Stray thoughts that swirl...did you ever see the chris rock documentary "Good Hair"? It's a cutting (ha) investigation of black wimyn and hair. He interviews maya angelou, and she says that she spent her life refusing to straighten - until she turned seventy, that is! And chris avoids the obvious question - "Why did you start?" It made me pull my hair out (ha)! Did he feel too intimidated to ask?
Or maybe he did ask, but the answer ended up on the cutting room (ha) floor.
There is, by the way, a very good reason for why i was so taken with the chapelle method of dealing with the n word. I remember the most painful compliment i ever received - a sweet old lady told me she was so impressed that i never curse.
It wasn't true...i use "profanity" less than many, but i use it. And more to the point, intellectually i rejected the idea that words can be automatically bad. Any word can be good or bad, depending on intent. But to call a word automatically bad, is to give that word power over our emotions. It allows words to control us, rather than the other way around.
Just because i think things through, doesn't make me right. I'm open to being convinced that the chapelle method is wrong. But "blind spot" is a harsh way to describe what feels like a minuscule difference in tactics. Let's say that you and i and chris all decided in our youth that we needed to have a book in our heads, "How to Fight Racism". Over the course of our lives, our individual books have grown and changed. One chapter of these books would be "How to fight the language of racism". There are at least ten subsets of that chapter, and i suspect we agree on nine of them. We even agree on the word in general - in at least 99.9999% of social situations, that word has no place (in that regard, i'm a lot closer to your position than many in the black community).
I'm not saying the piece i wrote should be celebrated by the world. Maybe it just can't do what i intended it to do, in this world at this time. When i swing, i swing big. It's one of my strengths, and one of my weaknesses.
But i'm just saying, the racists of the world would do cartwheels to learn that chris is tearing me down because he and i disagree on a subset of a subset of a subset, when the far more important point is that he and i both hold the same book aloft.
Okay, enough release.
Thank you again for being there,