Ok my brothers and sisters I know this doesn't relate to religion so much but it is something that should get us all thinking about the way black people use the 'N' word. Are we dissin our past and perpetrating in our own oppression or are we merely stealing back a word that has been used against it? This is Def Poet Julian Curry and this is a real hard hitting poem and maybe it can help you make up your mind.
Eliot was a bigoted right-wing asshole, but he could write. But someone who deploys the N-word as a term of familiarity is going to impress other people as an ignorant jackass before the little else he has to say will be understood.
Ralph, no matter who wrote it or the why or even being bigoted right winged or religious have to do with "our" goals of enlightenment. A persons views are not "Our" views but we are all in this together. I am not arguing a point, but rather saying that if young people are shut down or out of "our" conversations how are we to ever reach them...????
I for one do to listen to a lot of young people, their music and their poetry to just learn from them and some have no "training" but do have ideas or sound solutions. If we listen to them we can learn from lots of people we disagree with or don't embrace their ideas. peace!
As I said before I am not a write of words, but the speaker of them and try as I may I just cannot get them to do the same things as when I speak them, sorry to so untrained in this area.
Pontius, thank you so much for your post. As a white British woman, I have had my reservations about this word but felt I was not part of the demographic whose opinion mattered. I hate the word and all it's connotations. I live in Liverpool, the beginning and end of the slave trade in Britain and our entire maritime wealth was built on that trade. It disgusts me that a word which has such a vile history can be used so nonchalantly. As a teacher of young black men, I also struggle challenging their language. Thank you for giving me a tool to do it.