27 October, 2012

No, seriously

So some (most?) of you? Yeah, you. We need to have a little chat. Well, okay. Scratch that. I'm going to lecture you with absolutely zero apology, and I'm going to hope that you read this entire thing and digest it properly without interruption, because this is important. What I have to say is going to hurt. Your first response - whether it be quietly to yourself or emailing me - is going to be defensiveness and anger. Like, really intense anger, because you'll no doubt think that I'm talking specifically about you as a human being and that I'm judging your character on the whole.

I'm not. I promise.

You might be asking how I know how you'll feel. I know because I've been there. And admittedly, I sometimes catch myself continuing to struggle and unlearn this. I don't like how it makes me feel, but that's part of the learning experience. And the end result is well worth it.

Now you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about. The N word. If you're not black, you don't get to say it.

No, Freddie adding it as a lyric and singing it in March Of The Black Queen doesn't make it okay on any level, and you cannot sing along to it, let alone say it. Nope, not even if you say it with an "uh" or an "ah" at the end, as opposed to "er." No, you can't say just the first syllable. Especially if you're white. That's not your word, you're not cute, and you're not being ironic. You're being racist. If you're white and you say any variation of the N word, regardless of any reason you throw out there or the lengths you go to justify it, you're being racist. If you're a non-black Person Of Color, you're still using a word that's not yours. Knock it the hell off. Why is it so important that you should get to say it, anyway? "Equality?" It would be "reverse racist" (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - no) if you couldn't? It would be a violation of your freedom of speech (nice try. Actually...)?

I can only go so far into this since I'm white and can have no personal experience with racism, but I will absolutely not tolerate any sort of hate speech and will call people out whenever possible. Does this mean I'm condemning you as a horrible human being? Not at all. Am I judging the shit out of you for taking a word white people have tainted and twisted and loaded with murder, slavery, rape, and all other forms of dehumanization, and ongoing (as in, "still happening"), inescapable (as in, "cannot get the fuck away from it") oppression for centuries and trying to co-opt it because you think it's "cool?"

Yes. Yes I am. And I'm judging Freddie Mercury, too. And I still worship him because he's totally my hero!

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