I bet when I first posted this Required Reading, some of you read it and though, “Ho, ho, such a silly negro”
Yeah, well, who’s the silly negro now, people? Well, you know what I mean.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about that Cheerios commercial and reminded everyone that the year is 2013.
I apologize for the error.
I apparently fell through a wormhole but have returned from the future. Let me tell you what happens:
This black guy gets elected president, okay, and every says we live in this kind of post-racial America. Some statisticians suggest that white people on the verge of becoming the racial minority and a bunch of old white men in high political offices fight back by passing laws that roll back voting rights because they claim the laws are outdated despite evidence to the contrary (refer back to the Required Reading post if you will).
They also try to pass laws that roll back women’s rights, I guess because nothing is scarier than a woman making up her own mind to do something.
I’m not sure which part of the future I’m from, how I got there, how I got back or what year it is now.
Time travel and the resulting confusion are real.
Ask Paula Deen.
You know how people say someone should be old enough to know better? Sometimes you can be too old, or old enough to not know better.
I think it was the “of course” part that did her in.
Interviewer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
paula: Yes, of course.
paula: Yes, of course.
As if to say, well, hell yeah, I’m an old white lady from the south, …. And it’s 1952, right?
But then she claims that she hasn’t used the word since the 60s (if I’m interpreting that correctly) but that would suggest that she knows it’s no longer the 60s.
She goes on to admit she’s also used it when repeating “a conversation between blacks.” No confirmed word yet on what decade that was. (Read it for yourself here)
Let’s pause here and say again the vast majority of black people that still use that word fall into one of two categories:
1) much older, virtually ancient black people who also have firsthand knowledge of certain experiences like picking cotton and lynchings, and
2) young people who are basically stupid.
We can understand and forgive the elders, when they go, much of that will go with them. As for the stupid young people, what does that say about you if follow anything they say or do? And before anyone asks the question, “if they can say it, why can’t I?” I’d like to answer that with another question: why do you want to say it?
So she says she doesn’t use it now, (when’s now?) at least in a “mean or cruel way,” but that remains to be seen. If her goal was to remind us how easily pervasive racism is, then congratulations, Paula, you win.
Claim your prize with the suited darkie at the door on your way out.
It’s funny how people are ready to dismiss the whole thing as just words, but we can get pretty worked up over words if we don’t like the sound of them.
That said, I’m going to lighten up a bit and take a minute to talk about the other thing that’s getting a lot of conversation.
Here’s where I make a joke, right? No, friend, as it turns out I happen to like the name.
It’s firm and definitive. When in doubt, stick the words “I am” in front and see how you would feel facing down someone saying it.
I Am North sounds like it should be followed by thunder or something. And she can’t help her last name. And my mom doesn't have a middle name either, so there.
I suppose if there is a downside there’s the movie of the same title, about a kid who doesn’t like his parents. We’ll just hope it’s not meant to be prophetic. Nor do I believe yet that it was meant to be one of those delusional celebrity parent choices.
Some of the names that are considered odd aren’t all that unique. These famous parents only think they’ve chosen original names for their children, but quite a few of them I’ve heard before including Everly, Blue (both boys though), Zuma (a girl), and even Suri. And if one more intern comes in with the name Rainbow…
Let’s just briefly run over the bad ones. This is only my opinion… or not. Maybe they’re are bad:
Audio Science, Moxie Crimefighter, Pilot Inspektor, Jermajesty, and Kyd (that's just lazy and uninventive).
And while we’re at it, if you’re friends with Jamie Oliver, say to him, as a friend would: Stop.
Anyway, I like the Baby West name. I don’t see it being an issue. Now… having your classmates find your mom’s old “home video” online in about 13 years… that one might be an issue.
Elephant & Castle – Rise
Earth, Wind & Fire – Serpentine Fire
Steely Dan – Josie