Thursday, July 10, 2008


God I hate the word. It just makes my mouth get all nasty and pisses me off when I hear it, but there it is, every day. It's ugly, ugly, ugly.

When I was about three or four I was with my mother in a Walgreens. I was rambling on and on as kids do (and I still do). My mother was tolerating me. I remember saying, "Mommy, listen to this: Eeny Meeny Miney Moe, catch and nig..." SMACK - and I was sailing backwards down the aisle. I mean I flew. I don't remember crying; just being absolutely stunned. I had no idea what I had done. My mother looked at me and said very quietly and calmly, "I never want to hear that word come out of your mouth again." She turned and continued up the aisle. Of course I had no clue which word she was talking about - no idea what it even meant - and that was kind of confusing at the time, but eventually I got it.

It was one of the few things my mother never compromised on. She famously told my grandfather - her own father - that if she ever heard him use the word in front of my brother and me, he would never see us again. He knew she meant it because he never let it slip from his lips till much later in my life. To this day I've never heard any racial epithet come out of my mother's mouth. I can't even imagine it. She remains enviably colorblind.

It's the slap, however, in the aisle of Walgreens that got me going - that introduced me to the power and sting of certain words - and I'm sure that incident instilled in me my intense revulsion for the word.

That said, I was led to a new blog today with the title, Blognigger. Even if he is African-American, it's a sour name. Nonetheless, he's a great and funny writer. So dig in. I like his blog more than I like mine.

Try this post for a start.

Then try this post. After that, peruse at your leisure.

And if you can't get past the blog title then you can go to It's the same blog, but for people that just can't stand that word.

1 comment:

mama o said...

I do remember that - vividly - I only wish now I had used a different approach to have gotten the same result.