Category Archives: race

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS LANGUAGE POLICE WON’T QUIT

I grew up hearing the word “nigger” from relatives and friends, but I knew when the word came out of the mouth of a White person, it was offensive and meant that person was probably a racist.

Still, I oppose eliminating the word from the dictionary, as some people advocated at one time.

Now a Mark Twain scholar and a publisher have joined forces to publish a new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A new edition the American classic is always welcomed but not the edition they are publishing.

You see, the scholar replaces the word “nigger” with the word “slave” because nigger is hurtful and offensive. Apparently some parents and teachers have complained and some schools no longer teach the novel.

I wonder when the novel is taught using the word slave will the parents, teachers, and children be less offended and less hurt once they understand the history of slavery in America. Many White folks deny slavery through its absence in their ideas of their heritage. Replacing the word nigger with slave allows the White folks to say, as some have said in the past, slavery wasn’t so bad.

As for Black folks. I ask you will you be any less hurt reading the word “slave” knowing what the word entails.

The word “nigger” in “Huck Finn” is in keeping with the language of the time the novel depicts. Most important, “nigger” clearly emphasizes the way the nation saw Blacks—slaves and free blacks—in the 19th century and extending into the 21st.

To remove or replace words in a classic is crime against literature; to teach the new edition to young people is a sin against history.

 

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Filed under American classic, American Government, children, Colleges, Education, History, intolerance, LIFE, News, police, race, Racism, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS ANOTHER WAR WE LOSING

For 40 years or so, the US has been fighting a losing war against drugs, and it is another war no one wishes to admit is being lost. I read in my hometown newspaper the Knoxville News Sentinel recently that over the 40 years, the drug war has cost 1 trillion dollars. Man, that is a one with a lotta zeros behind it.

According to the story in the newspaper, “Records indicate marijuana and prescription drug abuse are climbing, while cocaine use is way down.” Man, the Feds are grabbing more drugs than ever, yet they aint cut down on use. Demand and supply, baby, that’s what is workin in the drug trade.

Every time I read bout the police seizing so many pounds of weed, I just wait, and sure enough, in a few weeks out comes a report showing drugs still traveling north from down in Texas or somewhere.

But help may be on the way, for you see, the DEA is looking for folks who can interpret ebonics. What is ebonics, you may ask? Well, some say it is Black English and is a separate language. I be Black and I aint never heard no ebonics. Anyway, the DEA feels it needs interpreters to translate conversations heard on wiretaps. The speakers, apparently, are speaking ebonics.

Me, I think them drug dealers are just speaking in code cause they know The Man is listening.

I aint no expert, but it do seem to me that to win this here war on drugs, you got to stop demand.

But ifn you want a job and can speak ebonics, by all means apply to the DEA. Hey, maybe you’ll help make a dent in the drug war.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Government, LIFE, Medical, race, Racism, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS IT STILL STINGS

Well, youall, there’s another big to-do bout a nationally known personality using the “N-word.” Anybody who listens to the radio talk shows and who follows blogs know what I’m talking bout.

Relationship advice giver, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, talking to a Black woman whose husband is white bout the husband’s friends using the word “nigger,” (Okay, so I used the “N-word”) suggested that the woman might be too sensitvity and should let it go. In explaining her reasoning, Dr. Schlessinger said “nigger, nigger” but not in a derogatory way.

We who are sensitive to the “N-word” must also consider the context. Dr. Schlessinger was right when she said Black comedians use it and we Blacks, especially men, use it among ourselves. Her point was, I think, that the word has lost its sting through use.

What she missed is while we may use it among ourselves, coming out of the mouth of a White person, or any non-black person, the word has a different connotation, a negative meaning.

The point I want to make to her is the word still stings because those White folks who use it mean me and mine no good. They want scare us like the Klan did in the old days.

My advice to the Black wife: smack one of them friends upside the head with a rolling pin. Let ’em know that this is the 21st century and you dont allow use of bad language in your house.

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Filed under CELEBRITY, race, Racism, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON WANTS NAACP TO TAKE ACTION

Why do groups such as legislatures and the NAACP pass resolutions agreeing or condemning something? It is an exercise in futility and a sign of weakness, though it may make them appear to their devotees to be doing something. Anybody who reads the newspapers and sees videos on the Internet knows that there are racists in the Tea Party.

