Call me a Nigger from the North

If you are easily offended by history, and the muscle memory mnemonics of words like — nigger — then you should not read the rest of this article. Over the many decades we’ve been publishing original work online, one word keeps popping back up for examination in various memes. Yes, that word is — “the N-word” — and we just call it like it is here, because that’s how Nigger has been used in the context of life beyond the Uncanny Valley.

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From Page to Stage: Newark in Black and Blue in 2004

In the Fall of 2004, I was teaching a course at Rutgers University in Newark called “From Page to Stage” where the idea — as I was teaching the course — was to take original scripts written in class and present them in live performance to learn how the process of active creation worked.

The final project was a series of group presentations where students shared their lives as they were living it — and the alarming result of one racially diverse group was: “Newark in Black and Blue.”  That group’s bruising presentation was tough and blunt and dramatic and I decided we had to record that performance in audio so we could preserve the truth of the moment.

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Is Paula Deen a Racist?

I have been following the saga of Paula Deen as she tries to answer cries against her obvious, inbred, Racism, and her multiplicity of firings from many companies as spokesmodel for their brands.  Do we want to punish Bigots and Racists by removing them from the public eye?  Or do we want them to be heard, so they can be forced into public recantations and corrections?  Slate magazine creates this interesting take on the problem of Paula Deen:

Paula Deen is America’s racist grandma, and we should treat her as such. Racist Grandma may be racist, but she’s also your grandma. You can’t just disown her.

And, contrary to what some might think, having a racist grandma isn’t entirely bad. No doubt there are many white families where racism is passed down generation to generation like some cancerous gene. But for others, seeing that gene and knowing you’re predisposed to it is a warning sign, a nagging reminder to take preventive measures for yourself. I say let’s push racist Grandma back to center stage and let her keep talking.

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Kanye West Waves the Queer Flag

Kanye West is one of our most unfortunate and disingenuous fame whores — worse even than his brittle fiancé and Baby Mama, Kim Kardashian — and he’s recently been conveniently “caught” wearing, gasp this, a “Confederate Flag” as if he were a modern redneck KKK member from the Deep South, even though he’s just a regular Black man from Chicago!

Oh, the outrage!

Oh, that Kanye!

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The Negro in Eastern Europe

In the Boles Blogs Network, we deal with a lot of sensitive issues and some of those burning embers have Racial issues glowering in their core.  We’ve discussed Nigger Toes, the historical implications of Darkness, and black labels and meaning:

We have used the word “Nigger” here in various forms and consequences and the most famous instance is my “Nigger Tax” article. We use real words with real — perhaps even unpopular — meanings here because those words are accurate and definite even if they stab and wound. Our intention is never to hurt.

We only wish to provide a forum for analysis and a community well for the discussion of unpopular and uncomfortable topics. So let’s do the right thing and crack open the Merriam-Webster dictionary to learn the truth of these words in context and their use in American colloquial speech. Let’s start with “Niggle:” …

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Taking the Nigger Out of Jim

NewSouth Books, a publisher based in Alabama, is reprinting Mark Twain’s germinal book — Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — by censoring the words “nigger” and “injun” and replacing them with the words “slave” and “indian.”

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Wattstax and Understanding the 1965 Watts Riot

Wattstax is a musical documentary hosted by Richard Pryor that challenges you to propel your common morality back in time to test it against a known event for values conditioning.  Who are you and what do you believe?  Would your burn down your neighborhood to make a political point?  How are you protected from the hangman’s noose?

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