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The “N” Word, The “C” Word: Selective vs Convenient Outrage

Friends,

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

I don’t use pejoratives of any kind towards any group, but last year when I wrote the series “The Top 10 Things that Black & White People Want to Know about One Another but Won’t Ask” for CainTV , one of the blogs was about the use of the “N word“. I literally talked to thousands of white & black people about how they felt about the pejoratives used towards them (“nigger”/”cracker”) and overwhelmingly, black people were offended by the word “nigger” (some from whites only & some no matter the race – I happen to be in the latter group), while white people were not so offended by “cracker” or “honky”. In fact, less than 10% of the white people I surveyed were offended. Some even laughed at the notion that they should be quite frankly.

Looking back on those threads throughout social media, the emailed responses I received, and recorded responses from people I spoke with, it is amazing how many of the same people who said they weren’t offended a year ago, are suddenly offended & sensitive to it, in the aftermath of Paula Deen drama & in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial. It’s a glaring difference. I’ll never, ever tell anyone what should & should not offend them because that’s for each person to determine for themselves, but the difference of one year is astonishing….and very telling. If black people who are offended by Paula Deen’s use of the N word, yet not offended by intraracial use of it are demonstrating “selective outrage” (as many on the right love to point out & I would agree to an extent), then white people who were not offended by “cracker” a year ago, yet are suddenly offended now, are demonstrating “convenient outrage”. Some want to be offended, so they can feel better about disparaging Rachel Jeantel & her admission that Trayvon Martin used the term “creepy a** cracker” and defend Paula Deen’s use of the word, or give her a pass. What’s the best way to do that that with ease? Suddenly pretend to be offended by a pejorative which some could have cared less about only a year ago. As the 18 year old daughter of a friend so eloquently expressed to me:

“I’m not offended by being called a honky or a cracker because neither of those words have long and bloody histories of disgusting hatred and oppression behind them. Had they been used during some sort of inhumane torture of my people I might get mad. But they weren’t, while most racial slurs against people of color were. A POC using a name against a white person won’t do much to the white person besides hurt their feelings, if that. White people using racial slurs exhibits deep roots of xenophobia and racism, things which will continue to hinder the progression of equality until they are abolished.”

 Pejoratives used by persons outside of the acceptable use community are often frowned upon and punished severely in our society. White people can call one another “honky”or “cracker” but blacks can’t do it without the possibility of being offensive. The same is true for the N word when used by non-black persons, “spic” when used by non-Hispanics, “hymie” when used by non-Jewish persons (although I have never heard a Jewish person call another Jew a “hymie”), heterosexual use of the words “fag/faggot” – even women can call one another bitches, but if a man does it there’s hell to pay.

These are just linguistic, social etiquette nuances which we have created and allowed to flourish for so long. The only exceptions I found in my research, was familiarity with the user & that’s almost always with people under the age of 30. It’s not fair, it’s not right, I don’t like it, but to ignore this about the English language & hurl accusations of hypocrisy or “selective outrage” is simply dishonest. The bastard (spoken) English language is one of the most confusing, inconsistent & manipulated languages spoken. Our dictionaries are not the problem, we are.

Just an observation…

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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in In The News, Pop Culture, Society

 

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What White People Don’t Understand About Rachel Jeantel

Friends,

As you all probably already know the murder trial of George Zimmerman has begun. There has been quite a bit of discussion of the prosecution’s star witness, Rachel Jeantel regarding her demeanor, courtroom etiquette, honesty and diction. One of my Facebook friends shared this with me and I concur with her assessment that it’s a worthy read. It is from the Global Grind website and written by staff writer Rachel Samara:

A predominantly white jury is not going to like Rachel Jeantel. Let’s just be real here.Rachel Jeantel

The 19-year-old Miami native is an easy target for obvious, yet shallow reasons. But let’s not forget why she’s actually on the stand in George Zimmerman’s second degree murder trial. Rachel was the last person to speak to a living, breathing Trayvon Martin. The guilt, shame and sorrow she must feel is something most of us will never be able to comprehend. You could hear it in her voice, see it in her jittery body language. She is feeling the wrath of this highly publicized case.

