by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz
This may sound strange, but you have my permission to use the “n-word” whenever you feel like it. No, I take that back, you have my blessing.
If a Deputy Mayor of the City of Indianapolis can use racially offensive language to describe black people and there are no consequences, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to spout off when you want and live happily ever after.
For those of you late to the game, Deputy Mayor of Neighborhoods David Hampton recently took issue with some African-Americans meeting with the President of the United States and he took to social media and called it a “coon connection meeting”. He also called it “coonery and foolery…if those are real words.”
As you can imagine, a firestorm ensued and Hampton issued the standard “sorry for the poor word choice” apology.
When approached about this by RTV 6, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said he was “profoundly disappointed” in Hampton’s choice of words and he could be “interpreted by many as speaking on behalf of the administration” which the Mayor said he wanted to make clear that was not the case.
Note, Hampton is still working for the city. And in fact will appear with the Mayor and IMPD Monday at an event for Black History Month. Think about that while I paraphrase a line from A Time to Kill, “now imagine he was white.” I say this because if Hampton had a lower melanin content, he would be out on the street right now. And that would have only been after black Democrats had stormed city hall with torches and pitchforks.
Instead there has been no real public outcry from any black elected official. In fact, the loudest protest came from City-County Council Republican Leader Mike McQuillen, a white guy from Lawrence.
So apparently it’s okay for city officials to use racially charged language and there are no real consequences. Which by the way, if I was a city employee who had racist feelings, I’d come to work and start getting George Wallace 1968 on people and as soon as I was called into HR for discipline I’d point to what happened to Hampton and them hand them my lawyer’s phone number.
I was always taught that that if African-Americans didn’t like white people using racial slurs against us, we might want to be somewhat consistent and not do the same to each other. Silly me, what was I thinking?
So, if you have racist feelings and want to start dropping tons of slurs and epithets, knock yourself out. Now I do have to warn you, a lot of people may not be as “tolerant” as Mayor Hogsett and local black Democrats so right after you knock yourself out, they might do the same.
But hey, if it’s good enough for a Deputy Mayor of Neighborhoods to use racially offensive language and there are no real consequences, why can’t the rest of us jump knee deep in the hoopla?
Good luck white people, godspeed and happy Black History Month.
*My apologies to film director Justin Simien.