Slur Words: Keeping Them in the Family

The “N” word Paula Deen debacle and Trayvon Martin’s description of George Zimmerman as a “creepy ass cracker (cracker’s a derogatory word used by blacks for whites) has brought to mind how sub-cultures like blacks and gays will freely use slur words among themselves with no problem, but hell, watch it buddy if you use them and aren’t part of the “group.”

Take my black barber. I’m usually the only token white in the place when I’m there for a buzz (he’s nearby and he’s cheap), and sitting there waiting for my turn in the chair, I chuckle as I hear his mostly black clientele call one another the “N” word as generously as str8 guys call one another “bro.” But let some white boy drop the word and he’ll be picking his teeth off the floor

Funny, all of Paula Deen’s holier-than-thou sponsors are dropping her faster than addicts OD’d on heroin not so much because they think what she did – supposedly decades go – is so terrible. They just don’t want to lose sales or, in the case of the Food Channel, viewers by being associated with her. It’s all about money, not morality.

And a “creep ass cracker” wasn’t all Trayvon Martin called George Zimmerman that faithful night. In fact, when he said it he may have been referring to Zimmerman’s strange demeanor, not his race at all. That’s because, according to Trayon’s total ditz girlfriend who was on the cell with him at the time of the tragic encounter, he also called him the “N” word, I guess taking Zimmerman, who claims to be Hispanic, for a “brother” in the dark.

Well, isn’t it the same with us? We’ll call one anther “fag” or faggot” or “queer” either in faux mockery or as cynical expressions of endearment, but lo the str8 who says it to us.

Or are we trying to neutralize those words’ devastating emotional impact by throwing them around freely amongst ourselves so should we hear them uttered in other than our tight little circle – like the water cooler at work – they don’t sting as much?

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