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Richie Incognito, Charles Barkley and Michael Wilbon Use the N-Word.

November 19, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, both of the Miami Dolphins, have dominated the news in the sports world for the past two weeks, but for all the wrong reasons  Supposedly, Martin was “bullied” by Richie Incognito to the point that Martin left the team indefinitely.  Each plays on the offensive line, stands more than 6 feet, and weighs more than 300 pounds.

Richie Incognito has a checkered past dating back to his college days at the University of Nebraska.  He has been suspended or disciplined from every team he has played on for various forms of conduct detrimental to the team.  After recent voicemails of Incognito using the N-word and threatening Martin’s family became public, the Dolphins suspended him indefinitely.

Many have voiced their opinions on the Dolphin’s situation, but none of them deal with the real facts of this case. If you have never been in a professional locker room or on the sidelines during a game, this may be alien to you.  In Proverbs 4:7, the Bible states, “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting, get understanding.”sports-barkley-wilbon

There are things that are done and spoken in the context of professional sports that those outside of that circle will never relate to or understand. Language and behavior that would never be accepted in other settings is the norm in professional sports. A visit to the locker rooms  or sidelines are not for the faint of heart.

Still, I put this whole debacle with the Miami Dolphins at the feet of the Black players on the team as well as the Black community in general.

Several players on the Dolphins have said that Incognito was an “honorary Black” – whatever that means.

Most people gain “honorary” status into a group by doing something positive to advance that group’s cause or mission.  So, because Incognito learned how to use the N-word, they made him a member our community?  Really? Remember, we are the same group that claimed Bill Clinton was the first Black president because he played the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall’s TV show and had extramarital affairs.

The N-word is generously used on NFL sidelines, during the game, and in the locker rooms. Everyone in the NFL is not only aware, but has heard this type of crude language incessantly when around players. The same can be said of the NBA.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes was recently fined $25,000 by the NBA after he was ejected from a game his team won 111-103. He tweeted, “I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these n——.”

The fine prompted former Phoenix Sun star Charles Barkley to comment on TNT: “I’m a black man. I use the N-word. I’m going to continue to use the N-word with my black friends, with my white friends, they are my friends…Hey Ernie, in a locker room and with my friends, we use racial slurs. I understand he should not have made it public.”

Charles Barkley has the IQ of room temperature, so his comments are not nearly as surprising as Michael Wilbon, a former columnist for the Washington Post and co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” saying essentially the same thing.

According to Richard Prince’s Journal-isms column, Michael Wilbon said he uses the N-word “all day, every day of my life” and that others have no right to tell Black people how to use it.

We, as Blacks, can’t continue to say it’s Okay for Blacks to use the N-word, but it’s not Okay for others to use it.  The word should not be used under any circumstance by anyone. Ever.

In all my years working with professional athletes, I have never heard a Hispanic player use derogatory terms about his own people in front of mixed company. Nor have I ever seen them empower an outsider to call them a derogatory word, pretending it is a term of endearment.

This behavior is unique to Blacks and it’s our fault. We must stop blaming others when they use offensive language and words that we use among ourselves.  I am embarrassed that we actually debate who can use the N-word and under what circumstances.

Richie Incognito was wrong only to the extent that he is an adult and controls what comes out of his mouth.  But don’t blame him for being comfortable using this type of language because we gave him the permission to use it.

So, if Incognito is a racist for using the N-word, what does that make Charles Barkley, Michael Wilbon and other Blacks who use it?  Let’s stop castigating people such as Incognito when we have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.

Staff Writer; Raynard Jackson

Mr. Jackson is also founder of a political and industrial consultant firm which is based in Washington, DC; Raynard Jackson & Associates.




10 Responses to “Richie Incognito, Charles Barkley and Michael Wilbon Use the N-Word.”
  1. Marcus Vessey,

    It appears as though your comments are an oft handed way of endorsing Barkley and Wilbon’s actions. Webster will agree with you that words are not static. After-all its definition of the n-word has changed numerous of times over the years, thus adding to all the confusion and misunderstandings about the pejorative term.

