Sorry…this isn’t going to be a punny post with some other N word.
This last marking period at school, my son has been reading “To Kill a Mockinbird” for English class. Since I was trying to help him get caught up on the reading and on the concepts he would have to write about, I read out loud to him some of the summaries and notes from Cliff Notes. As I read along, there occurred several occasions where I had to read the N word. It was very awkward and uncomfortable to have to say it. And when you are reading it out loud, you feel like you need to stop and talk to your child about it. Kind of interrupts the flow of the story. But you don’t want to just gloss over it and let your kid think it’s no big deal, right?
As my son was trying to write some of the essay, he needed to use the N word to ask a specific question (he needed to know who it was that said it). I could tell he was uncomfortable saying it too…that’s good to know. So, we got talking about how it is uncomfortable to say it and why that is. He remarked about how some black people will tell you it’s all right for them to call eachother that. I told him I didn’t think it really was all right. In my mind, it doesn’t seem right. But what do I know? I keep thinking about it. I tried to decide if it was the same concept as women calling eachother bitches. See how I don’t have a problem using that word? I didn’t call it the B word. It’s kind of weird. But the word “bitch” doesn’t have any historical connection to a situation where the whole group of people are mis-treated. Is there? I haven’t heard of it.