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Cary Williams sees complexity in Cooper’s slur

031413-cary-williams-600 AP

The use by Eagles receiver Riley Cooper of the “N” word has sparked a broader debate for some regarding the notion that whites should never use a term that some African-Americans routinely use when addressing each other.

Here’s the easy answer:  That’s just the way it is.  And it’s not that hard to understand or process.

For the race that was responsible for slavery and decades of bias and prejudice that still lingers in the hearts and minds of far more people than they would ever admit, uttering that term harkens back to times now incomprehensible to those who accept the inherently American concept that all men (and women) are created equal.

It really wasn’t all that long ago, in the grand scheme of things, that racism was an accepted practice, in the sports world and beyond.  And so for those who belong to the race that was responsible for such an extended pattern of racial discrimination and animosity, the word is taboo.

That’s just the way it is.

Many believe the word should be taboo for all races.  Cooper’s teammate, cornerback Cary Williams, addressed that point on Thursday.

“[A]t the end of the day, we look at . . . rap artists [and] some people in the locker room, that word gets tossed around,” Williams said, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com.  “And what I think about my grandmother and my great-grandmother having to endure being called that name . . . .  We as a black community sometimes pounce on somebody who uses it in a derogatory way when there are times in the black community when we use it freely.”

Some are warping that logic into an excuse for people like Cooper to use the word.  Williams’ point is that no one should be using it.

“I think there’s no place for that word in anybody’s language, in anybody’s mouth or off anybody’s tongue, whether you’re black, white, green, purple, blue,” Williams said.  “It’s still the same meaning, it’s still a harsh word.”

He’s right.  Still, pointing out that African-Americans use the word should never be an excuse for other races to use it.

Perhaps incidents like this will help the word evolve into a term that when used among African-Americans sparks the same shock and stigma as it does when people of other races use it.  Forty or fifty years ago, it didn’t generate the same shock and stigma it now does when used by whites.

Maybe in forty or fifty years, it will when used by anyone.

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96 Responses to “Cary Williams sees complexity in Cooper’s slur”
  1. vbe2 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:01 AM

    Where is the ‘outrage’ over DeSean Jackson using the same racial slur?

    Where’ the ‘outrage’ over DeSean Jackson using the gay slurs against a fan a couple of years ago?

    Where’s the ‘outrage’ over LeSean McCoy’s treatment and slurs of the woman that he impregnated?

  2. saintsfan26 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:07 AM

    Meanwhile, the Washington REDSKINS, a team named during the days when racism was accepted, just gained an advantage over a division rival for using a racial slur. Oh the hypocrisy.

  3. pudgalvin says: Aug 2, 2013 11:09 AM

    What does desean Jackson or lesean McCoy have to do with this? There was plenty of outrage over the things they said and did. So stupid. Only the poor white guy is persecuted. Us white guys sure have it rough, don’t we?

  4. blacknole08 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:10 AM

    He is right. The word is inherently racist so how is it a term of endearment? No one should use the word!

  5. cajunaise says: Aug 2, 2013 11:10 AM

    Quote: “Some are warping that logic into an excuse for people like Cooper to use the word. Williams’ point is that no one should be using it.”

    **

    Bingo.

    (This quote alone might cut the comments in here down by half.)

  6. sarcasm says: Aug 2, 2013 11:11 AM

    The word is offensive. There is no way around it.

    I’ve seen black kids call other black kids that word instead of a-hole, or something similar to show displeasure in the other person. They took offense to it.

    When some people use it freely, whether in every day activities or on tv/radio, video/etc. It’s not going to go away.

    I know there are words/terms that set me off no matter who says it. There is a girl at work that hates the b-tch word. You could call her a number of other things and she’s fine, but call her that and she’s wanting to claw your eyes out.

    Each person has words that can do that for them.

    It’s an unfortunate situation.

  7. steelbloggin says: Aug 2, 2013 11:13 AM

    Preach Cary! You can’t have it both ways, make EVERYONE accountable for using that word, period!

  8. beavertonsteve says: Aug 2, 2013 11:14 AM

    “For the race that was responsible for slavery”

    What an absolutely ignorant and race-baiting statement. “Slavery” pre-dates written records and has been practiced by every race and by cultures throughout the world.

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your opinion though.

