Monday, January 29, 2007

Morning Edition - 1/29/07

Slugger Slugged; Recovering
Some folks just can’t do anything right – including getting hit by a car. After leaving two messages on my voicemail Saturday afternoon, my friend Slugger aka Roosevelt, stepped off the curb, checking to be sure no oncoming traffic approached. Problem is, the car heading top speed in reverse down his one way street never saw Slugger. Result: Multiple contusions, abrasions, etc. I visited with Slugger last night where he was recovering at his home. His Jewish lawyer was refreshing the bandage on his knee. Enough said.

The Princess Turns 40
My sister Evelyn will be turning 40 on Sunday. We’re set to celebrate her birthday at a new upscale bowling alley – yes folks, I said bowling alley – where the food is catered, the DJ is pumpin’ and there’s plenty of reason to stay out of the gutter. Evelyn and 15 of her closest friends and family will be there, including our parents who fly in that morning. Happy birthday sis. You’ll always be our princess.

For the Record
If you’ve been buried under a rock the last few months, you probably missed the remark by ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy alum, Isaiah Washington. Just before T.R. Knight – another of Grey’s cast – came out of the closet and declared he was gay, Washington reportedly called him a “faggot” on the set setting off a firestorm of debate and comments; mostly revolving around whether he actually called Knight a “faggot.” As it turns out, after all of Washington’s denials, he admitted to calling Knight a “faggot.” So what’s the deal? Why wasn’t Washington fired? I pondered whether Knight would have been fired if he had blatantly called Washington a nigger on the set. I guess that question will be answered shortly. Grey’s cast is presently in contract negotiations for next season. Ladies and gentleman, for the record, it is NOT okay to call anyone – gay or straight – a faggot. It’s not funny, it’s not PC and regardless of how loud the voice in your head is saying it, keep it to yourself.

On Blast
Many of my friends have said that sometimes people become confused about using a specific epithet because it is appropriated and used so frequently by the intended oppressed group. For example, I have straight friends who have used the word “faggot” and Latino friends who have used the word “nigger” because they’ve heard it tossed around so easily.
As gays and/or Blacks are we responsible for ending the confusion by NOT using epithets that would be considered offensive if we heard them from someone outside of our respective groups?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

11 comments:

adam_ex2 said...

In the past, I've believed that the use of a slur, by the group for which it has been intended, could in some ways take power away from the word. I think that this can work with some slurs, however, others seem to be different.

For instance, if I was frugal and good with finances, I wouldn't take so much offense to someone calling me a "cheap jew," because it would say to me (and others) that I'm smart with money and have much of it to play with. I'd probably even use the slur to describe myself.

On the flip side, although I'm black, I don't consider myself to be a "nigger" (or a "nigga"), and take offense to the black community using the slur in so many instances.

Some slurs, holding negative connotation, should not be used. If history tells us anything, slurs are always used to hold other's down. In many cases, minorities. I've never met a member of the majority who was truly offended by the use of a slur which described their group.

Just Me said...

I don't have a problem with my closest of friends using words that would normally enrage me and put me in attack mode if we are out of ear range of other people. Personally, I don't use any word that would demean any person or class of people. I do know that I should NOT permit even my closest of comrades to use those negative terms in my presence because it just allows the flame to flicker on where I bucket of ice should have been thrown.

Cocoa Rican said...

Quiet as it’s kept, I use both epithets – and a lot! I know… I know… it’s str8 up ghetto, but I can’t help it! My niggas are my niggas and if my friends keep bein’ triflin’ ass faggots, I gotta call them out on it. I’m workin’ on it though…

If we’re going to keep it real, it needs to stop because I don’t care to hear those words coming out of individuals that are not part of the group. It’s offensive.

Also, it’s hateful when the words slip at an inappropriate time and/or place.

Anonymous said...

Ahh - you're so right about this! You're always right on point.

Anonymous said...

you hit the nail right on the head... how can we get mad when we use the words ourselves

KRISALMIGHTY said...

In the past, my favorite statement used to be "negro Pleeeze!" or "stop being such a fag" and like Cocoa, I would refer to my buds as "my Niccaz". For the record I don't anymore.
But to answer your question, I do believe that refering to someone as a nigger or fagot is offensive and however cavalier our usage or intent is, it is derrogatory and only serves to denegrate even if it is not our conscious intent.

Anonymous said...

Let's also stop using the "M" word to describe ourselves. Just a thought. Please read the attached article:
http://www.blackpressusa.com/Op-Ed/speaker.asp?SID=16&NewsID=11951

WiseYoungMan said...

Um just remember what you put out there be able to take the reactions of others, call everyone a fag if you want to, but when your sister's beautician, 'Twan, shanks you and splits your skull don't say I didn't warn ya.

Just my thoughts

Cocoa Rican said...

Since I probably broke Twan off a couple of times already the last thing he wants to do is to damage priceless goods...

Besides, I'm a brawlin' MF myself, so it will just be the Phoenix meets Storm in that beauty parlor that day!

His Sstory said...

You can never take a word that is rooted in hate and fear and make it your own. We may think that by owning it that it's lost it lustre to those that use it against us, but that would be our biggest mistake. They [those that support it's original meaning] sit back and relax, as it kills a bit of our spirit each time we say it.

Coy said...

This is a hot topic with my friends and I at the moment because I WILL say 'faggot', always in a joking manner and usually not on other homosexuals. My friends feel it perpuates the use of it as a negative term (is there I positive use for it besides the british term for cigarette?) but also that is shows an element of self-loathing. Blah, blah, blah...I'm certain self-loathing is not involved but have given the other argument some thought.

I, too, thought that the use of a slur by the targeted group was empowering perhaps that's why I started using it against those who weren't gay. Still figuring it out...but this brings me back to an incident in West Hollywood a couple of years ago when my BF and I were walking to a restaurant and a group of kids drove by, yelling, "FAGGOT!"...at first I was upset but I noticed the bf was giggling, when I asked him what was humorous he said, "c'mon tell me something I don't know." And I got it. He was stronger than the word and untouchable because of that strength. It made and still makes sense to me.