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Inside the Margins
Inside the Margins

Episode 6 · 2 years ago

Inside The Margins: The N Word

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of Inside The Margins, Patti Singer and I discuss the N Word and it's impact on all cultures, the pressure to "keep it hood" in the African American Community, and Headline News from the Minority Reporter's Patti Singer.

Marginalized groups can be the target of negative beliefs, behaviors or judgments from others. On this show we seek out marginalized voices and perspectives and tackle some of the conflicts and issues these groups face. Now is the time to have your voice heard. This is inside the margins with your host, Matt Wilson. Good afternoon, welcome to another episode of inside the margins and I'm your host, Matt Wilson. Busy Week last week, all the impeachment stuff, Mitch mcconnel with what he said, a lot of the things happening in politics, and will briefly go over that. I'm sure at by this time you should have read what you needed to have read about what's going on nationally with politics and the whole Iowa Coccus, that that whole debacle, I guess I want to call that, but we'll get in through that later. First let's go ahead and start our showoff with the headline news from the maneer minority reporters. Betty singer, Hello Patty, Hi Matt. Thank you so much. So we're going to start off this week with woman who, in her first year of college, she thought she was going to enroll in premed studies and as the arc of someone's life in career unfolds, things change. Angela Sims, who is the president of Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School, sat down with me last week for a conversation. Talked about finding her calling, how people are called to what they do, to what their life's work is, and so you can read about what drew simms ultimately to religion and how she feels, even in the twenty one century, that women still are making first the Police Accountability Board held its first meeting on January twenty eighth and their schedule to meet again after our show on February eleven at at thirty. But right before that first meeting there was a ruling by State Supreme Court Justice John Arc he issued what's called a stipulated injunction that left the discipline of police officers solely in the hands of the chief of police and or his designates. A big pillar of the Police Accountability Board was would this civilian board have the ability to discipline officers? That is now on hold as this case continues to work its way through the courts. The Police Accountability Board is scheduled to meet again February eleven thirty at room in, room two hundred and Eighta of City Hall, the Greece Central School district took aim at the n word. On February third, at Olympia High School, there was a community conversation about the use of the n word and the power of language to hurt as well as to uplift people. Bull there were well over a hundred people that attended. Several speakers shared their feelings, their opinions and also their experiences with having had the n word used against them and having heard that even in song lyrics. It just it just in our culture in general. So we have karrol Elizabeth Owens covered that for the minority reporter, and her story is definitely worth the read. The TSA, the people that are the organization that is charged with keeping US safe at airports, caught two handguns at the Greater Rochester International Airport in two thousand and nineteen, and five handguns were detected at Syracuse Hancock International Airport. The there were thirteen handguns seized at six upstate airports. That was the fewest amount since ten handguns were seized each in two thousand and fifteen and two thousand and sixteen. Just because you have a concealed carry permit does not mean you can bring...

...a gun onto an airplane. There are rules for traveling with with a firearm and you can see those at the website Tsa Dot Gov and then navigate to the travel and transporting with firearms and ammunition. In this week's opinion, everybody still talking about Kobe Bryant. George Payne is saying that Bryant was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. But the one stat that really struck George Payne is that he missed fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty one shots. So if you think about that, what why does this Guy Miss all the time? Because he's as George Pain Rights, he has the ball in his hands and the fact that Kobe missed is very telling about the type of player and the type of person that Kobe was on the court into his teammates and the other opinion editorial that we that we have this week from mark morial again, Kobe Bryant, once a basketball wonder kin, is remembered as a Hashtag girl dad for his support of his daughters as well as for female athletes. So we have opinion. Again, Colby stays with us and will be with us for a very, very, very long time. So those are our headlines for minority reporter. I'm patty singer and we appreciate you coming to wwwomny reporter Dotnet, where you can read stories on a daily basis and you can also subscribe to a weekly publication. Thank you very much, Patty. And Yeah, you're absolutely right. Someone like Kobe Bryant, because of the fact that he is probably one of the most known players in NBA history, next to Michael Jordan, he's definitely not going to go anywhere anytime soon, I believe. I definitely agree with you on that. I did want to touch on one of the stories that you mentioned, and that's the the high school discussing the n word. And now, to me that's a great story because we are in the middle of black history month and obviously we've come along ways from the S, and some people will disagree with that because of the current events that are happening in the world, but in realistically, we still have come a long way from the S. However, that word is still around and it's still used heavily and now it's probably even used more in our own culture and black culture than it is anywhere else. And I know you and I kind of discussed that a little bit offline. I don't think it was actually aired on this show. We were just talking offline about that and and I've heard both sides. I've heard the sides you know, hey, that word was meant to be derogatory towards African Americans and we should do what we can to eradicate that word. I've also heard the side where people say, well, we want to claim ownership of the word and take away some of its sting. So now we say it as almost like saying this guy. They use it. They use it like they use that word. As far as referencing almost anybody. However, they're the only ones allowed to use it and do other cultures or races aren't. Just wanted to get your take on that. It is shocking to me when I hear black men, either either to the face of another black man, use the word or just in a conversation, talk about like a third party, that and and they and it just comes flowing off the tongue. It's it's shocking to me. I get the part about if you own something, it can take the sting out of it. You can, you can use it for your own purpose in a sense, in a sense, and maybe it works outside of mixed company.