    Albeit, man can change the definition of a word on a whim, he cannot change the history behind the word for it is indeed STATIC. If by chance you or anyone else have the ability by some sort of miracle to obliterate the wrongs done against our ancestors all in the name of the n-word, restore life to those dehumanized, murdered, butchered, slaughtered, honor to the dishonored, property to those who have been wronged and force the scales of human and divine justice to recover their equilibrium then and ONLY then perhaps the n-word can be embraced and used endearingly. Unless you can accomplish such a task the n-word will eternally remain to be an immoral obscenity no matter whose lips it flows from.

  2. Marcus Vessey says:

    That should read “words are NOT static” they don’t have fixed meanings.

  3. Marcus Vessey says:

    This is such a tired argument. But the author is actually talking about two different things, the use of a Black man using the word and the use of a white man. I think it is important to differentiate between the two.

    First I have argued time and time again that words are static. They don’t have a fixed meaning. Idiomatic expressions specific to cultural and sub-cultural groups occur all the time. If you study linguistics you see how adaptable words are to culture.

    Words are symbols they have no meaning out of the symbol (IE representations of thoughts and feels) that they represent and the shared meaning that they hold between two people.

    For example, we know in English that Jesus represents something different than in spanish even though it is spelled the same when transliterated.

    My point is that for folks to say Black folks use of the word as a subcultural idiomatic expression based upon shared group identity and White folks use of the word based upon American history and them being part of the “Out Group” are just being silly.

    I can dig folks that don’t like the word and I respect that. But I need a better argument from you than “it is the same word as nigger” because the linguistic use of it is not.

  4. @ Brother Smith

    I couldn’t have said it better.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  5. Peter Specht:

    With all due respect the white man and no one else has a word equivalent to the n-word. The rest of you may have a word equal to say coon, jigaboo,sambo, porch monkey, etc. but not the word n**ger. Three hundred years of dehumanization, having your women brutally rape while you as the husband may have to stand by and watch while your woman is being raped, that is if you want to go on breathing helps to qualify to have a word equal to the n-word. This along with brutal and severe beatings leaving slivers of skin hanging from your body while kerosene is poured over the open wounds, mutilations (ears cut off, eyes gouged out, teeth yanked out, fingers and toes cut off, legs amputated, castrations, disemboweling)all of this being done because you have been categorized as a n**ger,and there is much more; but just so you know these are the qualifications it would take for another word to be equal to the n-word.

    And that is just the physical abuse, we have not covered the mental abuse that was even worse; which is why to this very day you are witnessing many Blacks who have been unable to overcome that 18th century slave mentality of seeing themselves as the n-word. So once again, white people and no other people have a word equivalent to the n-word.

  6. Terrence The Pterodactyl:

    If you believe or think in terms that something CAN’T be done, you will be proven to be right, on the other hand if you believe or think in terms that something CAN be done you will also be proven to be right. You are of the opinion that Black users of the n-word CAN’T stop. If we all thought like you without question you would be proven to be right. Thank goodness we all don’t think like you.

  7. Peter Specht says:

    The F-word is the white man’s N-word.

  8. Satchel says:

    Do you ever stop to think that the last words a black man hears before the bonfire is lit or the rope breaks his neck, as he is hung from the limb of the hanging tree, is a group of white men screaming, Nigger.

  9. I think we put too much emphasis on the Nword. It’s in our culture and rappers etc getting rich with it and they ain’t gonna stop. Black folks biggest problems are income inequality and making a living in the new world order global economy. Stopping saying the Nword ain’t gonna improve our financial situation.

  10. A round of applause for your standing up and telling it like it is about Black Americans and their use of the n-word. Not everyone can handle the truth, but it needs to be told anyway; thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to tell it like it really is. Relative to your last paragraph about Barkley and Wilbon in terms of what does their embracing the n-word makes them? It makes them the biggest idiots walking on the face of this earth. It was absolutely disgusting to see and hear them make such complete fools of themselves.

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