Tag Archives: Rick Perry

Time Out for the N-Word

Nigger, Nigga or however you want to pronounce is, unfortunately, a part of America’s – no the world’s – lexicon. It isn’t going away anytime soon no matter how much I wish it would.

By now, you may have seen the clip of Sherri Shepherd taking Barbara Walters to task for using the word “nigger” when reporting on the name of Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s family’s hunting ranch. At first, Sherri stated she didn’t like the way Barbara pronounced it. Then, she admitted she didn’t like hearing the word come from white people.

Neither do I.

But the one thing I’m not is a hypocrite. Not only do I not like hearing the word uttered by whites I absolutely loathe hearing it come from the mouths of black people, especially young black people. The popularity of rap music, particularly gangster – excuse me, gangsta – rap has made it hard to escape the word. Our young people – black, white, Hispanic and Asian – think nothing of saying this word openly in mixed company. True story: It was pointed out to one young, black woman who repeatedly said the word at her place of employment that it was rude. She was dumbfounded. “But everybody says nigger,” was her defense. This scene didn’t play out this year; it happened over ten years ago.

If Barbara Walters can’t say “nigger”, then Lil’ Wayne and other rappers shouldn’t be given a pass, either. My deepest concern for black youths is not having an understanding or appreciation of their race’s history with all its injustices, struggles and accomplishments. No other race has taken such a mean-spirited, painful and derogatory term for their culture and turned it into an acceptable mainstream expression. I have never heard a Jewish person greet another with “Hey, kike!” I have never heard a Jewish comic joke about life in a concentration camp, either. And because they don’t make light of their culture’s dark moments, it is not acceptable to disrespect them. I can’t say the same for my race and culture.

And to those who say there is a difference between “nigger” and “nigga”, I say there isn’t. You do yourselves and others a serious disservice by promoting the use of this word in whatever variation as a means of empowerment. It may be empowering if you are a millionaire rapper who travels with an entourage that includes bodyguards. It is hurtful and humiliating to the man sitting at the bus stop being attacked by racist skinheads and the man tied to the back of a truck and dragged until dismemberment.

We as a race have come too far to cling to this disparaging reminder of the past. Let’s do away with this word. Let’s make it unacceptable for anyone to say “nigger”, regardless of race, color or socioeconomic background. We can do it. I know this thought makes me a somewhat of a Pollyanna, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer – What Message Did It Give?

Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux/Getty

Recently, Gov. Rick Perry, R – Texas, hosted a day of fasting and prayer in my hometown of Houston. The governor asked those in attendance to pray for America and her leaders.

I am a less than silent supporter of President Barack Obama however, lately, I have become disappointed in his and the other elected officials’ inability to govern this country effectively. The Oval Office, Congress and Senate are beginning to resemble one big schoolyard with bullies on each side playing Dodgeball with bricks and waiting for the other side to “blink first”. I am an unabashed proponent of praying. Praying for our leaders can never hurt but only help them to thoughtfully, selflessly and wisely author and pass laws that add to the well-being of America and the world. I fully supported Perry in this endeavor, but I am not naïve. I understand his day of prayer was inspired by his interest in pursuing a run for the presidency. However, I would never doubt Perry’s sincerity. I’d like to believe it was a mostly genuine effort.

As with anything that mixes religion and politics, there was controversy. Picketers protested the event. There were, of course, the atheists. There were those who strongly believe in separation of church and state. There was also a young man representing the GLBT community. I remember him because he said something that stuck with me. When interviewed by a local news reporter he cited one of the reasons why he was protesting was that he didn’t think those in attendance would accept him.

I can’t pretend that there aren’t judgmental Christians or that there haven’t been many who have used the Word to further their own selfish agendas. Jesus addressed these types of individuals in Matthew 23. Men are imperfect; that is why our faith should never be placed in man but only in God. “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Ps 91:2, NIV.

Sadly, there may have been some truth in the young man’s comment. However, acceptance by man should never be a Christian’s goal. Christians should never attempt to be people-pleasers. Our goal is acceptance from God. Our mission is to conduct ourselves in a way that pleases God and draws others to Him. I can only pray that one day that young man will read the Bible for his own salvation and see that God loves him. Hopefully, after realizing that God’s love is unconditional, he will lose the apprehension he feels and enter a house of worship. Unfortunately, there will always be those who judge and those who use the Bible to condemn other groups. But in his reading, the young man would understand that God is love. And when he feels rejected by any organization he will remember Heb 13:6: “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”

That is something all Christians should remember, whether it’s facing our own difficult circumstances or standing up for what is right in the sight of the Lord. Let’s work on our attitudes to prevent people like the young protestor from feeling as if Christianity is out of their grasps. Remember, our job is to bring people closer to God, not push them away.

(Texas) Politics As Usual

President Barack Obama will attend a Democratic Party fundraiser in Houston, Texas next month. However, the state’s top Democrat, former Houston mayor and current gubernatorial candidate Bill White, won’t be attending. Instead, White is choosing to spend the day campaigning in Dallas.

Are you kidding me? For those not familiar with Texas geography, there are approximately 300 miles separating the two cities. By air, it takes about 40 minutes to travel from Dallas to Houston and vice versa. Commuter planes depart every hour between the two destinations. Certainly, White could hop one of those planes, make an appearance with Obama at the fundraiser then return to Dallas and continue stumping.

Rick Perry, the current Republican governor of Texas, hit the nail on the head when he suggested the real reason White is choosing to snub the fundraiser – President Obama’s waning popularity nationwide and his practically non-existent popularity in Texas.

“This guy is trying to shut the state down with EPA regulations, cap and trade,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry. “Obamacare, I’ve got to think, is not the most popular piece of legislation to come out of DC. I understand why Bill White doesn’t want to be around him.”

To be clear, I don’t support Rick Perry at all. I’ve always viewed him as nothing more than a talking bobble-head. But, in this instance, I appreciate the fact that he did not ignore the elephant in the room (no pun intended). This move by White proves to me that, underneath it all, he is no different than Perry and the majority of politicians out there. Jump on what’s hot, shy away from those who are not, and win, win, win by any means necessary.

Memo to White: If you really want to separate yourself from the wolf pack, be the individual you claim to be. Don’t continue with politics as usual while hiding behind a reformist’s stance.

Perry doesn’t care much for Obama’s policies. In this respect, he voices his opinions and stands by them. Don’t think that I don’t realize Perry would most probably do the same as White if the tables were turned. The difference here is that Perry isn’t running a campaign stating he cares more about the state’s long-term future than the next election.

Houston Democratic State Representative Garnet Coleman countered that White’s decision to stay away should not be an issue. He is quoted as saying, “Somebody is trying to make it disrespectful, but the reality is he needs to run his race to be governor of the state of Texas.”

The only person making this disrespectful is White. Not just to Obama, but also to the voters of Texas for pretending to be something he obviously is not – a leader championing real change.