  9. mrshill0905 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:15 AM

    Riley is such a distraction, his skill set doesn’t match all this attention he is receiving. Release the Bum!

  10. nickster31 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:16 AM

    My hat is off to Cary Williams for this statement.

    For the first time, I have heard that, “whether you’re black, white, green, purple, blue,” .

    I am a 41 year old white guy. I was listening to my iphone with my headphones in last week to a DMX song. My 12 year old daughter hits me in the arm and tells me “I can’t say that word”.

    I agree 100% with him. If the word can cause so much of an issue that a white guy could lose his job over it? If there is certain music I can’t sing along with?

  11. logicalvoicesays says: Aug 2, 2013 11:16 AM

    The Burgundy and Gold BEATDOWN is imminent for the green clown show. #getusedtolastplace

  12. fancyleague says: Aug 2, 2013 11:17 AM

    It’s hard to believe with camps all around the league in full swing that the only thing to talk about is this overblown BS.

    Riley Cooper hears that word a hundred times a day on the field and in the locker room. He’s probably been called it more times than he can count. Heck, if aliens came to planet Earth and observed our culture without knowing any of the history, they would assume that word is the preferred term for blacks among blacks, and they’d wonder why so many whites insult blacks by not using their preferred term.

  13. raiderufan says: Aug 2, 2013 11:18 AM

    I don’t care if African Americans want to use that word relentlessly towards each other on the street or in homes. It looks and sounds extremely ignorant but that is a right they have that I’ll support and you can even say other races can’t use it in the same setting. Fine with me.

    We are not talking about just out in society here. You are talking about taking a mans job and his money. If that is the standard then it should be set for EVERY race in that setting and it is not. I stated yesterday that Tyler Eifert used the word “regularly” to describe how often it’s said in locker rooms for the teams he’s been on.

    That is a very real double standard. I don’t excuse him using that word in anyway. I find it disgusting. But you can’t have gray area in a rule that takes this much from a man for actions on his own time that you don’t even enforce against other men while on the teams actual time let alone his own time. Black or White.

  14. blacknole08 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:18 AM

    And I hate when the slavery card is played. Our generation was not enslaved! At all! Stop with that nonsense! Its just ignorant!

  15. bigdon76 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:20 AM

    It is not against the law to use any word unless you are threatning yourself or others. Until this word is a criminal offense you are just breaking everyones freedom of speech rights. Can some one let me know how many times jay z the sports agent has used this name just on his new album.as a native american I will continue to say what ever I want whether the public like it or not.

  16. jawslsp says: Aug 2, 2013 11:20 AM

    I think it’s silly and irresponsible for people to assume based on the color of your skin whether your grandparents or great grandparents were slaves or slave owners. I know my great grandparents were crushing grapes and breaking their backs in Italy when all this was going on. And I also know plenty of dark skinned people who are from the islands that are not descendants of slaves. There are hateful and derogatory words for every class and group of people, maybe it’s time we try to teach people to be a little nicer and stop crucifying people for words.

  17. ptdennis says: Aug 2, 2013 11:21 AM

    I was listening to Dino Costa last night, who is half Italian/half Irish. He said “ginny”[sic?] was an Italian slur. I never knew that. His point was, that he uses it but it doesn’t bother him and that we just allow too many words to become offensive. I don’t mind salty language and in fact, you get to tell the content of one’s character by their actions and the words they use and how they use them.

  18. fatguystrangler says: Aug 2, 2013 11:21 AM

    If any of the people whose virgin ears are so offended that this type of behavior or thought process exists, get real. I’m sure there are plenty of players in the league, any ethnicity, who are think racist thoughts, drop racial epithets, or plain hate people of whatever color. Cooper was caught on camera. This misplaced outrage is laughable. Not all people like everyone, for whatever reason. It’s human nature!

  19. tannethrill says: Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM

    Well said. If you find it to be disgusting to hear that from the mouth of Cooper then you should find it disgusting and frankly even more insensitive from the mouth of another African American.

    At the end of the day if it’s just a word then you don’t understand what it represents to others with a deeper understanding and memory of it.

    One of the biggest positives we’ve accomplished as a society in recent history is racial equality. There’s a long way to go and if you want to contribute then refrain from using the word regardless of your skin color. Removing the er and adding an a doesn’t help either.

