Ask McFartnuggets: “Should a Black Person Have to Apologize For Calling a White Person The N-Word?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
At the NCAA press conference after Kentucky lost to Wisconsin, Andrew Harrison called Frank Kaminsky an n-word and had to apologize later for it. The thing is, Andrew Harrison is African American and Frank Kaminsky is Caucasian. Isn’t it weird for a Black person to have to apologize for calling a White person an n-word? It’s their word now basically. Anytime a Black person has called me an n-word, as a white man I’ve been actually complimented by it. I think it’s a sign of respect like you’re one of the crew. And plus, the number of Black people who have called White people the n-word can’t be that big compared to the number of White people who have called Black people the n-word. A Black person apologizing for calling a White person n-word is like apologizing when you score the fourth point in a game where the score is 5,000,000,000 to 4. Everyone knows this kid isn’t a racist and even if he was, how would that be revealed by calling a White guy the n-word? Why does he have to apologize? -- Chip from Frankfort, Kentucky

Dear Chip:
The n-word is always a tricky subject. It’s a word that just has no place in usage as far as most people are concerned. The reason is it just conjures up too much for White and Black people to deal with. It’s the ultimate awkwardness. It’s like reminding people about the time your ancestors owned their ancestors as slaves, but in a single word. Now, Black people have taken the word and tried to transform it by using it in rap all the time and in everyday conversation and it works. When you repeat a word enough it starts to lose its meaning. The problem is the meaning of the n-word is so hateful and so strong that it’s a very difficult thing to erase. It’s so strong that saying it in almost any context is frowned upon and society demands an apology. People are never actually sorry for saying the n-word, they’re only sorry that they have to be punished for saying it. The societal punishment is how we think we can stamp out racism. Right or wrong, apologies are part of how we’re trying to end racism so as long as that’s the goal, everyone has to apologize even if the apology is meaningless. It’s especially meaningless in situations like a Black person calling a White person n-word because it’s literally not necessary. As long as we keep requiring these apologies and fogging up the true issues with offensive words, true racism will fester beneath the pristine surface and live on. Thanks for the question, Chip.

Apologies don't mean shit unless you're crying.

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