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The dirty little secret about the 'N' word

Editor’s note: The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson will be a guest today on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes” program to discuss Barack Obama, race and the presidential election. The show airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Jesse Jackson really put his foot in his mouth recently when he whispered into a hot mic on The Fox News Channel:

“See, Barack [has] been talking down to black people telling ni—rs how to behave. I want to cut his n–s [genitals] out.”

What’s interesting here (besides the obvious, that he’s been exposed as a bitter hypocrite) is that his use of the “N” word when referring to blacks barely caused a ripple of controversy. Why is that?

In 2007, the NAACP held a mock funeral to bury the “N” word, yet, thanks to some segments of the black population, the word seems to be more popular than ever. What’s going on here?

I grew up on a plantation in Alabama in a small town outside of Montgomery. I didn’t hear my family and friends use this word. In fact, I didn’t hear it much at all until I moved to the city. So if it wasn’t prevalent 40-50 years ago in the South, why do blacks so commonly use it today? And why are so many blacks intent on keeping the word alive despite their noises to the contrary?

The “N” word is being kept alive primarily by black urban youth who are being influenced by rap music, videos and magazines.

The dirty little secret is that most black people don’t care about this word. They wouldn’t bat an eye if they heard another black person use it. They’re not affected by it and don’t find it offensive. But they’ll be ready to march and riot if they hear a white person using it. Now we’re getting to the truth.

Many blacks today use the word to refer to one another in play or anger – both in public and behind closed doors. They also make excuses as to why they use it by saying it’s a term of “camaraderie” or “we’re taking away the power of the word to hurt” or that “blacks own that word.” Pure nonsense!

Recently, black activists and rappers joined left-wing groups such as Moveon.org calling for an unwarranted boycott of Fox News Channel for alleged “racism.” Instead, shouldn’t these people boycott Jesse Jackson for referring to an entire race of people as “n—-rs”?

They would if the word really meant something to them.

Most blacks understand that the worst thing you can call a white person these days is a “racist.” And in the minds of white Americans, the worst term a white person can use to describe a black is the “N” word. So blacks want to keep the word around and play with it, tempting whites to try and use it. On the other hand, whites would like to wipe this word out of the English language because it’s a reminder of a false guilt they have about racism in America.

Hence Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s tears recently when the subject was discussed on ABC’s “The View.”

As a result of this fear, some blacks have pressed their advantage and want to ban and censor whites from ever using this word.

Jackson, the NAACP and other so-called “civil rights leaders” have long used race as a weapon to beat up on whites and make them feel guilty about past injustices. When white Americans slip and use the “N” word, they pay a hefty price:

They all made public apologies, but their punishment was still swift and severe.

It’s troubling to see my fellow Americans – especially those who profess to believe in God – being controlled by this word. The Bible says we’re supposed to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” – and yet, most white Americans are missing the mark. They have fear, they don’t speak up – therefore, they don’t shine as an example for others to witness the Truth.

As children, we were supposed to be taught by our parents how to handle hurtful or offensive words. But disintegration of the traditional family and the weakness of men have made our society soft and “sensitive.”

White people of today didn’t create this word, and they need to get over this false sense of guilt about what happened to blacks in the past. And blacks need to get over their hatred of whites – it’s that simple!

In short, whites need to stop being taken advantage of, and blacks need to stop trying to press their advantage to punish individuals who have nothing to do with their problems. When Americans can get to that point, then we will naturally stop trying to ban and control words. We will begin to see past color and view one another as fellow “Americans.”

What a dream!