Black man a Nigger. Everyone I saw post about this seemed to be really offended. Personally, I thought the reactions I saw were funny. Because you see, if Black people are really opposed to racism, there are much bigger bones to pick. I can recall being a young man growing up in the inner-city where people would get killed on the corner by my house and it wasn’t in the news. Strange as that was, what made it even more bizarre was that if there was someone abusing their dog in the West Hills, it was live at 8. Big news. Huge deal.


“Crazed Hooker Uses Rapper Language To The Chagrin Of Tax-Payers In The World’s Most Racist Nation”

Realities such as this, and many (MANY) others, are what formed the world view on racial inequality for many of us being raised in a society that clearly didn’t prioritize, or value us as much as the rest of it’s constituents. The sentiments of my generation were summed up in the eternal words of Doughboy from the Classic film Boyz In The Hood, “either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the ‘hood”. Trill.

Fast forward 20 years, and the victimization of the poor has become, by and large, exported to the third world (because there are more resources in Iraq than there are in South Central LA). The US dollar is backed only by the US military and the overwhelming majority of consumable goods that we are all sacrificing our time and energy to get our hands on, from Nike’s to Pentium chips to Chocolate are brought to us by some of the most egregious forms of racism in existence.

So where’s the outrage?

There is none. Because our thinking is so shallow that even our outrage is manufactured. Because the legacy of colonialism and Willie Lynch don’t make as good a headline to the reactionary masses of Black folk as “RACIST WOMAN CALLS MAN NIGGER!!!”

The sad reality is that Black people don’t know what we want. We want less crime in the inner-cities but lower police presence. We want out of the projects but we hate gentrification. And through all of the complaining, protesting and incrimination of society for it’s systemically racist repression of Black life, we are, by and large silent on, and almost always complicit to, the meanest forms of racism in existence by virtue of the taxes we pay, and the products we purchase.

Can I keep it funky? These aren’t the politics of a people opposed to racism as a whole. These are the politics of people motivated by individualism, which is the very same sort of thinking that was used to prop up racism to begin with. And the reason is that when a people are oppressed for a protracted period of time, they begin to imitate their oppressors. Or, as the Jewish proverb puts it most succinctly, “as above, so below”.

In 2014, Black culture promotes the killing of Black people more than Police culture. FACT. In 2014, Black culture has become the greatest PR machine for illegal drug trafficking in the Black community that we have ever seen. FACT. And while the systemic devaluation of Black life has been engineered by the ruling classes since the jump, it doesn’t change the FACT that many of the problems we face could never exist without our acquiescence and contribution. FACT.

So, the 12,000 Black children that have been sold into slavery in West Africa to harvest the cocoa beans that go into the production of that snickers bar you’re munching on become the teens that were killed on the corner by my house (conveniently ignored). While the woman calling someone “nigger” becomes the animal rights abuses in the West Hills we all rally around to make ourselves somehow feel like we are on the “right side of things” when in actuality, the whole construct was flawed from the the jump. Because it’s easier to criticize the forms racism you can’t control and don’t contribute to, than those you can, and do.

And I bet they were called every name in the book the whole time.And I bet they were called every name in the book the whole time.

If we are being honest, being called a nigger could hardly even be termed as racism. That’s bigotry. That’s prejudice. That’s ignorance. But racism? Racism is one million dead Iraqis. Racism is a drone strike killing your family if you happen to live anywhere on earth BUT Europe. That’s racism. We cry crodile tears for TrayVon Martin but then go out and support the same coon images in the media that help foster the irrational fear of us in neurotic White Americans.

jayz-beyonce-travon-martin-rallyJay-Z, who has made millions of dollars glorifying the role he played in the destruction of the community he came from attends a rally for Trayvon Martin.

