You know the word.
That ugly word.
Wouldn't it be nice if "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" were actually true? But, we all know that words can make the deepest of cuts that can take years to heal.
Hearing racial epithets of any kind has always made me wince, made me recoil, made me have a hard time feeling any kind of compassion on the speaker of the offending slur. Michael and I have known a few people over the years who don't think using such terms is a big deal; they actually find it funny or somehow clever. But, it is a very big deal. Not funny.
My oh my, how much that has increased since my precious daughter, Ray Ray, entered my life and heart. When celebrity rappers or college athletes or teenagers hanging out at the movies use that word, I want to grab them by the ears and drag them to a restroom to wash their filthy mouths out! I feel that word slicing into my stomach for days afterwards.
WHEN did using that particular word become OK? And, WHY on earth is it considered cool?
It's one thing when it's done by a stranger or someone you expect ugly things from, but recently that word was used by a person I know... and love...
Honestly, my first response was not very Christ-like. Change my heart, o God!
I did refrain from sending an email with Ray Ray's beautiful photo that said "Is she a n*****"? But only barely.
I can imagine some of your comments here: This isn't the last time we'll hear the word so you have to learn to let it roll off your back. (You're right.) We can't always protect our kids from racism. (Right again.) Part of being an interracial family means having the opportunity to graciously educate those who are impolitic and in the process we give our children a valuable life tool. (Totally agree.) What would Jesus do? (Yes, I want to live that way.) Enduring sweetly through unkindness is a mark of maturity. (Enough already! I get it that I'm in the wrong here!)
So what do I want to teach my kids? After giving it some time, praying, and getting some Godly counsel we've made a decision about how we'll respond that I pray will be positive and uplifting and that I trust will bring healing to that friendship.
But, it still smarts. "Sticks and stones" my foot!
02 October 2008
You know the word.