And I think that if, if the word is used in mixed company, in the sense of mixed multiple races around, I think someone like me may think, will wait a minute, if you use that word, it's okay to eat, for you to use the instance what is considered an insult some people, but if I say it it's a fighting word. I don't get that. So so I'm Jewish, a derogatory term for Jews, as the word Kike Jews. In my experience, I can't speak for all, but in all my experience of being in a Jewish community, I have never heard one Jewish person call another Jewish person that name. So I think about that when I when I hear a black man address another black man or address a third party by using word, I think wow, I what is it? What is it about the currency of that word? And is it just so charge that we will always it will always cause us to to pause and wonder why somebody's using it. Is it? Are they using it to hurt or they using it to own and take the hurt away from it. And I have a couple of opinions about that. I because, I be honest with you, I agree with you more so than not, because I just don't use the word period. I don't use it to talk to other black people, white people, any other person. I don't refer to them with that word because I think just taking the word away and just not using it, I think the problem that I think we have is, even if you are trying to do what is being said, even if you're trying to take the sting away from that word by using it within your own people, I guess, and referring to each other like that, you're using it in popular music and pot and that's the whole purpose of Pop music is to cross into everybody, is to be multid you know, to be very diverse. It's not just country, it's not just rock, it's pop, it's everybody can listen to it. It grasps everybody and hip hop has crought is now becoming more pop, so everyone wants to sing along to pop songs. So in my opinion you can't get mad if you're saying it in a pop song and somebody else is singing the song that is a number one hit in the country, entry, where you're using that word and they're saying that word. If that's not your intent, if your intent is to not have everyone say that word, only have a certain group say it, to take this thing out of it, putting it in a pop song kind of takes away that whole point. Would you agree with that? Hey, so, as you're talking about that, I'm thinking and I'm wondering if this is a good analogy. We hear a lot of profanity on the street just in general, that somebody will an adjective. They'll use the F word as an adjective just to say something is instead of all that's marvelous, they'll say it's F and great, I mean so so, so we're so we're getting languages. Guy, I'm said for quoting a former colleague of mine from previous job, and it we're getting into the coarseness of language in general. And is and is this just another example of it's an adjective. It's coarseness and we're not really even thinking of it in that term in the song. In the song, is the word being used as an adjective, just like a profanity would be used as an adjective, just like another word is used is an adjective, almost without thinking of the meaning. Now, I'm not the artist, I'm not running the song. I'm sure the artist has a message that he or she wants to wants to put in that but which leads me to something out are are...

