Friday, January 26, 2007

'N-word' is safe in Brazoria

The mayor of Brazoria, Texas, has dropped his effort to outlaw the aggressive use of the word "nigger" in this little town of 2,800, according to the Houston Chronicle. After only a few days of campaigning for fines up to $500 for anyone convicted of slinging the word around in a malicious way (using it casually would have been legal), Mayor Ken Corley, who's white, has punted the idea.

A couple days ago, I admitted to a small conflict about the proposal. While it was praiseworthy that Corley had tried to address a social ill, I believe he attacked it wrong by outlawing a form of free speech. Claude Foster, the NAACP's regional director in Houston, agrees. He told the Chronicle he "applauds the intention of the measure," but doesn't think curbing speech is the best way to fight racism. "Education is the answer," Foster said.

My hat's off to Corley for his courage to do something. I don't think he's truly a censor, just a guy who had the urge to help. I hope he finds another, more constitutional way to confront the symbol of this word.


SingingSkies said...

Maybe he did. Just think of how many people are talking about it, and learning something about freedom of speech in the process. His proposal brought the topic to the attention of not only Brazoria, but also Houston and southeast Texas (and perhaps other places as well). Of course, it's not a long-term fix; however, this is a problem which won't be solved quickly.

Chancelucky said...

You know, I've spent most of my life accepting the notion that "education" is the cure for racism. As I look historically, the most extreme acts of racism have largely been carried out by the educated and powerful.
I've come to believe that the real cure is open access to political and economic resources. said...

The mentality of this mayor and people who agree with this type of thinking are the same type that that were riding the NAZI train with Hitler in 1933 in Germany. There isn't one bit of difference.


Ron Franscell said...

Ben, you must be smoking something, bro. The mayor of Brazoria wanted to OUTLAW the n-word as a way to show respect and civility. How in hell is that Nazism at work? OK, it's a freespeech issue but it comes from the best of intentions, so I wouldn't anticipate concentration camps to be sprouting on the outskirts of Brazoria anytime soon.

Nonetheless, you prove a theory that is gaining supporters like me: Those people who've lost their ability to argue sanely always end up accusing their opponents of being Hitler or a Nazi. End of rational debate.