Rachel was thrown head first into this murder story, unwillingly. And although she had repeatedly said she did not want to be a witness, did not even want to believe she was the last person Trayvon spoke to, Rachel took the stand for all the right reasons. She was asked to by the family of her deceased friend and feeling part of the burden for his death, she wanted to help.

Rachel was raw, emotional, aggressive and hostile, and she was unapologetically herself.

And if the 5 white jurors (excluding the 1 Latina) are like most white people I know, they are unfortunately not going to like Rachel. They won’t understand her, especially not her defensive nature, and this will unfortunately work against her. Even though it shouldn’t.

I can imagine George Zimmerman’s defense is just hoping some of those 5 white jurors have some prejudices (as most people do), or hell, are even racist, because if they are, their tactic to make Rachel out to be less intelligent, rather than less credible than she actually is, might actually work.

Less intelligent and more confused.

Less intelligent because of the “language barrier” and more confused because of the lawyers’ failure to understand who Rachel is, where she comes from, what kind of life she lives.

It seems the middle-aged white men on both sides of this case are totally unaware of what Rachel’s life is like – a 19-year-old high school student of Haitian descent who knows nothing more than the few block radius she has grown up in. The cultural differences here are exponential.

But if the lawyers, and especially the jurors, were really listening, they would see that although she comes off aggressive, Rachel was consistent. Yes, the defense proved she had lied in the past, but she didn’t deny it. On the contrary. She was very honest about it, and even led us to sympathize with her reasoning for it – she did not want to see Trayvon’s body, she did not want to face Trayvon’s mother and she wanted to wipe her hands of the situation because of the emotion and trauma. She was the last person Trayvon spoke to and she wanted everyone to understand what that means. This is in no way easy for her.

Rachel is the prosecution’s key witness, but I am going to call her the misunderstood witness. She holds vital information that both the defense and prosecution need, but these middle-aged white men questioning her do not get it. Sadly both the prosecution and the defense [but more so the defense] have an extreme disconnect from her reality, like I said. The constant text messaging between her and Trayvon is normal for two high school kids who may like each other, the nonchalant use of racial slurs like “cracka” and “n*gga” are slang (as Rachel put it) and that doesn’t mean it comes from a racist place.

Trayvon was just 17, his life consisted of text messaging, high school, PS3, girls and not much else. He had a lot of growing up to do, a lot of experiences to take in, so much more to learn, but sadly, he will never get a chance to do any of those things.

Rachel on the other hand will get to, but with her immaturity displayed on the stand for the whole world to see, she quickly became a joke. Maybe we were picturing Trayvon’s alleged girlfriend to be a bit different, but nevertheless, Rachel still is the last person, aside from George Zimmerman, that Trayvon had any contact with while he was alive on this earth. Rachel’s mumbling, hostility and that reference to the show First 48, among other things, threw us for a loophole, but let’s remember, she is just a teen. This is what she knows. This is far from a Lifetime movie, this is her life. In the flesh, but still on our TVs.

To continue reading this article, please click HERE.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Featured Guest blogs, In The News

 

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“But You’re Black & the Tea Party is Racist!”

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

As a black woman who is a conservative, Republican & Tea Party member (Note: I’ll be changing my registration to Independent soon actually & recommend it to everyone), I have endured some very vicious attacks from some on the left, especially from other black people, but also from whites as well. As a conservative with a libertarian lean on some issues I have endured vicious attacks from some on the right as well but I digress. That’s not to say that all black conservatives endure this, but I feel confident in saying that the majority have. That has never deterred me and to be fair, I have met many on the left who have disagreed in a civil manner & even agree with me on some things. All on the left do not attack me for my political affiliation, not by far. Lately though, several on the left have emailed me or sent me messages on social media asking “Why are you a member of the racist Tea Party?” or “How can you be black and be a Tea Party member?” to which I have answered calmly to some, although it really irritated me to be honest. Nonetheless, instead of answering every individual message like this, I decided to share my ranted response on my blog, so that anytime someone asks me this, I can simply share the link & continue the dialogue, if necessary, after they have read this response, so here it goes:

