nword

Residents in New York City’s  West Villager received a shock when they saw a recent headline in their local paper. It read, “The N—-r in the White House” — except without the dashes.

The WestView News ran the headline in reference to President Obama in an opinion piece that criticizes what it calls the anti-black “racism” of far-right voters. Apparently the title, by white author James Lincoln Collier, was supposed to be tongue in cheek and the piece is actually pro-Obama.

“It’s disrespectful in any context to refer to the president of the United States as the N-word,” said one West Villager, Eugene May. “If you were quoting something or referring to the historic context of the word being used, I can understand the justification”.

Any ironic intent in calling Obama by the word was no consolation, he said.

“It seems he’s just using it for shock value,” May added.

Fellow West Villager Joe Megie, a self-described “black Republican,” also blasted the headline.

“My first take is, it’s sad,” said Megie, 38, the CFO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

According to Collier, because he’s using the word ironically, it makes it OK. But no, that’s not how it works.

Coincidentally, right underneath Collier’s article was a response article by Alvin Hall  titled “The Headline Offends Me.” Hall describes his issues with the “n” word in the article:

“Because the racism embedded in the headline doesn’t seem to be thought of as a moral flaw as it became during the Civil Rights movement. It seems to have reverted to being an unfortunate personality trait, one among many traits that even good, righteous, patriotic people who care lovingly for their families and take care of their houses can have.

The decision to use the headline feels misguided to me. I don’t see how its use benefits anyone, but I do feel all too clearly how it deeply offends me.”

White people and their version of irony is so funny. Not.

9 Comments

  1. Anthony

    James Lincoln Collier is 86, and that explains everything to me. When he was a kid, a book like Tom Sawyer, which used the n-word from cover to cover was seen as a pointed liberal statement. The same would have true about works by William Faulkner also.

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  2. Mary Burrell

    What else is new? They call all black people that.

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