Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanks For Showing Up, Jess

In a stunning move that surprised no one who knows Jesse Jackson, Jackson and other civil rights leaders and African-American figures held a press conference Monday announcing that they would urge people to stop using the n-word. And Lord knows we were all waiting to see what African-Americans felt about the n-word.

Actually, there is some debate. Some, like Jackson, Maxine Waters, and comedian Paul Mooney (I don't know who he is, either.) say it should no longer be used. Others, like a good number of rappers today, use the n-word like some people use the word "lederhosen." Of course, those people happen to be polka groupies, but you get the point.

Then, just as you think there's an issue that I might actually agree with Jackson on, he goes and suggests the n-word has no protection under the First Amendment. In the immortal words of Alex Trebec and Glenn Beck, "Ooooh. Sor-ray."

As hateful and mean as that word can be, government need not get involved. Maybe you have been shaking down businesses too much to notice, Jess, but we're doing just fine without government intervention. See, most people in this country don't use the n-word anymore because we've come to understand that it really has no place in our vocabularies. Those who do use it tend to be people we don't want to emulate.

Not to mention, the owner of the comedy club where Michael Richards did his racist rant, Jaime Masada, said he would ban any comedian who uses hateful words like the n-word. And without a single bureaucrat telling Masada to do it.That's a smart businessman, one who has imposed a private standard to those who want to work at his club. And if the comedians who want to work there are smart, they'll play ball.

Although it's nice to see you finally come down on one side or the other regarding the n-word, Jess, it's really not necessary, and you're at least a couple of decades too late. We've evolved beyond the need for such a word, and we didn't need a civil rights leader and his merry band of race hustlers to help us.

Besides, Jess, if we started making speech we didn't like illegal, how long would it be before you landed in jail next to Howard Stern?

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