    The use of the word outside of historical context is insulting to anyone who has had to hear it in a threatening manner past, present or future…alive or dead.

    #listentothegoodvoiceinyourhead

  20. brettfavresmidget says: Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM

    As the white father of an adopted black son, I struggle with this topic. I began reading numerous opinions on both sides of this issue, among others, when the wife and I decided to adopt. Complexity doesn’t even begin to describe this particular issue. To everyone who has an opinion, I hope you also have an open mind…discourse on this topic will move nowhere unless we can give each other room to move and grow. I appreciate Carey’s opinion, because I happen to agree with it. I also appreciate the fact that Florio’s overarching opinion on the matter is accurate, IMO, as well. To move forward, we have to be willing to move through this. It’s not going away, because it is an issue, whether some are tired of hearing about it or not.

  21. peopletrains says: Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM

    He’s right. Vocabulary isn’t exclusive. No one should be saying it.

  22. leroyquimby says: Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM

    I guess white people want to be able to use the word without consequence. I don’t understand the venom towards the double standard either. As a black man I can’t catch a cab in NYC and I get followed around in retail stores by employees. Get over it. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

  23. nagaswan says: Aug 2, 2013 11:24 AM

    Was he an english major with a Post Modern focus? No? Maybe that’s why he doesn’t understand why black people say it.

  24. briandorry55 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:25 AM

    Bravo. Williams is spot on.

    Suggesting that it is okay for one race of people to say a word (a WORD…all use of words is protected by our First Amendment rights)…but not okay for another, is the epitome of racism.

  25. jetslakersfan says: Aug 2, 2013 11:28 AM

    The guy made a mistake. It time to move on. If he is a bigot that his right just like a person who gay.

  26. blackandbluedivision says: Aug 2, 2013 11:28 AM

    I’ve never seen one word completely cripple a race.

    It’s about respect too. There are women who love calling each other the b-word or the c-word all the time. Does that mean that men can go around calling random strange women the same and they be okay with it? No.

    Oh and we’re not all the same. I’m black and I don’t like using the n-word nor do I like hearing it. Don’t call me that word (it has happened) and tell me that “well black people use that word all the time to each other.” Well, hey I’m not Joe Blackperson. We don’t all think it’s okay. You should respect me and at least ask first.

    There are broader issues in this world, that deal with race, than the use of one word.

    People fail to realize that the Jim Crow Era ended in about 1964. There are people still alive that at one point in their lives were segregated. People parents, grandparents, great-grandparents.

    It’s not easy for everybody to just stop and forget that.

  27. CKL says: Aug 2, 2013 11:28 AM

    I agree that slur along with all others should not be used by anyone.

    I am also glad that Williams made the point that it was his grandparents who really experienced the full on hatred of that word. That generation was the one that went through the era before civil rights. Not a single person of his generation has experienced anything remotely like what people did pre civil rights.

    Thinking someone is a jerk for using a word they shouldn’t is not something that should be a federal offense; however, and talked more about as an insult to a race than say…the fact that black on black violence is a huge problem for that race. A word is not a gun or a knife or even a plastic spork. It’s a WORD. DEEDS will always >>>words.

  28. iamedreed says: Aug 2, 2013 11:29 AM

    i don’t think that the fact black players use the term all the time excuses what he said, i just think its rather discriminatory to make such a huge deal out of it ONLY when a white guy says it

    if it truly is so hurtful, then NOBODY should be using it

    and im tired of hearing people complain about slavery and racism who werent even born during that time

  29. Kaz says: Aug 2, 2013 11:31 AM

    He’s right. No race should use the word. But what caucasion people don’t realize is when they use the word (because racial injustice against African Americans really hasn’t been that long in the grand scheme of things) you have to wonder if their parents/grandparents/greatgrandparents all of whom may still be alive used the word. And their use of it was likely very different then how black people use it today. So you do kind of look at them suspicious.

    Caucasian people love to act like they’re a minority now, and that they’ve experienced racism. They think they really experience it…. But they’d be hurt if their parents and grandparents suffered through what many of ours did. Dogs sicked on them, lynched, burned, couldn’t go to same schools, use same bathrooms, beat, raped, feared for their lives etc. They want all the “glory” that they perceive come from the claim, but certainly wouldn’t put their family through what African American families have gone through in order to understand it.

