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Some lines just can't be crossed

-A A +A
By John Pawlak

A few weeks back, there was some discussion in the paper about the N-word.
Earlier this year, the NFL began formal discussions on whether the N-word should be banned, and if so what penalty should be levied against a player for using it.
African-American Richard Sherman, football cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, thinks banning the N-word is in itself racist. He noted, “It’s weird they’re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then?”
Sherman added that when spoken by an African-American and pronounced ending in “-a”, it is not racist.  In fact, in that situation, it’s considered a term of endearment.
Term of endearment?  Harry Carlson, another African American NFL player, but from a generation prior, disagrees. He challenged younger players who use the “-a” version to “go visit your grandfather and use it on him. See how endeared he feels!”
Whether debating the “-er” or “-a” version, no one can deny that the word is ubiquitous in the world of rap music. Lyrics on slapping hos, selling drugs, shooting cops and flashing bling are seasoned with more N-words than one might hear at a KKK rally. Gansta rappers claim that it’s perfectly acceptable for anyone to use the word in standard conversation.


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