Monday, June 9, 2014

The 'N' Word

Ted (Circa 1995)

I was sitting comfortably in my big fluffy chair, half aware of the baseball game on television and halfway asleep, when Mark came sputtering into the living room. The pitch of his voice had raised almost to the point where only dogs could hear it and was punctuated with bits of spittle flying across the room.
            "Look... come in here and look.... I can't believe it...  "
            "Um, what? What can't you believe?" I said, startled back into the real world.
            "And I voted for him... nigger, he called people nigger.. "
And with that I followed Mark back to his computer screen where he showed me the news story.
"Wilton Manors commissioner uses racial slur in road rage incident" 
I sat down and read the article. It was about one of our commissioners, Ted Galatis, and how he had got into a confrontation with some black people in a supermarket parking lot. The argument escalated into a moving confrontation as the commissioner drove off with the car load of black people following him. When they got to his house more arguing ensued and in a fit of rage our commissioner called somebody a nigger.
            Now there are a number of problems with this whole scenario. First of all, getting into a road rage situation in a parking lot. Don't do that if you are an elected official, and don't do that period no matter who you are. This is Florida, the state with the stand your ground gun law, the state that passed a law allowing you to fire warning shots at people, the state that allows you to bring your gun into a bar. This is Florida, just shut the fuck up and walk away when somebody wants to argue. Secondly, if you are black, do not get into an argument with a white guy and follow him to his house. See above for the reason that would not be a good idea. And lastly, if you are a white guy, do not ever, under any circumstances, call somebody a nigger. That goes doubly if you are an elected official because you are supposed to be representing all of your constituents. When you are boiling mad and can't think of what to say that would cut deeply, don't go for the word nigger, or faggot, or wop, or spic, or any other cheap shot that dehumanizes somebody. If you don't have the intellectual capacity to argue without going down to that level you probably shouldn't be getting into arguments with carloads of black people. Which brings me back to Ted Galatis the commissioner. He is either the bravest man in town, or the dumbest, because he called a bunch of black people nigger to their face.  Every white person knows you only say that when black people aren't around.

1 comment:

  1. I saw that article when it first came out and wondered how soon we would hear the phony apology. If it flies out of your mouth "under stress" it is too available in your brain.