September 28, 2006

Quick. Don't Think of a Black Elephant

The new racism in America stinks. The whole revolting "little George Allen maybe said the "N" word 30-odd years in the past" pile of crap pushed out by his political rival over the last few days has filled me with a new found revulsion for our politics.

It seems that every time I think I've seen the bottom of American politics today, that bottom drops away revealing whole new stygian depths lurking deeper below. Hence, I've decided to opt out of my quest to be elected President for one week -- wherein I'd get some needful things done before resigning to let my veep and party take the heat. And just to make sure I never get elected, please excuse me while I commit a racial crime.

My crime is this: by writing out the following word, "nigger," I have just committed a social crime more heinous than smoking a cigarette within three miles of a day-care center. But what is done, sigh, is done.

I've done many thing in my life that have made me potentially unelectable to any office in the United States.

I've had points of view that were out when conservatism was in, and points of view that were out when liberalism was in. I've worked for magazines that printed pictures of naked women and letters that began "I never thought I'd be writing this to a magazine, but...."

There are photographs of me smoking cigarettes in a land where the only two things the educational system teaches children is that cigarettes are bad and the New York Times is good.

My religious affiliations are dubious and transitory. I tend to change churches as others change sox.

While I am a member of the largest minority, it is the only one that is unrecognized by the Diversity Stamp of Approval Bureau. After a lifetime of voting the Democratic ticket, I became so nauseated by Teresa Heinz Kerry and her consort in 2004 that I actually voted for George Bush. To compound this sin I then moved to Seattle, Washington where Bush Derangement Syndrome has claimed the brain death of approximately 97.6% of the population. If you ever want to feel alone just put a "Rice/Rumsfeld 2008 'A World of Experience'" lawn sign out in this city. Better yet, put it on the lawn of a house you'd like to see burn.

Yes, I am one American citizen whose chances of being elected to anything, before this essay, hovered at .001 %. But with the single word in the essay above I have, for all eternity, sealed my political doom. That word has now become part of my "Permanent Conduct Record," and has, as far as the ever-alert pecksniffs of our shared political purity are concerned, made me an outcast. Alas, I am forever doomed to wander the barren heath where dwell the "hard-core unelectable." I suspect I shall soon be able with George Allen to:
"...sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd,
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd."

Murdered by the "N-Word."

It is not, mind you, that "The N-Word" is forbidden or never heard in this fair land at this time. On the contrary, "nigger" is spoken, sung, shouted and roared from the rooftops of our culture to an extent I have never witnessed in all my decades.

The word is blasted across the blank forebrain of our culture every minute of every hour of every day. Not only can it be bought in huge quantities at every on and offline record/DVD store in the country, it is also blasted into our city streets by large vehicles mounting sound systems that can drop a charging rhino at 100 yards and cause small dogs to implode in penthouses high above our boulevards. At vast nocturnal gatherings of our most vital and hyper-sexual young people, the word is drummed out in endless celebratory chants as all assembled shake, shake, shake their money makers to the non-stop N-chants of our perpetually preening princes of pop.

For, lo, this word which once emblemized both race-hate and a degraded and disgraced secondary state of humanity has, through the alchemy of the asinine among us, been mystically transmogrified into something approaching a holy incantation. From a mongrel word it has be made magical. But the use of this magic word has, as the high priests of pap always assure us, been made unavailable to the many for the power of the few.

The Word is now the sole possession of the REMD (Racial Establishment of Monetized Defeatism). It is a closely held stock whose possession assures that, the more we strive to put racism behind us in this country, the more certainly it will be kept alive in order to maintain the parasite of racism's ability to feed upon the host culture and continue to enrich its stockholders.

The Word is the carrier of a strange disease. It is a disease that those who would benefit most from its eradication seek desperately to maintain. After all, if the scourge of racism were ever allowed to fade from our land, where would all the people with jobs and investments in the continuance of racism go? How would they live? How would their mortgages be paid and how would their car, boat and second-home payments be met?

For if racism is allowed to die a natural death, isn't the Race-Hustling industry also on-line for the grave as well? This can't be allowed to happen. Too many people are getting too rich.

