Column | The NBA and the N-Word | Kingman Miner Daily

By | September 18, 2022

The NBA not too long ago suspended Phoenix Suns proprietor Robert Sarver for one yr and fined him $10 million after an investigation discovered he engaged in what the league referred to as ” misconduct at work and organizational shortcomings”.

The findings of the league’s report, launched Sept. 13, got here almost a yr after the NBA requested a regulation agency to analyze allegations that Sarver had a historical past of racist, sexist, homophobic and different sorts of deplorable habits throughout his almost two years. ten-year time period overseeing the franchise.

For his half, Sarver appeared to acknowledge his obnoxious habits as he apologized for his feedback.

“I’m sorry for inflicting this ache, and these errors in judgment should not in step with my private philosophy or values,” Sarver stated in an announcement. “This second is a chance for me to display a capability to study and develop as we proceed to construct a piece tradition the place each worker feels snug and valued.”

That is the same old default response of most racists, misogynists, homophobes, anti-Semites, xenophobes and different bigots when their wrongdoing is uncovered.

Whereas he gave the impression to be an equal alternative violator, the report revealed that Sarver “has repeated or claimed to repeat the N-word no less than 5 instances throughout his tenure with the Suns”, regardless of having added that the investigation “makes no conclusion that Sarver used this racially insensitive language with the intent to belittle or disparage.

Eh? Oh good?

Sarver is not the one non-black particular person to spout the N-word within the public sphere. Who can neglect comic Michael Richards’ vile and crude rant in 2006?

Richards, who performed Kramer in “Seinfeld,” launched his racist rant at a gaggle of twenty-somethings he deemed too loud and disrespectful to him throughout a stand-up comedy routine. Whether or not true or not, Richards’ response was the epitome of racial hostility and disrespect. Paula Deen, Ted Nugent, NASCAR driver Kyle Larson and nation music singer Morgan Wallen are a few of the celebs who let the phrase out of their wayward mouths.

What’s dishonest and disturbing is that many individuals have posted feverishly protecting defenses of Sarver on-line, together with questioning why it was okay for black folks to make use of the N-word however not for folks of different ethnic teams. As one can think about, the same old feedback and whataboutisms have been plastered on-line and on social media, together with:

– The phrase is utilized in rap and hip hop songs.

– What about black individuals who name one another that on a regular basis?

– Have a look at all of the black comedians who use it of their stand-up routines!

– What about all of the black athletes who say the phrase?

And so forth.

Whereas there could also be a point of fact in such solutions, it creates no justifiable motive for a non-black particular person to make use of the phrase. The N-word is a racially charged time period that has been aggressively and maliciously weaponized by white folks in a sinister effort to slander and psychologically dehumanize black folks. There may be nothing optimistic or redemptive about its use because it pertains to folks of coloration.

That stated, inside the black neighborhood, the phrase is extra nuanced and different. Thus, the controversy over the time period is ongoing. The all-black jury continues to be out, so to talk.

What’s much more disturbing is that some, principally white folks, are so adamant of their haphazard efforts to perversely justify using the phrase. My query and reply is, actually? Why would you even need to use the phrase? Is it a query of freedom of expression?

Males can say all types of derogatory phrases about ladies with out the identical perverse justifications for doing so. The identical goes for using different degrading racist phrases used to verbally abuse and insult different ethnic teams.

About the one time I feel it is justified for a white particular person to make use of the time period is when citing a bit of literature or studying an article the place the phrase is used. Though simply saying “the N-word” is likely to be a greater choice. In any other case, it is a phrase that should not be pinched on their lips or out of their mouths. Interval.

Can a non-black particular person be prohibited from utilizing the phrase? In fact not. However arguing so fiercely for the correct to make use of such a despicable time period results in apparent questions of racism and intent. In these circumstances, I doubt that the primary motive for taking such an ardent place is freedom of speech, however fairly the speech of one other variant. Which says quite a bit about this particular person.