We are having an interesting conversation about the word "nigger" and my reinstatement of my personal embargo on its use here.
As is our habit during the weekends here on WARN, for those so inclined, I would like to share something for us to meditate on in the form of a semi-open thread.
Is there any single word which has received such a sustained amount of discussion, coverage, and debate in 20th and 21st century America? Is this obsession a reflection of the centrality of the color line and our continued grappling with it, our efforts to exorcise racism and white supremacy, two of the poltergeists which still plague American cultural life?
Brother James Baldwin--he was so beautiful was he not?--is so brilliant in his discussion of the word "nigger" in the 1963 documentary Take This Hammer. He is no "nigger"; there are no "niggers"; the "nigger" problem is outside of his psyche. In several words, he sums up what it would take others far less gifted, far more time, to summon.
I saw Guardians of the Galaxy last night. It was wonderful. The fates would like me to see it again--they left me a ticket on the floor of the theater lobby that I traded in for a movie pass. They were kind. Someone else's mistake and error is my gain.
Last summer, I was enamored with the word and concept "grok". I no longer "grok" because I discovered that the innovator of that language, Heinlein, was a white supremacist.
"I am Groot" and "We are Groot" is my new word fixation and philosophical cue. As I think about the ugliness of the word "nigger", and my renewed rejection of it, "I am Groot" is a helpful and wise phrase.
Once you see Guardians of the Galaxy I think you will understand my point.
What news items, events, or interesting discoveries do you have to share?