Instead of passing a resolution condemning the presence of racists and racists signs and rhetoric in the Tea Party, The NAACP should counter their words and actions with words and actions of its own. Start voter drives to get people to the voting booth to defeat Tea Party supported candidates and come up with other ideas that will show how dangerous some of the signs and rhetoric are.

Some of the members of the Tea Party are not “real Americans” because in their America only White folks are permitted.

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Filed under American Politics, Government, politics, race, Racism, society, state politics

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS SOME POLITICIANS HAVE FOUND A SCAPEGOAT

Blaming immigrants has been a part of our American history from the day the country was born. Only now, we want to get rid of not legal but illegal immigrants. Don’t git me wrong here. I don’t think any individual should be allowed into the United States illegally. I also don’t believe those who are here illegally should be deemed criminals and held responsible for everything that has gone wrong in a state.

Oklahoma, South Carolina (huh!), and Utah already has some legislation against illegal immigrants and are now considering laws similar to Arizona’s during their next legislative sessions. This, despite the fact that the Justice Department has filed a suit against the Arizona law.

Here in my home state of Tennessee, the State Senate passed a bill that requires citizens who register to vote to present proof of citizenship. In the South before the voting rights act, there was the poll tax and some registrars required Black voters to recite portions of the US Constitution or State Constitution or to do some other stupid thing, all in an effort to prevent them from voting. I aint saying that is what them folks in Nashville are doing, but since we aint no border state and the number of illegal immigrants in our state aint very high, why do a perspective voter need to present proof of citizenship, something not required in the past.

Nobody has presented any evidence to show that non-citizens have voted in our elections. As I see it, using my common sense, it’s a way for politicians to show voters they are fighting for their rights by keeping them illegals from voting in Tennessee.

Now to change the subject. I discovered that a non-gay man can sue another non-gay man for sexual harassment. Their is a case in hometown of Knoxville, a Federal judge is deciding whether a non-gay man claiming sexual harassment by another non-gay employee can bring suit against the employee, the city, and his supervisor. It seems the US Supreme Court has okayed such claimants as legitimate under the anti-discrimination laws.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Government, History, politics, race, society, state politics, THE SOUTH

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS GIVE THE BLACK REPUBLICANS A BREAK

Growing up in the segregated society of East Tennessee, my friends, classmates, and I were taught that we always had to be on our best behavior in public because any negative behavior would reflect on all Negroes in America. In other words, we were not to express ideas with which the majority of Blacks did not agree.

I have never felt comfortable not being able to express ideas that went against what Black leaders felt was right. Hey, man, you’d be called “uncle Tom” and few other names.

I don’t know if the post-racial society has arrived with the election of a Black President, but certainly this election cycle has seen an increase in Black candidates participating in the Republican primaries. According to the New York Times, at least 32 African Americans are running for congress as Republicans. Three of them are in the south and have won the primaries in South Carolina’s First Congressional District; in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District; and, a real surprise, in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District.

The brothers may not win in the general election. No matter, they have proven, as did Obama, White folks will vote for a Black candidate that has some of the same ideas about government, etc as they do.

We don’t have to think in lockstep because we’re Black. Such thinking is defeatist because it means we are unwilling to face different ideas, especially ideas we feel White folks have even when the ideas have nothing to do with race, and may benefit all citizens.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Government, History, Obama, politics, race, Racism, society, state politics, THE SOUTH

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON ASKS IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH RELEVANT

When I was growing up in East Tennessee in the 1940s and 1950s, we celebrated Negro History Week. In those days, the segregated public school curriculum didn’t include a study of the African slaves and the contributions they and their descendants made in the building of the United States. So, we had good reason to study the lives of great Negroes and the contributions they made to the nation.

However, we actually studied Negro history the entire year, reciting poetry and performing plays and reading stories. The difference was, during negro history week, each student had to select one Negro hero or heroine and write a paper on him or her.

To put it simply, in those days, the White historians and the White school officials not only didnt’’t see us but did not consider us to be a part of the American heritage, just as today those folks talked about preserving their southern heritage conveniently leave out the Black faces. In their concept of that heritage, slavery never occurred and Jim Crow was the name of some Native American.

Black History month can and should be used to correct this blind spot in the minds of those trying to preserve their southern heritage. The problem, of course, is they don’t read the books or watch the TV programs during Black History month. Nevertheless, we must keep trying to educate them.

I partially agree with Morgan Freeman that Black history is a part of American history.

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Filed under race, Racism, society, THE SOUTH