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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The Nigger Disconnect and the Obama Trope

Is Barack Obama a figurehead Chia Pet for commercial exploitation?  Or is he more substantial than heroin on the street? What is the Obama trope and how does it extend into our lives and flay us from the minority interest and the “Nigger Disconnect?”

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Hand Me that Bowl of Nigger Toes

“Hand me that bowl of Nigger toes,” my grandfather shouted at me across a large oak table filled with family and holiday dressings for Thanksgiving dinner.

I must’ve been around eight-years-old at the time and before I could ask him — what bowl of who — his two daughters, one of them my mother, shouted back at him, “Dad! We don’t talk like that here!” He shrugged them off and pointed at me, “There, boy. By your hand. Shove over that bowl of Nigger toes!”

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The Definition of Nigger, Niggle, Niggly

I love words. I love writing words. I love reading words. I love hearing words. I have a new WordPunk blog that deals with “words in the wilds.” The power of words is in their definition. Words have meanings only because they are shared in context and understood between people. Dictionaries help bridge the fuzzy confusion between definition and meaning. Imagine, then, my delight and horror in receiving this email from a university professor friend of mine:

Word came down from above that we are no longer allowed to use “niggle” or “niggly” or any variety thereof in writing or speaking with students because “they sound and look too much like that other word” (the N-word) and we don’t “want to upset the student body.” I thought they were joking at first until I also saw a warning against using “spook” in class, too.

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Republicans Branding Black Stereotypes

Is the Republican Party in the USA Racist? Are the GOP — “The Grand Old Party” — kind to Blacks and other minorities, or is their entire purpose and strategy to demonize Blacks and win elections off their backs while only pretending to want and welcome Black skin into power?

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The Lesson of Don Imus: Red is Thicker than Green

In examining the Don Imus controversy over the last few days here in our Don Imus and the Rutgers Nappy Headed Hos and Race and the American Humor Line articles — I now realize when one ponders on the core purpose of this Urban Semiotic blog — one cannot escape the hard reality that an “Urban Semiotic” has most powerfully come to mean in this blog the matter of Black skin and its place in The American Dream.

Time and again many of our most poignant and powerful articles published here have addressed Racial issues in America — and that necessary, and sometimes uncomfortable dialog — has been examined and perpetuated in conversations here that are as invigorating as they are enlightening and, for that, I thank you.

If you have a favorite Urban Semiotic article that deals with Race and The Color Line, I would appreciate it if you would provide the title and a link in your comments — along with your reason for picking the article(s) — so we can create a new thread of understanding, a new way forward, and a context for the history and the now that we have tried to covet and change when it comes to getting along with each other beneath the barriers of our skin. 

Continue reading → The Lesson of Don Imus: Red is Thicker than Green