Black Youth Culture, The N-Words, And Paula Deen

As long as we raise a subset of kids who think that rampant use of the N-word is okay amongst themselves, but a cardinal sin when someone else uses it, we’re going to have problems with teenagers who are taught from an early age that one set of rules applies to them, and somehow they are entitled to be indignant when someone else uses it.

It’s a dumb comparison that I make over and over again, but here it is again. We need water to live. We use language to communicate. If you favour a class system whereas only one group gets to use this drinking fountain, or this word, you’re part of a much bigger problem. It’s not a “black problem”, unless blacks prefer to remain in a culturally isolated group. The problems of racial resentment fostered in these types of environments always, always eventually affect society as a whole. It’s all of our problem.

I quite enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. I think there’s lessons to be learned from the story. The cultural isolationism of the Narnian Dwarves came to mind this morning, although I couldn’t find the exact quote I was looking for.

American Black Isolationism

I consider myself fortunate in some ways to have spent most of the first decade of my life, as part of the experiment in living Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of equality. That the experiment seems to have all but failed is starting to seem more and more obvious, but to say we should give up on repeating reaching for the goals of equality in some way would be a mistake. It’s just kind of hard to see the way at the moment.

I grew up during a time when Motown music and Staxx records were putting out some great music, music that anyone could identify with, independent of whether they were young or old, black or white. The music was good, it dealt with topics everybody could relate to, and so had universal appeal. I guess the seventies was sort of the transition period, where the whites were mostly driven out of the MLK, Jr experiment, and then came the eighties, and the rise of rap music, with its edgy, in your face to the point of outright offensiveness came along. Black music no longer had universal appeal, and I suppose that was by design. Suddenly black music was about animosity towards whites, street cred, whatever. It was music that by design was exclusionary.

I’ve heard it said that rap music’s embrace of the N-word was sort of a way to rob the word of its power, but it’s clear to an outsider that the word still holds tremendous power. It holds a place similar to anti-blasphemy laws that sharia law folks propose: One set of rules for believers, another for outsiders, and woe be those who don’t follow the rule.

A lot of folks seem to be making fun of this Jeantel friend of Trayvon Martin, (Martin was killed after purportedly coming up behind George Zimmerman and viciously beating him). I think the people who say “she represents “blacklish” or whatever, basically black slang life, are correct. I think Trayvon Martin is also a pretty good representative of what black isolationist culture has created. I don’t feel a lot of sympathy for this Jeantel girl, I mostly feel pity. She seems like a typical person raised in a culture that habitually treats whites with derision and disdain. I pity her that the dreams of MLK, Jr were swept away by a culture of violence, guns, bitches, and ho’s. But that’s the culture black America chose for itself. Whites were largely excluded from that conversation. Considering that whites are often the targets of animosity and violence in this culture, you’ll have to excuse them for not wanting to take part in a culture that fosters hatred toward them, I guess.

update: Found this to be interesting, and perhaps tangentially related:

http://buildameworkshop.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/conversations-of-color-the-cult-of-blackness/

update 2: Reciprocal Determinism in nursing: http://blog.ultimatenurse.com/horizontal-violence-in-nursing/