I woke up this morning to a lovely conversation about the N-Word. I immediately had this idea about the word. The idea is to terrorize using the N-Word.
Before I delve into terrorizing using the N-Word, I want to share the conversation with you. The conversation began with a thought about the evolution of humans. Basically, we are all born with a clean slate – in everything from what we eat to how we talk.
Then we grow up to learn about the N-Word later in life. How we learn about the N-Word depends on which part of the hemisphere we reside in. I humbly opine that most of those that are using the N-Word are clueless about the origin of the word.
I am not sure where it came from. I was not born at the time when the word originated. Here are some sources to educate everyone (and here, and here, and here). . . . . There are more sources out there. I enjoyed reading these and wanted to share.
As an adult, my slate is no longer clean. I know about the N-Word. I have never used it and cannot relate to why and how some people use it. I often wonder what they think they gain from using the word.
Enter Joel Ward. The black man who scored the final and upsetting goal in the overtime competition between Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins. All of a sudden Joel is in an uncharted territory and is being terrorized by the N-Word from some Boston fans (more on that here and here).
Time travel back to baseball. The first black man to play baseball was Jackie Robinson. That was back in 1947. I wasn’t born yet but I know that it was a time of segregation. I can only imagine that he suffered his share of N-Word terrorization.
Time travel back to football. Charles W. Follis entered an uncharted territory - football. I am sure he braved his share of N-Word terrorization.
The interesting thing is that all of these sports, baseball, basketball, and football are now almost equally played by the different races and ethnicities in America. Equally true is they were once considered uncharted territories. They are not the only territories that the N-Word is used to terrorize.
Speaking from experience and as someone who works in higher education, I can tell you that the N-Word folks are not welcome in the rank and files. The black man, who is usually associated with the N-Word, is not expected to be smart and able in higher education administration.
We are not allowed to speak our minds in an environment, higher education, that is purposed for just that. We are not allowed to ask questions in an environment that is supposed to prepare us with socratic balance. We are especially expected to speak, act, and behave white. How to do that continues to escape me.
I continue to witness blacks having to work twice as hard, study twice as hard, and sometimes brown nose twice as hard and still be terrorized by the N-Word, demoted, and treated with social injustice… only to blink our eyes and someone we know with a white skin color is promoted. They didn’t have to work twice as hard, study twice as hard, or brown nose twice as hard. All they had to do was be white.
The funny part is that before the promotion, someone that looks like me, black, had to interview rigorously to get their position! The funny thing is that now as soon as we, black folks, cry Hey that’s unfair! we are immediately reminded that we have a black President. As soon as we point out that it is social injustice, we are reminded to not use Trayvon as an excuse to seek injustice.
The N-word is a word that is now terrorizing Joel Ward. Never mind that Joel Ward works hard. Never mind that he gives 100% like his teammates. Never mind that he was born with a clean slate and later made a choice to love playing hockey. Never mind his dream to make his mark in the sport like his brothers before him.
The only thing that matters now is that Joel Ward is getting bullied and terrorized by the N-Word. Even though he is innocent and undeserving of the hostility behind the word and wasn’t even born at the time when the N-Word was coined. All that matters is that he is a black man who has boldly gone where no black man is welcome – to play hockey and make history by scoring a game winning goal.
Congratulations Joel Ward! Congratulations Washington Capitals! Good luck in the semi. I believe DC fans love you!