...black women using that term or is that a black male term? Are Female artist putting that in there in their where? Or is it something that we're hearing really only from men? And I'm trying to think of sids it would have heard and only coming to mind are male voices using the word. All I have heard both cultures use it. Both sexes, I'm sorry, use it. Even actually Jlogat in trouble for it once because she said in one of her songs whild back. And in hip hop culture, like female rappers, they will say it too. So in hiphop culture you here all the time and I I used to do a show on this on the station that was on all music show and I don't know, with a lot of local talent and to your point, a lot of the hip hop artists who use the word, we're not really even aware it was just it's a street thing. It's something I said in the street, just just like profanity, and in the streets you just say it because that's just how you talk in the streets. But I guess here's what my problem is. They're you're not. If you're using that word without a purpose, if you're just saying it as slang, you don't. So if you sit like you said, if you see the F word in a song, if you hear some other person repeat the lyrics of your song and they say that word, you don't care about that. You're happy they're singing your song, whether they're saying that we or not. But as soon as you say the n word, you get mad because they're not supposed to say that. But you just said it in that song and you had no purpose for it. You just set it because that's how you talk. But other people aren't allowed to say the same time. Doesn't I kind of defeat the whole purpose of the we're using it to take it back and only we can use it and there's a reason for it. But if you're saying it without reason but then getting mad that someone else does it, I don't. I guess that's where I'm kind of lost. With that. So two things about that and I'll say I'm both before I forget one of them because the train will weave the station here. Is Is the word, is the is, the is, the the the import in the weight of the word generational. And do we speak just in general without thought or meaning behind what it is we're saying? Are we using words with purpose or are we filling the space with noise? So the generational thing, I wonder if if we had a seventy year old black gentleman in our conversation here, what or black woman what he or she might say about the word when they were growing up, versus if we have a twenty, thirty year old or twelve year old person in the conversation now, what they're saying. And maybe the battles fought by those sixty, seventy eighty year old people have taken the sting out of the word for a younger generation and they don't understand what is. What come was along with the word, the hate that came along with which, to say, the look that somebody got when they were when they were called that, and the hatred behind that and thus and the water fountain that was over there when they were told to go hey you and that's your water fountain. Have we? Have we lost that? So so in some ways, have those battles been pureric victory? Right, we won the battle but lost the war, because we don't. We don't. We don't have that important anymore. That's been lost to history and the fact that maybe we all should think about what it means to use the words were using. I think that's very important, that what you said espressively because at the fact that it is black history month, that we are trying to remember the things that have gotten us to where we are now. And you're absolutely right. I'm I'm at the age where I can only go back one generation with my father. He went through that. He went through that whole you'll get the s weren't that long ago. People sometimes believe that the sixties were like,...

...you know, that's a hundred years ago. It was. Wasn't that long ago. The sixes were not that long ago. I saw people who are in their forty, like myself, have parents who went through that, who actually had to deal with that. My father is from Kingstree, South Carolina, Lina very even if you go there now it's still kind of segregated just because of how how the land, let the layer of the land, was back then. And they're still you can still feel that a little bit when you go there, and my father don't my I'm, you know, I'm proud of my father and my mom. They both have survived that and they're, you know, there's not a racist bone in their button in their body and they're very diverse as far as their friends and and whatever. But they remind me of my history and that's why I do shows like this, because I think it's important for people to remember how far we've come and where we've come from. And I think you're right. I think because now people who are now, you know, in their S, are coming from people who did not really go through what my parents went through, so they may not realize how or the battles that were fought to make it wrong for people to say that nowadays. Back at back then, if someone said it to you, you just got mad about it. Is that much you could do about it, because it was just that was the norm and that's not the norm now now when people say it, it's there's a there's an uprising. Is everyone gets mad about it, but do younger generations even understand why that is death. Yeah, it's a good point. It's so someone who is twenty. If you have an elder that you can talk to about this, ask them, you know, grandma or grant, what was it did you? Did somebody say that to you, and what was that like? And and play a song for them that has a word in it now, and and what do they what do they think about about that? And is it in a sense, well, because it's become quote unquote, normalize now for conversation. Is that better than when somebody said it to me and they had hate in their eyes? Now there's nothing in the person's eyes when they say they're just it's a lyric and it rhymes with something, and so maybe going to the elders is is the place to go and have them off for some perspective by there's a great point. I do think that that's how we stay intact with our past, as to talk to people who lived through that. As usual, Patty, always great conversation. Thank you so much. We will get back into some get into some more's topics. Just want to remind you before we do that I get all of my news from most of my local news from the minority reporter and you should too. So go ahead and visit the website. Go to minority reporter dotnet and you know, you can check out some of the stories there and if you like what you see, Gordon, subscribe. You can also send an email out on that's is that? What's that email? Gun Patty? Best Place would be INFO imfo at minority reporter dotnet. Patty singer. Thank you so much again. All right, we're gonna to take a quick break and we will talk more about some of our topics. This is Matt Wilson and this is inside the margins. Will be right back. Do you have a topic that you would like to discussed on inside the margins? We would love to hear from you. Please send your thoughts, comments or questions to inside margins at gmailcom. Welcome back to inside the margins and I'm your host. That will and so this is black history month and I do like to incorporate some black history into our show during this month. And you know, this country is very divided right now, democratic, Republican, Independent. It's really hard to stay even keeled with the upcoming election. People are really they have really dug their heels in deep to...