You see, if we turn a blind eye to racism in it’s most objective manifestations, or, in fact, sacrifice to give our capital to it, but treat the instance of someone using a racial slur like it’s the most offensive thing ever, then it’s apparent we aren’t concerned with justice so much as we’re concerned with self. And it’s obvious. Because, in the words of Huey P. Newton, “the opposite of a revolutionary is a reactionary”. So if you’re truly opposed to racism, you should be working to attenuate it’s existence in all facets of your life (your life, not everyone else’s. Yours. Read that again), not just when you see certain people using certain words. But in how you spend your money, in where you focus your attention, and in how you use your language.

Which brings me to my final point.

A second piece of media surfaced sometime after the video of the woman calling the gentleman the N-Word wherein the same woman says she “isn’t racist” and that the word nigger “has nothing to do with race” in the context that she used it.

What’s interesting about that, is this is nearly the same exact argument a lot of Black people advance in defense of their own use of the word! (imitating the oppressor, as above so below. Do you get it now?)

In my latest #WeeklyWonder I have a bar that goes “Call yourself a NIGGER than guess what they finna treat you like?!?!?”. Philosophically speaking, it is 100% illogical to cry, beg, and fuss about society not embracing a level of respect that you aren’t even willing to embrace yourself. Period. Language is a living thing, and a language of any sort can only remain extant so long as there are people using it (ask the Natives). So, how is it that in 2014 we are still dealing with people calling us niggers? Oh, because we call ourselves niggers. Just like how they stopped lynching us, and in came Black on Black violence and Crips and Bloods. Just like how they “freed” us from slavery right about the same time we were willing to work those fields as “sharecroppers”. Get it? Do you see the pattern?

Believe it or not, the greatest lie we are told in the state controlled school system and media isn’t about Christopher Columbus, or who shot MLK. The greatest lie we have been told is that freedom is a thing to be legislated into existence, to be marched for, and to be conferred upon a people. You see, when you ask someone else for justice, or freedom, or equality, you automatically divest yourself of a space in the dynamic from where you can create the aforementioned for yourself.

The greatest, and in fact only tool for social change we have is self discipline. When you are talking about poor and oppressed people in a capitalist society fighting to make a difference, the only resource they have in that fight is the weapon of personal choice. In the absence of material resources, that becomes your capital. No one is going to stop treating us like, seeing us as, or calling us niggers until we take it upon ourselves to stop carrying ourselves like, portraying ourselves as and calling ourselves NIGGERS.

These rappers are lying to you telling you that a contemporary racial slur can be used as a term of endearment depending on the complexion of the person using it. And they’re getting paid off of that lie while all you’re getting is a pre-defined negative image to carry around with you. Wake up. I know, I know, I sound like a republican telling us to “pull ourselves up from our bootstraps”. What about 400 years of slavery? What about failing schools, underfunded social programs, and roaming bands of murderers that wear badges?

Hmmmm, what about the FACT that we can’t control them? That we are in no position to make demands on a system for freedom while we feast on fruit from the tree of injustice? How long are we going to petition a government that established itself on stolen land for equality? What’s the point of galvanizing the national consciousness around a racist “verbal assault” whilst we support racist companies that derive their products from racist physical assaults? I think it’s time we started to ask ourselves the million dollar question: how come Black kids get shot in the back by the cops but Korean kids don’t? What about that?

But Luck Wonder, if we stop using the N word, you think that’s gonna just make racism go away?

Believe it or not, this isn’t a hollywood drama where after 90 minutes of plot twists, we reach a conclusion and all of our problems are solved in one fell swoop (SMILE). Change takes time (don’t believe me? Try changing your vocabulary to stop calling yourself a NIGGER!), but for change to be real, it has to be lasting. And for it to be lasting, it has to come from a real revolutionary place, not just a reaction to losing YOUR job, or getting YOUR feelings hurt. Solution-based analyses are less concerned with who’s at fault, and more concerned with who’s down to help.

Any way, if I were to really break down my thoughts behind these sixteen bars I would have to write a book. Why don’t you take a listen, and tell me what YOU think?

Luck-One – “Real Kings” #WeeklyWonders:

Words by Luck-One // Originall Published on LuckOneMusic

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