Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 21 and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.
I hate talking about race-related issues in this column, because the Internet is overflowing with Keyboard Nazis and Macbook Klansmen. Basically these types of people say ridiculously racist stuff online, but in real life they're all a bunch of wimps. Perhaps surprisingly, I actually respect and admire real-life full-blown racists who live it and talk it. I'm an extremist, so if you're going to be a racist I figure you might as well be a full-time, fully dedicated champion of the cause.
In a weird, twisted way I have some type of respect for people who stand on their beliefs against all odds, even if their beliefs are centered in killing people that look like me. Hypothetically speaking, let's say I move into a house in Chesterfield or O'Fallon, and a few douches take it upon themselves to brick my windows and not reveal their faces. This gets zero respect in my book, but somehow, some kind of way, I have a ounce of respect for the lifelong Aryan Nation member that will hang me from a tree and and videotape themselves setting my body on fire.
I am more annoyed by the fake-ass subliminal racism than I am by the blatant in-your-face racism. I mean, give me a fair warning before you shoot me. And if you must kill me, look me in my eye while you're doing it. I respect this to a degree, even though I feel like any diehard racist is a complete maniac.This brings us to the subject of Paula Deen.
I'm sure by now you've heard a thousand different stories about what has taken place. Basically, an old fat white lady from the South got famous via the Food Network for cooking fried chicken and collard greens. These recipes are probably hand-me-downs from Aunt Jemima and the rest of the house slaves hoarded over the course of time. Initially, when Deen's remarks went viral I wondered,"What is the big deal?" She's an old Caucasian lady from the South, so she's probably dropped her fair share of N-bombs. I wouldn't expect anything less. I didn't think this was newsworthy whatsoever.
If her saying the N-word shocked you, then you, my friend, live in a different and far more unrealistic world than the rest of us. I kinda-sorta gave her a pass when the story leaked, and the first thing I heard about were the N-bomb accusations. I naturally automatically assumed she had some ancient klansmen in her blood, given the fact that she's basically on national TV cooking sharecropper delights. And for the record, I'm sick and tired of racist mugs marginalizing their racism by hiding behind the minutia of the "who can and can't say the N-word" debate.
On the real, if you intend on using the word in a racist context, just own up to it and stop it with the "why can black people say it" back-and-forth crap. This is probably the most childish intellectual argument of all time. When a white person ponders why black people can say the N-word and they can't, this almost always makes the person sound racist, even if they aren't. It's not a smart counter, so just leave it alone. From the jump, when you call a person that word, you fully intended to do so.
Most white people don't give a damn about the word "cracker" because the word "cracker" ultimately doesn't stop the world from spinning. Well, the same thing goes for the N-word, in my book. She can cry all she wants on TV and issue all the Youtube apologies in the world. The reality of the situation is that the public ridicule she's receiving from this incident is, more than likely, secretly making her and her family even less understanding about their perspective concerning race, slavery, and all other things attached to this subject. To put it another way, if she is racist, then it's probably making her more racist to be attacked like this.
It's bigger than her saying the N-word, and I wouldn't have cared much if that was the end of it. She has one of the best PR teams in the world, so they naturally made it seem like people are turned up about her saying the N-word one time in life.That's a blatant lie as well, because we all know the N-word is one of those infectious words you just can't say once. If you've said it once then you've likely said it a thousand times, because it feels good rolling out the lips. It's a heavy word, but people wouldn't use it so much if it didn't sound so melodic when spoken. So, Paula Deen, we all know you're lying about hardly ever using the word.
But I have better things to worry about. I've also accepted the fact that my ancestors were slaves, so this means someone else's ancestors had to be the slave masters. I've accepted the fact that most people, including black people (not just white people), really aren't capable of understanding the brutality attached to the enslavement of African Americans. I'm black myself, and I don't even completely understand slavery. So for me it's a given that somebody like Paula Deen is more than likely totally ignorant toward this subject. If I moved next door to her I automatically expect her to look out the blinds and say, "Hey, there's a bunch of n*ggers moving into the house next door." Is this extreme? Yes. Is this brutally honest? Yes. We live in America, and you know the rest. People need to just be honest about racism sometimes. The '60s weren't that long ago. My mother had to drink out of colored water fountains, and my grandmother worked on a plantation. They're both still alive. The people on the opposite side of the fence that were allowed to drink from the clean water fountains and didn't have to work on the plantations are also still alive.
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