...the side that they want to be on. Sometimes we need a little reminder to just remember how far we have come as far as a people. And Patty and I were talking earlier that it's a good idea to have some people from this to this generation talk to people from previous generations. And you know, I was I'm taking some master's classes at Brockport and we're doing some music history and just history on the development of music and we were just were looking at some of the early music back in the Jim Crow era. Now, those of you familiar unfamiliar with the actual character of Jim Crow. Everyone has heard of the Jim Crow laws, but some people are unfamiliar of what Jim Crow Actually was. Jim Crow was actually a character, a black minstrel character played by a white actor, singing and dancing. I was a character that that this person encountered on the docks. So the the gentleman's name was t d rice, and that character of Jim Crow gave him away to to act out of character without being frowned upon because he was when he was not painted in black face. He was an upstanding, proper white citizen. But once he put on that black face. He was a singing, Dancing Negro, acting according to the black person that he witnessed. According to him. Of course, there is also we saw this also, what the Virginian minstrels who, in their words, performed authentic Ethiopian melodies and they were actually actors from New York who were pretending to be southern black people and they were acting according to the poor blacks from the south that they witness they also had use have a poster of themselves, so you can see them looking as fine, upstanding New York actors and then next to them would be an image of the silly African American character that they played. We've come from that. We were caricatures, we were crazy savages that people thought it was fun to imitate, and now our music, or hip hop music, is probably the most prominent music right now in this field. A lot of culture is influenced by African Americans. The way people dress, the music they listen to, the way they talk, all of that has come from a lot of it has come from African American culture, so we can be influencers. We did a show, I believe, earlier this year when this season of inside the margins and the show was about the power of the African American dollar, and that's important to remember. Our dollar goes a long way and we speak volumes with our dollar. And I know I've said this before, but I think it's important to say this again. The way we spend our money any is the way that...

...we grow. Investing your money properly and spending it on the proper things is the way that you build and it's easy to get caught up in pop culture and hiphop culture right where you see the fancy cars and the shiny jewelry and you drinking the expense of the expensive liquor and spending it out, spending it, you know, out partying all night, and even the drug culture right now. Yes, that's fun, I'm sure I to. I told you. Understand that it's everyone wants to look look Nice and impressed and show off. I get that that's not really going to get you fire in life. You're not going to actually build anything by using your money in that way, you know. I the one thing that is always struck me as odd, and I know a lot of hiphop culture is about street life, right. It's about being a thug, it's about being tough, about being made in the streets and slinging drugs if you have to, and doing whatever you have to do to survive, and I understand that a lot of that is the culture and the whole purpose of hip hop was a way to express what's going on in the streets and also using your success in hiphop to take yourself out of that environment, right to show people that there is a way to get out of the slums. That was the original intent of hiphop. But we still frown upon people who do things the correct way. I think it's a bad look on our culture when we do that, when we make fun of people who go to school and get an education and get actual jobs, even at like maybe a job as a secular, you know, security or law enforcement or you know, something like that. We make fun of people like that. We call them sell outs, we call them the enemy. Why would you do that? Why would you talk down on someone who's trying to be successful and not in the illegal way? I think I even mentioned before that I felt that way once. A lot of the people that I used to hang out with, you know, we're from the streets. I was lucky I started off at a very young age, we lived in the city, you know, even the area the city that we loved. It was a terrible but it was, it was. It was in the city and my father luckily got a great job hub and moved us out to the suburbs. So a lot of a lot of my innerstity friends and even relatives, cousins who still lived in the city would make me feel like I was I did something like I like I oh, now you too good for it. Now you moved out to the suburbs and you forgot what it's like to be out here and Blah, Blah Blah. So I figured I had to act tougher than I everybody else. I was getting I still have to, you know, get in fights and do stuff like that, just dish, just so I could prove that I was still street tough. So I was walking down the path, path of thinking that I had to possibly commit crimes in order to prove that I was, you know, still from the city, still from the streets, I still have some street credibility to myself. That...