The crowning irony is that those benefiting are not all black. Not by a long shot. That is why rather than sending the N-Word into a well-deserved oblivion with the ghosts of the KKK and the lynch mob, it has been made, instead, into a Holy Word; a cross between a mantra and a prayer with just a whiff of violence attached so you don't get too cocky with it.

If you've haven't realized it from the "possible, perhaps, maybe" use of it by George Allen sometime in the last century, you have probably realized from these words that I am "one of those" who are denied access to this new Holy Word simply by an accident of my birth and racial heritage. It matters not one whit what the First Amendment may say about all English words being free to all, there is one word there that is not free to me, and I may not say it or write it ever without dire consequences to my social and political and employment chances in America today.

Evoking the F-word may or may not be a firing offense in America today, but for a person of my race the mention of the N-word most certainly is. Context has exactly nothing to do with it. Indeed, as some will recall, the use of a word that even sounds like it, such as "niggardly," is a potential firing offense. Even the first syllable seems to have become forbidden to those suffering my genetic misfortune over which I have no control.

Yes, I was to my everlasting shame and regret born a White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant -- AKA "WASP." This is fixed in my nature. I cannot change it and, no matter how much I may have done, no matter how much I do to carry forward the banner of a raceless, classless society in which all me are judged "not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character;" to raise high the escutcheon of a perfect world, a perfected America, I know that because of the accident of my birth it will never, ever be enough.

I once thought, when I was drowned deep in the somnambulant 60s dreams of racial equality, that we could -- as people of good will working together -- achieve the dream of Dr. King. Now I know it is nothing but a chimera. The truth is that good seldom overcomes greed and there is simply too much money to be made and to many jobs to be handed out by the Racial Grievance Industry of America.

The once admirable Racial Equality movement in America has regrettably transformed itself within a mere 50 years into a Racial Inequity in Perpetuity Movement, and is probably more entrenched than a government bureaucracy -- especially since many government bureaus and employees have a role in it. As a result, there is no sense in yearning any longer for a raceless or classless America.

The control of words and images by the Race Hustlers of America ensures that that day will never come about no matter how much the people yearn for it. As long as the cheap mouthpieces of a faux ghetto identity strut and fret their weary wares upon the stage of our corrupted culture, as long as there is one grill left to be set on one pair of greedy teeth, as long as the Holy Grail of a Big Reparations Check is dangled in front of all those that hold within their genes a single sequence of African DNA, the Race Hustling Religion of America will never fold up its tents and steal away. It is just too much of a Gold Cash Calf to walk away from.

And, like all religions sunk in the pagan fantasies of violence and degradation, the Race Hustling Religion will have to have, from time to time, a white human sacrifice to underscore its power. Right now, that sacrifice is George Allen, whose crime --punished immediately and without trial, is some ancient, vague, unproven and unprovable, use of "The N-Word;" a word he was never it turns out allowed to utter or to even think. He's not the first. He won't be the last. I'm probably on the list now. But I know all you who are reading this are safe. After all, you've never, ever said or even thought that terrible soul-destroying word. Have you?

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Posted by Vanderleun at September 28, 2006 3:48 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Okay, so with that resume you probably shouldn't apply for a job as a marriage counselor - although here where I live, it can be two men or two women involved, so that might provide for a suitable challenge for someone with your background - but there are still other things you can do with your life.

Writing this kind of stuff, for example. Inspiring the rest of us.

In Seattle, Charleston, or wherever (and which Charleston, exactly was that?)

Posted by: Everyman at September 28, 2006 4:01 PM

I'm so ashamed....I have actually said The recently as last week...but, and this is really really important...if I said it in a forest and nobody was around to hear it....did I sin? Am I damned? Forever? Oh, Shit!

Posted by: rascafair at September 28, 2006 5:12 PM

I find this very interesting ... I just finished writing a book and included aspects of racism ... what was acceptable "yesterday" ... the "N" word. I talked with a local black man too. He said when he was growing up he and the white kids ganged up on the "Indians". So there you go eh?

Dr. King. So happens through family connection - my great grandmother's sister n law (think that is how it goes) became a nurse in Boston area and took in a border ... Coretta Scott who then became Coretta Scott King. Family archives. From Canada - Barbara

Posted by: Barbara J Gill at September 28, 2006 5:32 PM

Oh the shame of being born a WASP and not having full freedom of speech! But isn't free speech in the constitution? SHHHH! Best we not talk about things that are "extra constitutional," like the "n" word. And the right to be paid by the guvmint for not working. Or the right to be paid by the guvmint for not planting certain crops. Oh, oh, getting into dangerous territory now. Best I shut my mouth just in case I decide to run for office.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at September 28, 2006 6:35 PM


There is no one else in the land who writes with such sense, originality, clarity and beauty.

The recent absence of new posts to your site was worrysome. Nevermore. If you go silent awhile again, I will return to this post for refreshment, knowing there is intelligent life nearby. It resides in Seattle. Its name is Vanderleun.


Posted by: Gale in Sequim, WA at September 28, 2006 11:10 PM

I completely agree with your view that the Civil Rights movement we grew up with and loved has morphed, like the feminist movement, into a perpetual motion victim rights machine, er...kind of like the tar baby. Oh dear, did I say that? I guess I'll never get to be president either.

Growing up in a small town Southern family in the middle of the 20th century, the "N" word was verboten. "Nice" people simply didn't talk that way. We were allowed to say "colored" or "Negro" but the "N" word was never to pass our lips. And it didn't. I knew my father would have given me a switchin' I would never forget.

Then in the sixties we could say "Blacks" and "Afro-Americans." But I mostly avoided saying any of it and just tried to call people by name. Martin Luther King was Martin Luther King and that was that.

Years later, I was reporting and writing for a liberal newspaper here and was sent to Decatur, Alabama to cover the kickoff of Jimmy Carter's second, ill-fated Presidential campaign. While there, I landed an interview with one of the grand wizards of the KKK. He used the "N" word often and with great emotional charge and many expletives.

Like cringing when fingernails are scraped across a blackboard, I found his hate-filled talk so horrifying that I almost had to leave the sleazy room and quit the interview. I simply had been sheltered from the reality that people still thought and talked in that hate-filled way.

The story was page one in my paper. But it took me weeks to get over the stunning reality that I saw face-to-face that day in Decatur.

The point I wish to make is this: I completely agree that the pendulum has swing far, far the other way and what has been used to bludgeon George Allan is ridiculous and inexcusable. Nevertheless, there is a real historical reason that the "N" word has become a weapon of political mass destruction...and it isn't a pretty sight. Having said that, none of us can be held hostage to acting from guilt and that's what the Jesse Jacksons of the world are playing on, as WASPs and others are forced to bow and scrape.

Maybe it's a good time to go back and reread the most wonderful "To Kill a Mockingbird." And to see how far we really have come.

Posted by: Webutante at September 29, 2006 6:01 AM


Another superb, well written, cogent and spot-on piece. Thank you.

I am frequently encouraged by friends, neighbors and my wife to enter politics. My reply is always the same: "Not on your life". There is nothing any longer that is attractive, decent, civilized or even respectable about the craft. The recent flap that inspired your brilliant piece is emblematic of the profound sickness that has infected politics in this country, and I am afraid we will be subjected to much worse for much longer before a 'stateman' appears to shame them all into behaving properly....and that is pure unadulterated optimism.

Posted by: Frank V. at September 29, 2006 6:20 AM


You've been on my list for a long time. My list of some of the smartest people and best writers in this country.

Posted by: Wes at September 29, 2006 7:32 AM


Posted by: Mark J. Keaney at September 29, 2006 8:29 AM

We all have THAT Permanent Record. Spot on!

Posted by: Obi's Sister at September 29, 2006 8:30 AM


If no one was in the forrest to hear it then did you really say it.....or was it did you really make a sound.....Oh, my brain still has to recharge after reading this post. Good One!!!

