A Different Perspective

January 17, 2013

Opinion

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CONCERNING DJANGO UNCHAINED: OPEN LETTER TO TARANTINO ABOUT N-WORD USAGE

By Attorney Roy Miller

Dear Mr. Tarantino,

First of all, I address you as Mr. and not Mrs. Knowing better; it would be disrespectful and inappropriate to do so. Words do make a difference. How we label people makes a difference. Conditioning youth to accept n-word usage is wrong. Consider the following.

One dark night hunters were in the woods and they saw something moving that they described as a beast, evil, and worthy to be killed. They made up a name to describe this evil beast and they shot him over and over again. When they went to claim the dead animal’s carcass, they found that it was not a beast that wandered in the night, but a man. The name given was never meant for a man, a child of God. The horrible name was meant for a beast without a God.

The n-word implies that my ancestors in slavery were beasts, not human and not children of God. Applying it to my race today indicates that we are descendants of beasts. That was an incorrect and unacceptable description of my ancestors during slavery and it is wrong to use against my people today.

The n-word has never been a medicine. It has always been a poison. A poisonous snake, begging to be petted and taken lightly. No, the n-word has never been a friend, always an enemy. It could never be a term of endearment. No matter how you pronounce the n-word or spell it, we still know what you mean.

The n-word was not created to apply to a child of God. It was meant to apply to a beast, an animal, something without a heart and without a God. God is and has always been our Father. Bastards we are not. The n-word classification made my ancestors worthy of rape, forced labor, limb dismemberment and lynching.

Angels from Heaven that were slaves and branded like animals say no. The n-word description of who they were and who we are will not do. I feel that, God says no!

To condition Black adults and youth to accept n-word usage is wrong. The n-word distances us from God. We are children of God. We are not a bastard race. We are not creatures worthy of slavery and death, based on our skin color. We are the descendants of Adam and Eve. Words are powerful and never has there been a word more disturbing and disrespectful to a child of God.

Just because hundreds of Black actors, musicians and icons agree with casual n-word usage, it does not make it right. When someone spits on you, you don’t pretend it’s cool rain and convince your children to also accept the spit as an act of endearment. Instead, you should always fight for respect and demand that the one that spits makes the adjustment. Resistance is important. Civil Rights cases, hate crime cases and discrimination cases depend on us showing that the n-word is unacceptable.

When I hear the n-word, I see a beautiful black baby that grew old in life and died and was called the n-word life long. When I hear the n-word, I see an aging black woman giving birth to the master’s child and both mother and child being called n-words. I see a Black father lynched for trying to protect his little girl from being raped and both being called n-words.

I have been to numerous Black history programs and Black History Museums. Never have I seen that it was necessary to teach the era of slavery and use the n-word, as you did in Django. Your casual use of the n-word and indication that this is just a word is wrong and unacceptable. My ancestors that died in slavery, marked as beast without God, demand an apology and we the descendants of those marked as inhuman also demand an apology. Your immediate response is requested. Black people that refer to each other with n-word usage are disrespectful to our ancestors and to our youth. For the people of all races that understand what I am saying but choose to say nothing, they must realize that there is power in silence. I am fighting for innocent children to have a chance to live and not be hindered by the mean things that we adults say and do. In 1994, God allowed me to become the first and only person to succeed at having the n-word deleted from a major dictionary. I feel like God is demanding that I stand now, even if every god that man has made comes against me and to always remember, men don’t make Gods…God made man. Do what is right. Let’s not condition innocent minded children to accept disrespect!

Sincerely,
Attorney Roy Miller

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