FYI: The “Tea Party” movement was started in 2009. It is only named after the 1773 Boston Tea Party but has not been around that long. It is a grassroots, political movement with no central leadership, not a political party & ANYONE who believes in adherence to the constitution, reducing spending & taxes as well as the national debt & deficit is welcome. Are there racists in the Tea Party? I’m sure there are in some groups, but the same can be said for most, if not all large, grassroots organizations. That’s like walking into a full sports stadium and asking “Is there anyone in here that’s NOT a sports fan?” Well, sure there probably is, but obviously most in attendance are sports fans. Get my drift?

I’m really tired of the insistence on the part of some on the left, that the Tea Party exists for the sole purpose of racism. If you don’t agree with the platform fine, but it’s not a “racist” organization. When people on the left tell me this, it’s very insulting, because essentially you’re saying that as a black person, I’m too stupid to know what’s good for me politically, which is something I hear black liberals lament about quite often, regarding the right, when they are accused of being on a “liberal plantation”. I don’t like either charge & I would never be a part of anything inherently racist. If you want me to take you seriously when you offer criticism of the GOP, conservatism or the Tea Party, please give me more than accusations of racism.

Even if such charges have merit, that doesn’t mean the right’s position on any issue is automatically wrong. If a Neo Nazi stood up and said “The national debt is $16,784,436,417,497.89 trillion dollars as of April 20th 2013 and we must reduce spending” is it not true just because a Neo Nazi said it? Stop it with labeling an entire group of people racist just because they are white and/or right-wingers and start making sound arguments against issues & policy. I’m really tired of the whining from some & would greatly appreciate it if questions regarding my political affiliations did not include my race, which is irrelevant. Black people are not politically or otherwise, monolithic. Deal with it.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Politics

 

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Black Conservatives & Liberals, Listen Up!

Friends,

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Conservative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

One of the things that I have learned from interacting with black liberals, libertarians and Independents (of course I’ve interacted with whites, Hispanics & Asians who subscribe to these ideologies too I’m just talking about black people right now) is that they are not just ignorant fools whom, if they would only subscribe to my way of thinking and my value system, they’d be liberated. I have also observed that many of them share some of the same values and conservative principles that I do and some do not.

Liberals and conservatives have different value systems, so their political views are based on those different value systems, but certainly are not limited to them. I am convinced, that most Americans are neither extreme as the media would have us believe. Most people are a combination of political views and have things that they are conservative about as well as liberal. Personally, I’m a conservative libertarian who has been labeled a RINO, far right winger, moderate and liberal even, depending on who’s hurling the label and what the topic is. I tend to agree with the late, great Octavia Butler when she said:

“People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn’t bother me. It’s other people doing the calling that bothers me.

I stand with conservatives on abortion and I don’t want to be forced into complicity in such an immoral act by the use of my tax dollars to pay for them. I believe the resolution to the same sex marriage issue should be libertarian in nature. I agree more with liberals on global warming.Everyone should carefully examine each thing they believe without the bias of political labels or fear of rejection by their “political tribe”.

Black conservatives as a whole need to understand that the notion that our liberal counterparts are just ignorant as a whole, is patently false. Black liberals who think that black conservatives are mere “sellouts”, “Uncle Toms” or “boot-lickers” need to understand that not only is Uncle Tom a misnomer, such stereotypes are also patently false. I have no reason or evidence which leads me to believe that either group is more or less intelligent, or succumbs to name-calling or ignorant behavior, any more than the other. I know people from all groups mentioned who are more intelligent than I am. 

Black folks (and any community can apply this), I say all of this to say, that such stereotypes & self-hatred within the black American community, gets in the way of intelligent discourse, brother/sisterhood and a collective, powerful response to the ills of our communities. All of us are needed to make a difference. My Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Conservative & Liberal (and any other combination that exists) brothers and sisters, united we stand, divided we fall: make a choice.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Philosophy, Politics

 

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Are Thee Black or Are Thee Human?

