President Obama has once again reignited the racial debates with his use of the N-word during an interview with Marc Maron of WTF podcast.
The abrasive slang word was used when he was speaking about the effects of slavery on present-day Americans, explaining that racism or “systemic discrimination” was and is “part of our DNA”.
“We’re not cured of [racism]. And it’s not a matter of it not being polite to say ‘nigger’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination,” Obama stated, “Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200-300 years prior…”
The interview which was recorded on Friday, but released on Monday, ranged from topics such as Obama’s childhood, racism in America, parenting and gun control/violence.
Shortly after the interview aired, many across the country, including major news outlets and their commentators began chastising him for the use of the racially divisive slang term. A Fox News guest called Obama the “rapper-in-chief”, criticizing his decision to use the word.
Since the release of the podcast interview, the phrase; “N-word” has been trending on all social media outlets including Twitter and Facebook. Although many are praising his bold usage and willingness to tackle this issue, many are also chastising him and accusing him of “stirring the pot” of racial division.
Do we know for a fact it was obama’s black half that used the N-word? …cuz if it was his white half, I’m really offended!
— Stubbornly Me. (@lybr3) June 23, 2015
— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) June 22, 2015
— TeapartyCrasher (@VegasJessie) June 22, 2015
— Joshua DuBois (@joshuadubois) June 22, 2015
“How come only black presidents get to use the n-word?” Kill me now.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) June 22, 2015
Maron spoke to reporters shortly after taping the interview, and he stated he “felt good” about it and thought he got out of it what he wanted.
“I think he said some things that he hasn’t said before about some politics, and at least it felt that way to me and it wasn’t really what I was looking for,” Maron told Vulture.
I would like to add my thoughts at this point, and say; Racism in any form cannot be legislated or regulated out of existence. It is born out of hate, and has taken root within the hearts and minds of those who for whatever reason have embraced it. Creating laws that prohibit discrimination by businesses, can and has been a good thing, but you cannot change the heart of a man through the enactment of laws, no sooner than you can force someone to respect you. We have witnessed great strides in correcting the mistakes of our forefathers, but we cannot allow this continual “stirring of the racial pot”, when someone simply gets their feelings hurt.
People are going to hate, period. You cannot change that. You cannot mandate their respect. Either they will give it freely or they won’t. If they won’t, then just walk away, those people are not worth the effort. The people of this country have a hatred problem, and when our leaders continue to pound the issues, it creates greater animosity between the people. So let’s stop blanketing entire demographics of people, saying they are all bad. Not all blacks are criminals. Not all whites are racists. Not all cops are bad. We have to learn more respect for others and just start being polite again.
I have a solution; “Treat others as you would have them treat you.” If you show me kindness and respect, I’ll show you the same in return. If I see someone doing something wrong, I’ll call them out and if they see me doing something wrong, they can call me out. It’s time to forget about race, religion, creed or even sexual orientation and look at the person. Are they good or are they bad. If they are bad, then they are bad and something needs to be done about their behavior regardless of the color of their skin.
I resent the implications that racism is in my DNA, because racism is a learned behavior. Children do not simply become racist at birth. They may be curious with something that is different than them, but there is no way that can be construed as racist. Being curious about other cultures or races is not racist. So remember those words, the next time someone is staring at you. It may be rude to stare, but that curiosity can also be a compliment.
We all have to live together in harmony… or we’ll destroy what we have ALL worked so hard to create, a Nation of Free men and women, who can enjoy their own definition of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams