Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.
The N Word still remains one of the most controversial and racially charged words in the English language.
I have written about it on the blog before. You can read the full post HERE.
My opinion about it really hasn’t changed much. So I’m just going to repost the most relevant parts of what I already wrote.
I don’t want to debate the N-word and it’s use in every day life and/or pop-culture. If you choose to use it as a term of endearment in your life to refer to your friends and loved ones, that is your choice … There cannot be words that are OK for some people but not OK for others in [the work]place where everyone is supposed to be held to the same standard. Period. And the same rules apply to the B-word and F-word (not to be confused with the F-bomb, which I confess is one of my favorite words). There is no place for it. So cut it out — or face the consequences!
I’m not advocating terminating every employee who uses inappropriate or inflammatory language immediately. [I’m also not advocating labeling everyone who uses the word as a racist. Prejudice? Probably. Ignorant? Definitely — that’s redundant since it’s part of the definition of the word] When it happens, there is an opportunity to teach and coach about appropriateness and inclusion that should be seized.
Once upon a time, beyond work, I didn’t feel it was my duty to take advantage of those opportunities. I was content to let people wallow in their ignorance, including people that I knew and loved.
I don’t feel that way anymore. For I now know it is that kind of thinking that doesn’t move us forward. And I especially know it is that kind of thinking that allows closet racists to keep up their ignorance and oppression in secret without ever facing consequences.
Because if Black people and Women and other People of Color and people in the LGBT community have to suffer consequences for things they have no control over, you surely should have to face consequences for judging and mistreating people for things they have no control over. Period.
If you want to be ignorant and use inflammatory or stereotypical words to describe people and it is either in my presence or knowing, I will be calling you out on it. It’s the Year of the Savage.
You’ve been warned.
Tune in tomorrow for Day 26 – White Privilege So Fragile