...is ridiculous now that, now that I'm a grown up, that is the most ridiculous thing ever, because here's the truth. The majority of my friends who got caught up in that life are in jail right now. Some of them are are not even even with US anymore. I'm not these are facts. Almost everybody that I know who was doing that life, who lived that life, is in jail or not with us any more. So a person like me who was given a platform to go to college to further my education and to and to try to make something of my life in a non illegal way, was made to feel bad that I was doing that by people who were going to potentially throw their lives away to crime and be in jail or not with US anymore. I want that to sink in. We have to stop pushing that narrative. It's okay to want to be successful in life without try and prove your proof to your friends that you're the most hot, you're the hardest or you're the most street person in the world. And here's the thing, your friends who are from the streets, they're going to try to make you feel bad about trying to pursue something more, about trying to not be in that environment. You should never feel bad about that. In fact, you're going to be the person who's going to help save people who are caught up in those situations, because you were going to be the person who's going to have the financial means to give back to the community, and that's what this is all about. This is why I'm here now. I'm not trying, I'm not looking for recognition on this show. I have a decent life, but I do want to give back to the community. I want to make sure that people understand that we as a people can rise and do things and we don't have to be trapped in any environment because we because our friends are telling us that it's not cool to be legitimate. It is cool to be legitimate. Once you become legitimate, you can become powerful, because people, unfortunately, in this day and age, we're still not at the at the point in life where higher upstanding white citizens are going to easily accept some something from people who are representing theft and thievery and bad things. Right, you have to present yourself as an upstanding citizen as well in order to make them listen to you. Don't ever forget where you came from. I don't want anyone to take that old take that away from what I'm saying. I want you to be proud of who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what your upbringing is, but don't let anyone make you feel bad about trying to be something more than just stuck in the streets. And with that will take a quick break for some music and then more discussion right here on inside the margins. Do you have a topic that you would like to discussed on inside the margins? We would love to hear from you. Please send your thoughts, comments or questions to inside margins at gmailcom. Welcome back to inside the margins. I'm your host, Matt Wilson. All right, in this final segment, just wants to go over some of the events that are happening right here in Rochester to celebrate black history months.

So Mayor Lovely Warren, and she's also the city's black heritage committee host, she's actually announced a month long program of events to celebrate our nation's black heritage. So that's really cool move by Mayor Lovely Warren and I am going to try, by the way, like heck to get her as a guess on this show. But let's go over some of the cool things that are happening for you to partake in this month to celebrate black heritage. So there is a Heritage Gospel concert. Unfortunately there was an evening of art and jazz and food tasting that I missed. That happened is past Friday. I wish I took part out of food and especially, I think, for my God, but I missed that so I won't. I won't talk about that one. But there is a heritage Gospel concert coming this way. It's featuring comma and voices of Thunders Annual Joint Gospel Songfest to support scholarships for graduating high school seniors. It's going to be from six to eight PM on Saturday February fifteen at the first Genesis Baptist Church, which is on two hundred ninety two Hudson Avenue. There's also love Garth Fagan dance, so that there's going to be a black heritage committee and Garth Fagin dance community celebration. That's happening from six to eight PM on Saturday February twenty ninth at the Hot Stein School, Number Fifty, I'm sorry, at Fifteen North Plymouth Avenue. So it's the hot Stein school at Fifty North Plymouth Avenue view. There are tickets for that. So just go to city of Rochester Dot Gov to get more information on ticket information there. There's also an evening of soul music happening shortly after the month ends. It's from six thirty, two eight PM on Monday march second at City Hall Atrium. That's going to be at thirty Church Street. There's also going to be a youth junior gala in the evening of information, entertainment, in networking and fun for youths in the Rochester community. And this unique idea was established to assist youths with their development through networking and sharing their voice with regards to issues that affect African American heritage and their futures. This is happening from six eight PM on Thursday march five at the Edgerton our center Stardust Ball Room at forty one back as street, and this is free. So but you got a called Rochster, call fo to eight, six, seven to six nine and see if they can get you in there. There's also this one. I'm going to try to attends, the seventeen annual black heritage gala at six PM to midnight on Saturday March Twenty eight Joseph a flora no, Rochester Riverside Convention Center, which that one hundred twenty three East Main Street, and you can for more information on that. You got to get taken out as well. Looks like if you want to attend, go ahead and go to city of Rochester Dot Gov. You can get more information on that there. There's also the Community and College Gospel explosion that choirs from various local colleges as well as community choirs will come together to put on a show, and that's going to be at six to nine pm on Saturday April fourth at the first...

