(Last in the Hyphenated-word Trilogy)
* "... I mean, we're all stuck here for a while. Let's try to work it out.
Let's try to beat it. Let's try to beat it. Let's try to work it out." Mr. Rodney King(an American)
Aug 29, 2010 3:51:57 amby TallPockets Homepage »
It seems 'few' want to venture forth on the above subject?(82 views, 1 comment). Kinda' like in REAL life? ~SIGH~ At my age, 59, I still find it astounding that 'color' even HAS to be discussed. Unless, arguing about which T.V. gives the BEST quality.
Aug 31, 2010 1:34:18 amby Chipka Online Now! Homepage »
Ah...there's so much to say about this topic, and so little space.
This poem is quite potent, and puts its finger on a nerve many people don't want touched. It's funny that in our oh-so-politically-correct, "post racial" nation we seem to possess the inability to say "nigger," without malicious intent. We've robbed our linguists and our historians of the ability to analyze this word and share their findings, because we refuse to hear it spoken or see it written, unless--of course--it occurs within the African-American community as a "claimed" word shifted into a different context. Our refusal to come to grips with this word has displaced every other word beginning with the same, innocuous letter. We pat ourselves on the back when we say that we're liberal and accepting, but turn a blind eye to the very real fact that "Black" is still considered a different, monolithic race, while "White, Asian, Latino, or Eskimo/Canadian Native" are understood as umbrella-terms defining a number of distinct, human ethnic groups. As one who lives on the receiving-end of the word, "nigger" I find it offensive that it has been reduced to a euphemism rather than being dealt with appropriately. Indeed, the n-word-euphemism becomes a substitute for dealing with "nigger" in the very air, water, food, and media of this country.
Your poem touches on this brilliantly, and also underscores the complexity of the "race" issue in America. Race issue? Someone other than humans occupies the USA? (You see..."nigger" has mutated the ways in which we speak of each other; it has infected our very language with a subtle, and lethal form of verbal cancer. Indeed, "Black History" and American history are two different things in this country...we have Black History Month in exactly the same way we have "The-N-Word." Rather than live up to our pretty Constitutional words and include Black people IN mainstream American history, we do the "Liberal" thing and give the McDonald's Corporation one short/cold month in which to display posters of African Americans in their restaurants...at least in Chicago. But that's a topic for another post. The point is, if the USA was a single person, that person would be in serious need of therapy and, quite-possibly psychiatric medication...and an adult way of dealing with his (or her) dysfunctional color fetish.)
I think that in order to overcome the infantile (and embarrassing) American obsession with skin color, (and sexual orientation, and religious issues, and women's equality,) America needs to look at itself, honestly; and then decide whether or not it wants to grow up. Your poem illustrates this, perfectly, and for all of its provocation, it was fun to read.