Sunday, July 21, 2013

Your kids are probably Big Brother, Jersey Shore, et al.

First of all, I'm going to use the word nigger in this post. I'm not going to give letters the *** treatment or call it the "n-word" just because morons in society have done a fantastic job creating so much hype around a word. Instead, how about we look at how your kids are still using language that is racist, homophobic, and misogynistic.

Yeah, hey, *raps on computer screen*, I'm talking about YOUR kids.

The story that got my attention was this one from Daily Beast and Zap2It. Apparently all kinds of language came out of, major surprise here, CBS' Big Brother house, including shit talking about women, minorities, gays, and using those words that shall not be named, such as cunt and nigger. Apparently the media world is aghast at the filthy languge that has resulted in loss of employment, among other things. Note the end of the Zap2It piece too. I could have sworn that I was watching the development of an excuse to where "nigga" was appropriate but "nigger" was not. Why? Who knows.

And guess what people, your kids still use the word and use it a lot. Check your kid's Twitter, their Facebook, their text messages, their e-mails, hell, walk down the hall during a school day and you will hear both nigga (used as a term of friendship) and nigger (as always, used as a derogatory slang for "stupid" or "fool"). It hasn't gone away at all, many people just conveniently ignore it. And the ignorance is actually amusing to watch. Parents insist, INSIST, that their kids would not use that kind of language because their babies have a standard for profanity. Check the Twitter feeds, Ladies and Gentlemen. Your kids sound like Avon Barksdale preparing to party on a Saturday night. Oh, your kid is too intelligent to talk like that? You're right. He actually sounds like Omar Little preparing to jack Avon while at the party on a Saturday night. And the ladies? Them too. In fact, for all the attacks about men using the word cunt, it's by far a word that is used by girls to describe someone they do not like, a lot.

So, who's to blame for the power and use of those words?

"When we say 'nigger' now, it's very positive. Now all white kids who buy into hip-hop culture call each other 'nigger' because they have no history with the word other than something positive. ... When black kids call each other 'a real nigger' or 'my nigger,' it means you walk a certain way, ... have your own culture that you invent so you don't have to buy into the U.S. culture that you're not really a part of. It means we're special. We have our own language."

That's from Russell Simmons, record producer and hip-hop culture business magnate. If you read into his opinions the word is actually something that empowers the black community, or some subset culture, and creates a definitive separation between that culture and the culture of the U.S. at large.....whatever that is. But the problem is that the United States can't figure out how to actually treat the word. Even the article I grabbed this quote from is conflicted.

It has been 16 years since the group "N.W.A.," short for "N's With Attitude," zoomed to the top of the charts. Leader Ice Cube said, "Words like bitch and nigger may be shocking for somebody who is white, but that's not why we use them. It's everyday language of people around my neighborhood."

"N's With Attitude?" Yet in the very next sentence the writer is perfectly ok using words within the context of a quote? Society can't figure out what to do with the word. How in the hell are kids supposed to come to the conclusion of whether or not the use of the word nigger is good or bad? Remember, this is a generation who has not gone through the era of a segregated South, and only really hears the word by watching Boyz In The Hood, watching The Wire, or by listening to the multitudes of rap music lyrics. Oh, and maybe reading Huck Finn, unless you are from one of those districts that has bought the edited copy of the Mark Twain classic.

As a society we can't seem to have logicial conversations amongst ourselves about racially charged words, how the hell are we supposed to have real conversations with our kids? When the Big Brother crap or the circus around the Trayvon Martin case makes the headlines, how are we supposed to have real conversations about race in this country? Right now we don't have those conversations because Fox News, MSNBC, MTV, CBS, and the rest of the media are dominating this controversial landscape. We need to stop screwing around with this hypocracy. Real, honest education needs to happen to get the next generations of kids to understand that there is a real history behind language, and that it is ok not to sound like the morons on Big Brother.


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