Genesis Baptist Church, which is on two hundred ninety two Hudson Avenue. So there are a few things that are happening, but if you want some more information and if there are some events that were not announced that celebrate black heritage, you can get some more information my calling a four to eight, nine, eight, five, seven, or you can contact the committee at Black Heritage at city of Rochester dot coup. Again, it's black heritage at city of Rochester Dot Gov. a lot of cool events happening there. Always like to see things. You know, it's funny. We have a lot of we have a rich black history here in Rochester New York. Of course there's Frederick Douglas. Harriet Tubman came through this area. There is the suspension bridge, which I actually did a short film on. I'll see, you know what, I'll put a link to that on our website, which is inside the margins Radiocom by the way. Make sure you visit there if you want to listen to any of our past episodes or just to get information about our show, see pictures of myself and Patty or subscribe to our newsletter. So yeah, I'll put a link on that website. You can check out that film. But yeah, there is a suspension bridge that connected buffalo to Niagara Falls. I'm sorry, not Buffalo, I apologize. Niagara Falls, New York to Niagara Falls Canada. The actual old suspension bridge has been changed. It's not the exactly the same, but it's still does connect. It's a different name now, but a lot of people back in the slavery era use that Bridge to escape from the United States into Canada and, believe it or not, vice versa. Some slaves who were in Canada use that bridge to come into United States. I know it's weird, but at that's that's the truth. And there's all there's a lot of history. There a lot of people who were on their way to that bridge because that bridge was a key part of the underground railroad. A lot of people were who were fleeing way from the south would come up through this area in Rochester New York, obviously because Roch New York is kind of on that way. So Rochester was a hub to a lot of fleeing slaves. Also, it was a hey location for the underground railroad. So that's it's pretty cool. So just to realize how much history is here and it's always makes me happy to to see the events that we put on to celebrate black carriages. And there's also that music soul fessl that we happening. Will talk more about that probably as it gets closer to happening, but next week we're going to talk about the hard the hardships of living with a felony. Now, obviously there are different levels of felonies. There are people who have gotten felony convictions because they've gotten you know, what is the rule? I think it's if you get to Dwi's in a ten year period, you get a felowy. So there's felonies that are kind of on the lawer level like that, and then there are, of course, people who have committed worse crimes involving drugs or even violence, and they've gotten fellows from that. But just because you have a felowy condition doesn't mean that you have no rights. So we'll talk about some things that you can do to get some of your rights and privileges back and also talk with...

...a guest music artist who has a new album coming out. Mr De Larseny will talk with him and we'll talk about his music and also his life after felony conviction in and the difficulties that you know that he's had to face trying to get employment with that at record. So that should be a good show next week, so make sure you tune in. Don't forget. We're here on WXI are every Monday at three PM. You can also go with you our website inside them margins radiocom to listen to the shows and we actually will be podcasting the show as well soon, hopefully on a larger podcast network. So more to come on that, but until then it's time to end the show. I know it goes so fast, but thank you. Look as always for listening to the show. I want to thank Patty Singer for our headline news and also the minority reporter. Don't get to check out that site as well to get the latest in alternative news, just like this is your alternative music station here on wxire minority reporter kind of lives that with their news. The minority reporter Donet go there and you can see some of the some of the headlines that Patty talked about and I talked about and to get them or in detail, and if you also want to subscribe, you can do that on that side as well. All right, we'll talk to you next Monday. Until then, this is Matt Wilson and this is inside the margins. Will see you next time.

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