By H. Lewis Smith
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - All by-products of African-American ingenuity, Negro spirituals, blues and jazz were created to help African Americans maintain a sense of internal calmness and hope during strife; cultivate, embrace and express individuality; and serve as living connections to and trophies of cultural history, knowledge and heritage.
In spite of all the adversities and calamities enslaved African-American ancestors were forced to endure, they demonstrated an unrelenting capacity to survive despite the odds, overcome and prevail. From the ashes of despair arose a solid, magnificent race of people embodying the very essence of genuineness, pride, dignity, and perseverance. With this vigor of relentless resilience and faith at their core, the enslaved captives continued to defy barriers and become fruitful and respected contributors in society by taking on such roles as inventors, entrepreneurs, scholars, writers, religious and political leaders, athletes, entertainers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and scientist.
The Jackie Robinson's, Lena Horne's, C. Delores Tucker's, Malcolm X's, Martin Luther King's, Freedom Fighters, and many others understood the foundation that had been laid beneath them and chose to continue to build upon the solid ground despite any maliciousness they would have to endure. Aside from their individual strides and achievements within their respective fields, these black heroes fought for advancement of black people. They withstood tremendous amounts of heinous treatment, humiliation, and degradation simply to live up to their God-given individual potential and prove that intellect, talent, positivity and the desire to achieve also runs deep within the veins of black people.
During the years of the Civil Rights Movement and struggles for equality, people died, and in some cases outright sacrificed themselves, in order to secure cultural dignity, respect and usher the advancement of the Black American. These brave and convicted spirits' only purpose was to be viewed as whole human-beings, as men - and not as some savage, ignorant sub-human better known as a n**ger. Even as they gave their last breaths for this purpose, the last words they would often hear were the jeers of the n-word ringing in their ears. However, the seriousness of their purpose was understood, the intestinal fortitude of Black America was unwavering, and they were able to die as dignified, self-respecting men and women in their own right.
Unlike their ascendants, many contemporary blacks lack the same conviction or determination to continue to strive for and demand ultimate respect and equality.
For some reason, black n-word users, proponents or apathetics --- whether high school drop outs or degreed professionals -- feel an affinity toward the term and seem to be unable to free themselves from its clutches. The physically enslaved were left no choice but to identify with the n-word. Today, Blacks have a choice, but rather than exercise the right to free self and society from this demonic term, far too many in the black community continue to blindly embrace it and the helpless mentality; thus intensifying the fight against mental enslavement and the inability for a [colossal percentage] of Black America to acknowledge the effects of the n-word on their psyche.
This lack of intestinal fortitude was never more evident than when rappers transformed rap and hip-hop into a "n**gerized" form just to make money. Rather than continuing to use music as a vehicle to re-instill cultural pride, dignity, and cultivate a sense of self-worth as did the sounds of the earlier years, they arrived on the scene with their Pied Piper musical messages of self-destruction. The "new noise" mentally debased and corrupted myriads of black America's youth. Ministers, community leaders, and civil rights leaders did absolutely nothing to derail this process; instead, they gave this incorrigible travesty its pathetic blessings.
The n-word is not just a word, as so many causally and nonchalantly try to make it out to be. The black community's praising, worshiping and glorification of it makes it more than just a word, but rather their Master, their God whom they willingly bow down to. One black comedian has boasted about how he brushes his teeth with the word and that it makes his teeth white. It is going to take much strength, courage, and backbone for Black America to stand up and eliminate - a 400 year old mind control habit - the n-word from its speech.
Some have and are already demonstrating some backbone and mental liberation from this word: In 1994, Attorney Roy Miller succeeded in having the word removed from a major dictionary. Attorney Miller is a proponent for non-use of the word by all Americans, blacks and non-blacks. As well, small regiments of black politicians around the country have begun voicing their displeasure with black America's use of the pejorative terminology. Organizations online are also voicing their displeasure regarding the use of the disparaging term. Some of these online organizations include Banthenword.org, Abolishthenword.com, empoweringourselvesnow.com and the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. An eleven-year-old child has also placed a video on YouTube where over a million viewers have witnessed his plea for blacks to refrain from using the disdainful term: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMyp8y8SkUM. Even a child understands the seriousness of this matter.
Since Obama's election to office, some very distasteful and disrespectful caricatures of the commander-in-chief, which are clearly racist in nature, have been distributed in mass media. One can't help but to wonder if the president were Jewish or Latino, would such disrespect prevail and receive no backlash? Answer: (an astounding) NO. Why? Because neither the Jewish or Latino communities [disrespect themselves] or allow it from any outside groups. Black African Americans are the only group in the entire world who actually embrace an affinity to self-destruct. Caricatures of the president come with the territory; however, in President Obama's case, the privilege has been abused and misused. But because blacks have a tendency to disrespect themselves, others feel that this behavior is acceptable as well - the mentality is "if blacks do it to themselves, why can't we?" There is a Barack Obama parody video laced with the n-word circulating around the Internet - produced by blacks - depicting the president and his wife as pot-smokers. Again, Black America's open door policy of self-disrespect makes it so very easy for racist activism to rear its ugly head.
Use of the word re-awakens in white America feelings of superiority, and encourages them to do whatever it takes to maintain the classes - even if it means paying a few influential blacks - millions of dollars to continue to promote the idea in mass media. Each time the word is used, it makes a mockery of the black person's struggle and real successes Black Americans have made.
Monday, October 4, 2010, five Boston Celtic's players made a YouTube video dancing to the rhythmic beat of some rapper's repetitive, despicable use of the n-word. (By the way, the NBA made no public apology or statement regarding the buffoonery; just another sign that big business promotes the self-destructive mentality.) This type of conduct is typical of Black America's shameless and nonchalant attitude and acceptance of a lower standard. There is absolutely nothing honorable or respectable about rappers' use of the demonic n-word in their music. To compound the matter, they are fully supported by a desensitized black community. As religious as many black Americans are, they should understand the evilness in the n-word, realize that it contradicts their religious teachings, and work relentlessly to do away with an evil that offends their God.
Yet, the word n**ga sways an enormous and tremendous power over Black America, seemingly, like the golden calf that was chosen to be worshipped over God, making it a sacred, revered, awe-inspiring power greater than that of Jesus Christ. No word in any language, secular or non-secular, mesmerizes a group of people to the extent that the word n**ga does Black America.
There are many blacks who may not personally use the word but condone use of it by taking a passive stance on use of the term or lacking the nerve to tell others to stop using the term. At any rate, these individuals are in an even worse position than n-word users because they are truly spineless. There are no sideline ("backboneless") positions in this game; there are only anti-n-word users against n-word junkies.
However, this is not a condemnation of all black Christians, just the 95% or so who kowtows and meekly accept their [appointed] 400 year old place of being a n**ga.
H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com); a writer for the New England Informer Online; and author of "Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word".