To all of my Caucasian, Asian, and non-Black Hispanic friends, please hear me and hear me well—changing the “er” to “a” after “Nigg” is still highly offensive to every self respecting Black person that I know, including yours truly. While you may think such is hip, or you may have heard your kids who think they are hip give this flawed explanation while saying “Nigga” around your house and to or about their best friends, both you and your kids are at risk of catching hands to the face and feet to the ribs if you say as much to or around the wrong Black person.
You see, I know that Donald Trump’s ribald rhetoric made a whole lot of you feel liberated in your beliefs that political correctness is dead, those who think that since Dave Chappelle, who many of you LOVED in his heyday, the late Charlie Murphy and rap music artists drop n-bombs all the time, you wonder why you can’t “keep it real” and say the same thing? The simple reason is because you just can’t, that’s why! Well, you can, but be ready to put your set up and fight if you choose to be hard headed.
This morning, the Miami Herald is reporting that Florida Republican Senator Frank Artiles “dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night — after calling one of them a “fucking asshole,” a “bitch” and a “girl,” the two senators said.”
Senator Artiles made these offensive comments at Tallahassee’s very exclusive Governor’s Club to Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale, further saying that Senate President Joe Negron rose to his position because “six niggers” in the Republican caucus had elected him.
Now, I will be the first to tell you in a cheeky manner that as former member of the Florida Republican Party, there may not be six Black people in the party statewide altogether. But seriously, there definitely are not six Black Republican senators, so it is clear that Artiles was referring to someone white or Latino as being behind Senator Negron’s rise. (Nota Bene: Negron is not black despite the “roots” of his name).
The problem, however, is that Artiles choosing to say “Nigga,” “bitch” and “pussy” in mixed racial and gender company is just plain gauche and offensive—period!!! I know that Artiles is a former Marine and considers himself a tough guy, what with his having fought with a college student at a bar near the Governor’s Club a couple-few years ago. But again, this level of crude is becoming all too common place in this Age of Trump, one where Republican operatives and politicians say patently offensive words like Artiles did, or compare Trump’s push for health care reform to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s fight for Black Civil Rights in the 1950’s and 60’s.
I know first hand what Black Senators Gibson and Thurston must have felt when Artiles, probably due to the liquid courage that cocktails provide, started talking all recklessly. Back in 2003, while serving as co-counsel for former Florida State University quarterback Adrian McPherson in a nationally televised Gambling case, I was walking to my car alongside co-counsel Grady Irvin and my old college roommate and fellow lawyer Richard Keith Alan II when some random White mendicant, seeing three well dressed Black men holding fine leather brief cases as we emerged from the Leon County Courthouse, walked up to me and called me “a fucking nigger.” It was the first time such had ever happened to me and in rapid succession, I dropped my Tumi brief case from my left hand, executed a perfect right hand one hitter quitter to his mouth/jaw, and after he flew backwards several yards from the impact, delivered a couple of solid kicks with my size 13 Cole Haan’s, before I was pulled off of dude.
(Adrian McPherson and me not long before I was called a racial slur outside of the Leon County Courthouse in 2003)
Again, Artiles is fortunate that he did not run into some Black professional like me at the Club last night, but the lesson here is that we can and should disagree on political positions, but said disagreements should always be done in a civil and respectful manner…Period!!!