Guest Post: “Shut That Nigger Baby Up”

(Originally written Feb 20, 2013)

This morning I read an article, Man accused of slapping crying boy on Delta flight is out of a job”, and it bothered me. Joe Rickey, an AGC Aerospace & Defense employee, fed up with a crying 2-year-old, turned around, slapped the child and said “Shut that nigger baby up” during a flight. Let that marinate. He didn’t slap the mother (who I would have wanted to slap. We’ve all been on a plane ride with an annoying ass kid), he slapped the child and called it a nigger. WTF. Who does that?! Who calls a baby a nigger? Like to its face. It’s so crazy, it’s almost laughable. But it happened. I’m not angry at the word, I use it. I’m angry because to this day, February 18, 2013, we are still being stereotyped and racially abused because of the color of our skin.

Picture 19Rickey’s words weren’t “Shut that damn baby up”, “Shut that stupid ass baby up”, “Shut that annoying baby up” or any variation one would commonly use when frustrated by a crying infant. He said “Shut that nigger baby up” and went so far as to slap him. I can’t believe it. I text the link to a friend and he couldn’t believe it either but couldn’t understand why it made me quite so upset. I’m angry because we are now so desensitized to racism (I blame social media and Seth McFarlane) that Joe Rickey would even have the audacity. Yes, he lost his job, but the fact that he even had the gall is the issue. (I’m also angry that the mother didn’t give us a Worldstar worthy sucker punch.)

The black community is in disarray. Listening to Frank (or ignoring Frank) all these years is really starting to ring true. History is and will repeat itself (if we let it). We are the ONLY race that so openly, and readily, makes fun of itself. How backwards it that? Our self hatred is so embedded in us that we allow them to mock us to our faces. “Them” being Volkswagen and their recent Super Bowl Ad, people who use the words “ratchets” and “ghetto” as synonyms for poor black people, and the Grammy’s “Urban Contemporary” category. I’m angry. I’m angry because I’m probably being perceived as a racist for this (I’m not) when it’s out of love for my culture, which is in turn me. What’s wrong with that?

The African American community has been conditioned to hate itself for many years. This is history, this is fact. The problem today is that that hatred has had babies. And those babies have had babies. And those babies’ babies have had babies. (You see where I’m going with this?) The self hatred is so embedded into our minds and hearts, that “they” aren’t even the culprits anymore. The creative mind behind that Volkswagen ad may very well be a black person. Many on my Twitter timeline during the Super Bowl didn’t even understand why the ad was racist. We have to stop the cycle and it starts with education.

“Knowledge is Power”, “Education or Elimination”, “The More You Know, The More You Grow” all mean the same thing. Education is the key to turning this thing around. However, not education in the traditional sense (history, math, english, etc). Not even Black History education in the traditional sense (repeated stories of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X). I’m talking about learning to take pride in ourselves. LEARNING to love ourselves. LEARNING our American culture. Becoming who we were meant to be. Not second rate people. A new form of education to our children that celebrates current African American culture and its deep impact on not only America, but the world. From politics, to music, to fashion, our flavor is on everything. I saw the cover of a magazine with a picture of rapper A$AP Rocky with a breakdown of everything that he was wearing and the title “Fashion Trends in America!”. The magazine was from Japan and A$AP Rocky is black.

I wish there was some kind of 1984-ish jumbotron that I could blast this message on. Do you know how regal our culture would be if we could just get on our shit? I want that! I wish more people wanted to be black! I want to be black and proud! I wish people already knew what’s up before I walk through the door because I’m a black woman. Instead that “what’s up” is either a) bitch b) a ratchet bitch c) a ghetto bitch d) all of the above. I want our culture to be known for something like Math and the Asians, Frugality and the Jews, Hard Work and the Hispanics, or Money and Caucasians (told you I’m not a racist). Instead we’re Poor and Blacks, Broken Home and Blacks, Violence and Blacks…

Stop accepting second rate treatment. Stop behaving as second rate citizens. We are kings and we are queens and must demand to be treated as such. Your ancestors built the Pyramids. Your ancestors built this country. Both were slaves, the lowest class of people, but had the capabilities to create wonders. Do you understand what that means? We’re special. We can do ANYTHING and probably better (I promise I’m not a racist), it’s time to start acting like it.

“Ole Girl” with the Dreads

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This entry was published on March 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm and is filed under Discourse, Guest Post. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Guest Post: “Shut That Nigger Baby Up”

  1. judas on said:

    awwwwwwwwwwwwww

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