Last Friday, it was brought to my attention by my girls Bee from 83 To Infinity and Yesha Callahan from The Root that some of our cousins to the south are having one hell of a time understanding the magnitude of the word nigger – but it was particularly Whoopi Goldberg’s comments that had me well vex. Many of you already know that I have never been a fan of Justin Bieber from the word go, so please understand when I say, this will be the first and last time that I speak about him on my pages.
Where do I begin?
Let me start with Bieber:
The fact that he is being given a ”pass” of sorts is absolutely ludicrous. Bieber was 15 years old, not 5. At 15 years old you are a teenager in high school who is quite in tune with your surroundings, who you hang with and what you say. Yes, you may not know any better as a young one still trying to find your way. However, words are known to be formulated and used as weapons way before the moment you even enter the whirlwind that is known as the education system. Truth is, teenagers are known to be vile and relentless with their way of words through bullying, manipulation, and conduct. To say that Beiber had `no idea of the implications set in motion regarding what he was saying` is asinine to me. The simple notion of knowing the difference between right and wrong is so evident here. I have no idea what company he kept while in school or out for that matter, but it is quite obvious that his then surroundings and teachings have led him to a situation that has come to bite him in the ass in his adult life. In Canada, we were taught about the connotation of the n-word in history class (which I will address in a minute). Some of us have been exposed to being called a nigger and know all to well what kind of weight and gravity the word carries. To fall back on the old mantra of ”he was a kid who didn`t know better” is insulting. And newsflash to you Bieber, you were not born black. If that is not one of the most irrelevant and laughable responses ever – really now? Does that statement vindicate you from your actions? On the weekend, I read that Bieber decided to get baptized in a bathtub in NYC. Look – I am not one to talk about people’s religious beliefs, but this right here? It is a little opportunistic to me. Strange news you say? I think not. It thoroughly irritates me when anyone uses religion as a prop while attempting to shed the controversy and negative imaging being strewn all over the many various media outlets, all because of their misguided actions. Baptism is not a joke or a case where God`s holy water will wash away all of your sins and call it a day. Don`t be disrespectful of people’s beliefs. From the path that we have seen Justin Bieber slowly self-destruct on, it is clear that he should have re-evaluated his relationship with the Lord a very long time ago.
Now, Ms. Goldberg:
I respect this woman to no end, but I need Whoopi Goldberg to totally re-assess what she said on The View in this here video. ”Nigger doesn`t mean anything in Canada.”
Ms. Goldberg. You stated that you shot a movie here and apparently that is how you became an expert on the position of the n-word in Canada. Okay. While you were here, did you happen to learn anything about our rich Black History in Canada? Never mind that your Black Canadian experience seems to have come from one person’s point of view, and a script. My question is, have you lived in Canada and walked in an African-Canadian/Caribbean-Canadian woman`s shoes to understand the ramifications of how being called a nigger on the way to school, walking down the road in the wrong place, or simply just being you feels? You most likely have, but in the United States. That is your experience. May I add, we in Canada were exposed to your history as well, where most Americans have no clue about what transpired up north. Who are you to tell me, a black woman whose skin colour is the same as yours, that being called a nigger packs less of an impact because of my geographical location and understanding of the word? No, Ms. Goldberg, I do not agree. As a matter of fact, I know exactly what it means – first hand. You`re basically telling me that the word nigger loses its weight and vitriol when it crosses the border? Come again? The n-word, as we all know, is universal in its meaning. As wonderful as Canada looks from the outside, all draped in rainbows and lollipops, it is not all that it seems. In case you are not aware, Canada like any other country in the world is chock-full of racist images, connotations and such. Should I be so inclined to give you a quick history lesson as well?
While I surely do not have the time to run through our incredible history, I do advise you to start with Mathieu de Costa and work your way through. You will learn that waves of Black Canadians were still enslaved or were indentured servants when they arrived here with White Colonialists. I am sure they were exposed to the same cruel and abominable thoughts, ways and epithets. Take that into consideration. Don’t tell me what you said has been taken out of context. Please understand that what you said needs to be revised, because there is a clear lack of understanding on your part about Canadian history. This is obviously an ongoing conversation that has to be addressed because you and many of your media counterparts seem to be singing the same song. Research it. Understand it. Know that this word that you feel does not have the same meaning to us here in Canada as it does to you in the United States holds the same power, essence and hatred across all land masses.
See y’all soon…