Posted by: Adam at September 29, 2006 8:37 AM

For thirty years I've been active in politics, and I've seen the viability cutoff point move further and further from the heart. People can now expect to be driven away from elected offices for transgressions 99% of us have committed.

This leaves politics to the shamelessly and intensely manipulative, the uncannily innocent, or the wealthy obliterators. And we are all the losers because of it.

But I'm glad Gerard won't be running for anything. We need him to WRITE. Congratulations on another fabulous piece!

Posted by: AskMom at September 29, 2006 9:03 AM

Another fine gem. Thank you.
I'm sure I've a lot to say, but this is not the place.
A minor bone to pick: Anthony Burgess first pointed this out: WASP is redundant, as all Anglo-Saxons are white.

Posted by: Alear at September 29, 2006 9:29 AM

Well, is it better to be stung by a WASP or bitten by an ASP?

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at September 29, 2006 10:49 AM

A fine essay.

However, "nigger" is not the most verbotten word in American English. Your references to pop culture and the hip-hop world make that clear. My young black friends use "niggah" more frequently than I use the word "man".

However, the most forbidden word in English is the C word. Nobody, certainly nobody with a Y chromosome is ever allowed to let that word pass their lips. Hell, even in sex chat rooms the C word will get you slapped down by the sisterhood. They can use any and every slur related to slang terms for the male appendage but use of the C word is taken as prima facie proof of misogyny.

I'm quite sure that if you called a black woman a NC, she'd beat you down for the C word first.

Posted by: Ronnie Schreiber at September 29, 2006 11:22 AM

"C word is taken as prima facie proof of misogyny."

Yep, mention cooking and you're toast.

Posted by: NC3 at September 29, 2006 12:25 PM

I read that Webb and his Navy buddies used to ride through Watts (must've been in the early 60's) carrying rifles and yelling out the "N" word to taunt the locals.

He's not like that now, so I merely shrug at the anecdote. Would that he and his vicious-weasel campaign staff could shrug off Allen's purportedly less outrageous behavior.

NOTE: THIS IS MY SECOND ATTEMPT TO POST. The first time I spelled out the"N" word. How's that for irony?

Posted by: Roderick Reilly at September 29, 2006 12:45 PM

It looks as if we're doing that telepathy thing again, Gerard.

Well done, by the way.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at September 29, 2006 3:53 PM

I knew we'd descended into lunacy when the word "Niggardly" was slammed because it "sounds like..."

For future reference, I will probably not be able to state I must caulk a few "chinks" in the wall, I can be drenched but can never have a "wet back," and as far as saying I have watched the "Day Go" by...

Who's running this place, anyways? Could someone sharpen their head and screw them into the floor, please? Please, oh please?

Posted by: Christopher at September 29, 2006 6:37 PM

The only way to reduce the power of the "N" word is for those of us, who refuse to accept the guilt shoved onto us,to flood the zone and say "nigger", "niggardly" and other permutations of "nig", in public.

Posted by: Mary at September 30, 2006 8:01 AM

Seems as good a time to quote Scripture as any.

"The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought."

Posted by: Baillie at September 30, 2006 12:20 PM

But it is not as deadly as Holocaust denial, right? You lose your freedom to live as a free man (free speech) if ever you doubt the Holocaust.

Posted by: Rommel at September 30, 2006 1:03 PM

I wrote about the same thing last week. This whole country is paralyzed when a white person, especially the dreaded conservative white male, brings up anything involving race. The whole Senator Allen thing is a perfect example.

My favorite part about the whole controversy are the a**holes who say "That word has never been a part of my vocabulary." Give me a break.

Posted by: Jeff Lemmon at September 30, 2006 6:03 PM

I'm sure many of the same people that go bonkers when they hear accusations that a white right-winger said the "N" word many moons ago, listened to the John Lennon/Yoko Ono 1972 hit "Woman is the Nigger of the World". So in this Humpty-Dumpty world, the meaning of a word depends on who uses it!