Are Thee Black or Are Thee Human?

People write from their experiences mostly  & in my personal experiences, I have not experienced much racism, so when I write about it, it’s from research, talking to others that have experienced it more than I, and my own experiences. There have only been two incidents in my life growing up in Atlanta where I was exposed to it directly & both were on jobs. As I have navigated my way through my series on race, I’ve received a ton of feedback via social media or email. From some other black people, I often get messages explaining to me that racism does indeed exist as if I’m a naive & timid sheep needing to be saved from the slaughter, from the ” colorblind” butcher. It seems to be the opinion of some that I either haven’t ever experienced any racism, or that I’m a “wanna be white” or “sellout” (you fill in the blank), so I can’t see it. They couldn’t be more wrong about either conclusion but that’s their prerogative & I don’t lose any sleep over it. Has my experience with “race” made me more naive than the average person or blessed? Well, depending on who you ask, based on observation or assumption, you’ll get a different answer. As for me, my answer is perhaps both. The question is, do black people need to experience racism to be accepted as part of the whole? In the case of those who don’t, haven’t, or have very little – are we black enough?

I have seen racism manifested more with others than myself without a doubt but I have developed a philosophy of giving people the benefit of the doubt, especially if the alleged racism is not overt. I’m also not too naive to think that my experiences are not unique. I don’t think white people are racist in & of themselves just because they are white and consider that thinking to be quite lazy, to be honest. The same can be said for any whites who think all black people are New Black Panther, card carrying racists (or anything else), just because they are black. The irony is that neither the New Black Panter party or the KKK represent the majority (or even half) of either race but the American mainstream media (conservative & liberal leaning) perpetuates the meme that theyare representative of their respective racial groups. I’m not going to pretend to see most things as having a racial cause & effect just because I’m black. If the shoe fits to me, then I’ll wear it. If not I won’t. Some black people think that all blacks must keep with them at all times, a racial prism with which to view things “just in case” in America & I just find that a profoundly sad way to live.
Should I be on the “racial alert” in America? In my opinion, no. This “emergency” racial prism is carried around by some blacks just as I carry my emergency, rescue asthma inhaler. I don’t use it everyday it’s just there in the case of a medical emergency. Unlike my inhaler, some whip out that racial prism at first sight & disagreement with anything from the mouths of whites. People do stupid things for reasons other than race – bottom line. What I should be on the look out for are those who have not given me a reason to trust them, and until I have that, I’ll be cautious of all, for the sake of self preservation, regardless of their “race”. Making this survival tactic racial can get you killed, because one may let their guard down in the name of solidarity, prematurely. As an old friend of mine told me years ago, “I distrust everyone I don’t know on some level until they give me a reason to trust them”. He didn’t make it a black or white thing because no race is without the tendency for wrongdoing.

I find that sometimes when a black person disagrees with my positions on race & culture they do so based ontheir experiences, ignoring what mine may be. In other words, they define being black as a shared vulnerability & victim status that we all must have, unless white culture has permeated our thinking, rendering us therefore, unable to recognize this. Being black does not mean that I have  experienced racism, but in so many cases in America, black people have and do experience racism. Do you see the difference? I often get negative feedback when I share that I have only experienced racism twice on jobs because it is presumed that I will more often, because of my skin color. Some black people tell me I must be lying, or completely blinded to it. It is also presumed that because a person is white, they will at some point in their lives be a perpetrator of racism.  Having been a victim of more intraracial discrimination than interracial, I reject both presumptions.

 Being black to me is biological and cultural. I inherited my skin tone and other physical traits because my ancestors had repeated exposure over a long period of time to a certain environment, in which said traits were favorable to survival – nothing more & nothing less. The same can be said for being white or Asian. The beautiful thing about America, is that whether deliberately, through sexual assault or mutual love, now we have reached a point of having a nearly complete heterogeneous racial composition, so most black and white people are not “pure” anything. It kind of makes me want to ditch race altogether and just be…human. Just a little food for thought…Oh and for those who don’t get the title, check with your trekkie friends :)

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Philosophy, Society

 

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