-By Warner Todd Huston
A court in New York has decided that even blacks should not be allowed to use the word “nig**r” at work. I have to say, at some point I have to agree with this verdict. If African Americans can oppress the free speech of white people for using the word “nig**r,” then why should they themselves be allowed to use it? If the word is bad, then it is bad no matter who uses it… right? It is a total lack of logic that has always puzzled many.
Well, a black New York businessman tried to claim in court that the infamous “N” word is a “term of endearment among blacks and that he should be allowed to say it all day long at work. A jury, though, disagreed saying that it was discriminatory no matter who said it.
Rob Carmona, President and co-founder of the East Harlem-based STRIVE–a non-profit minority employment agency–was taken to court by another African American, a woman who claimed that Carmona’s use of the word upset her and made her run to the bathroom to cry.
The victim, 38-year-old Brandi Johnson, told jurors that the use of the offensive word hurt her after Carmona went on a four-minute, explitive-filled tirade about her supposedly being inappropriately dressed for the work place–a tirade she helpfully recorded.
“I was offended. I was hurt. I felt degraded. I felt disrespected. I was embarrassed,” she said in court.
For his part, Carmona and his attorney said, why, gosh, when he calls another black person a nigger, why that means he likes them!
In closing arguments, Johnson’s attorney Marjorie M. Sharpe, said that Carmona’s claims were absurd.
“When you use the [N-word] to an African-American, no matter how many alternative definitions that you may try to substitute with the [N-word], that is no different than calling a Hispanic by the worst possible word you can call a Hispanic, calling a homosexual male the worst possible word that you can call a homosexual male,” Sharpe said.
The jury ended up agreeing with Miss Johnson’s argument and called BS on Carmona’s claim that the word is a term of endearment.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, MrConservative.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, Wizbang.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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