Posted by: Tom TB at October 1, 2006 1:58 AM

In his book, "Sinisterism," Bruce Walker writes that one of the primary goal of the sinisterists in the US (communists, neo-Marxists, socialists, Clintonistas and the Democrat Party of today) is to capture the English language and create a confusing means of communication that resorts to euphemisms, reinterpretations, and even ownership of the language. Only a Black person or a liberal can use the word "nigger," Look at Sen. Robert Byrd using the term on Fox News Channel -- did anyone hear one black leader call for his resignation? And Byrd was a Klansman and a segregationist.

Juxtapose his treatment with that of Sen. Trent Lott, who made a statement that all of us knew was designed to blow smoke up Strom Thurmond's butt, saying things would be better today if Thurmond -- who ran for president as a segregationist Dixiecrat -- had been elected president.

Lott had to apologize over 100 times and stepped down as the leader of his party in the Senate.

The problem is, as I see it, that there are too few real conservatives in the GOP. The Democrat-news media attack machine goes into action and the leaders of the Republican Party fold like cheap cameras.

There are a few men in the GOP who can be counted on to fight the good fight -- men such as John Cox, who's the first Republican to throw his hat in the ring for 2008. But it's a certainty that the sinisterists in the GOP will attempt to destroy his campaign. Hopefully, the new media will be powerful enough to initiate a counter-attack during the 2008 primary season.

Posted by: Nathan Tabor at October 1, 2006 9:33 AM

Mr.Vanderleun: I have always wondered about the origins of certain words such as DENIGRATE. It appears to be a combination word. The prefix "De-"
added to a word changes the meaning of the word to
the 180 degree opposite of its original meaning.
Consider,for instance,"water" and "dewater". Am I being confused by spelling and pronunciation? It seems there ought to be a word, "nigrate", which has a positive meaning, since "denigrate" has a negative connotation. My WEBSTER is silent.

The "P" word in WASP has two meanings depending upon its' pronunciation: religious practices on the one hand,and dis-agreement on the other. In this case, I believe there should be one pronunciation: PRO TESTant. The other way,
PROT es TANT, obscures the fact that the meaning
is exactly the same.

Posted by: Scattershot at October 1, 2006 4:16 PM

When the media went so far out of its way to claim that "macaca" is a racist term, never mind that Allen doesn't speak Portuguese, I knew this wasn't really about racism.

This is biblical; making a man an offender for a word uttered 30 years ago. I think this will backfire on the Post, however. I can't imagine there are many Virginians who are thinking the same thing as Vanderleun.

Posted by: AST at October 2, 2006 9:08 PM

When I was seven years old, I was thrust into the strange predicament of being the only white kid in a Mexican school. I spoke no Spanish- no one there spoke English. Every day was war. If I fought back, I was punished when I came home for not "turning the other cheek".

I experienced more racism in one day than many of today's blacks, (uh, African-Americans, ?, what is today's "preferred nomenclature"? it's hard to keep up) do in a lifetime.

I admired Dr. King. As a child, I listened to his speeches and knew here was a messenger of God, an annointed one, speaking. Listening to his speaches still moves me to tears. They were tears of inspiration. Now, they are probably tears of loss- loss of a dream.

When I moved back to the States, I thought I could be part of the movement to end racism. I really did. Then, I realized that I would forever be judged by the color of my skin, not the content of my character. It didn't matter what I had experienced, because blacks in this country have a monopoly on being the victims of racism. ("Lord, hep me thru the day.")

I am a white male, therefore, I MUST be racist. I'm just too dumb to know it yet.

I still hold out hope. Some day, we will see the purity of Dr. King's dream fulfilled. Until then, I can never belong to that club, the club of people who are committed to ending racism, because I am white.

Posted by: Foxy Wizard at October 5, 2006 9:08 AM

Isn't it interesting that the liberal witch of a reporter asked Senator Allen about his Jewish background. What a witch she is--and she'll rise high in the MSM. Once again shows how the media is nothing other than the electronic wing of the coalition of scum, slime, filth, vermin and manure that is the Democ-Rat Party.

Posted by: D.S. Levine at October 12, 2006 6:06 PM
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