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The Word Nigger

It was not Travis Gettys’s finest hour.   He stares racism in the face and fails to recognize it, from Raw Story [1]:

Students angrily confronted a white New Orleans teacher who insisted he could use the most notorious racial slur because it had been drained of its meaning through overuse.

Video recorded Thursday by students at Ben Franklin High School, recently ranked [2] as Louisiana’s top public high school, showed the permanent substitute teacher explaining his position as students angrily and profanely challenged him, reported The Times-Picayune [3].

“That’s racist as sh*t,” one black student says to the teacher, identified only as “Coach Ryan.” “Why can you not understand that it’s racist for a white man to say ‘n****r’ to a black man? It’s f*cking racist.”

If you labeled a water fountain for whites only, I am sure that Gettys would call that racist. Yet Getttys seems perfectly comfortable with an under educated black youth declaring that the word nigger is reserved for use by blacks. As the black youth does not object to blacks, or non-whites, using the word nigger, he does not feel that the word nigger itself is inherently racist. Rather, the black youth labels the word racist when it is used by his teacher, who is white. Again, not because the black student believes word itself is racist, but rather because of the what the student infers the intent of his teacher is. Lacking information to the contrary, quite possible due to do the quality or lack thereof of Getttys’ reporting, I would assume the intent of the teacher was to teach. Quite evidently the teacher message failed to reach the black student.

A Google search on nigger [4] returned nearly eighteen million hits.