  30. bigdon76 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:33 AM

    Being called a name that is derogatory to put down or make fun of ones skin color is not ok. Change the name redskins already.#amioffsubject

  31. crazecracker says: Aug 2, 2013 11:34 AM

    This is a damn joke. I even (finally) created myself a user name so I could comment on this. My username has the name ‘cracker’ in it. How many times has a black person used this term to describe a white person? We don’t know, because the media doesn’t go bananas every time they hear the word.

    I am not, by any means, saying the N word is acceptable practice. However, (If you are white) don’t you dare, even once, utter that word, because you will be persecuted for it. You can work with black folks who casually throw that word around, you can walk downtown or go to a bar (in Denver) and hear that word thrown around. But if you are WHITE don’t you dare say it.

    The double and triple and quadruple set of circumstances that people live by, or are ‘expected’ of a certain class is a joke. Uttering the term Florio? It is ‘uttered’ every day by that community. You can excuse it as not an excuse, but until this word is completely eliminated from society (black, white, red, blue, yellow), then no single person should face ramifications to the degree that Riley Cooper is facing right now.

    I have heard, and probably seen here, that he should be out of the league. Are you serious??? Ray Lewis, Mike Vick, Antonio Cromartie (and his 9 kids). Are those enough names, or should I continue?

  32. bwells31 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:34 AM

    I agree….It’s just as offensive as “peckerwood”, “honkey” or “cracker”….But when these slurs are used, it is not national news. Let’s get rid of all the racist terminology, and make sure they are all treated in the same regard.

  33. eagles512 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:35 AM

    Agreed! All should stop using it!!

  34. itssocoldinthed says: Aug 2, 2013 11:38 AM

    Thank you Cary Williams to have the courage to say what everyone is thinking

  35. thejuddstir says: Aug 2, 2013 11:38 AM

    I don’t use the N word but I think there are too many people in this world who have too thin of skin….including Florio. There are many terms that are offensive to a wide range of people but yet the very people who are offended by a particular term find it excusable to use terms like “bit*h, ho, cracker azz, nazi, redskins, etc. etc. As far as I am concerned, anyone who uses any of these derogatory terms when speaking of another, has zero right to suggest that a particular term is offensive to them. Trying to pretend that the “past” never happened is both naive and counter-productive to changing the future. I think Cary Williams explanation is right on point that no one should use the N word and Florio’s stated exception that it’s ok for blacks to use it is political in nature (wanting to please all parties without offending any) and very self-serving in the least.

  36. kracker315 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:38 AM

    This story is so overdone… Do anyone really believe that Carry Williams has never heard another one of his black teammates use that word??? You know he has… and he didn’t get all offended and do an interview with a news outlet about how bad it is. The meaning of the word is horrible… but this is a HUGE DOUBLE STANDARD! In no way should a man lose his job over this, especially when he sincerely apologized. If these guys would stop writing a new article about this every 5 minutes it would die down nationally and he could plea to his teammates. This story is getting more air time and articles than the Aaron Hernandez murder….. what does that tell you?

  37. alexseal says: Aug 2, 2013 11:39 AM

    e.x.a.c.t.l.y.

    Thank you Mr. Williams.

  38. broncosaddict says: Aug 2, 2013 11:41 AM

    That some can say it while others can’t is a double standard. People justify and exonerate the double standard by pointing to history.

    The foundation of racism is holding a double standard between one race and another. You are not treating someone as an equal nor are you allowing them the same rights and freedoms you yourself enjoy.

    History should be learned from, not used as an excuse for behavior or actions. You cannot hold an individual or a people as a whole accountable for wrongs performed by other people.

    As long as we do not hold everyone to the same standard we will always have racism.

  39. tmar1961 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:42 AM

    The use by Eagles receiver Riley Cooper of the “N” word has sparked a broader debate for some regarding the notion that whites should never use a term that some African-Americans routinely use when addressing each other.

    Here’s the easy answer: That’s just the way it is.
    ————————————————————

    That in and of itself is absurd, talk about a double standard. NO ONE should use the word regardless of your skin color. Its a racial slur and derogatory; THATS THE WAY IT IS.
    While your at it, go ahead and lump cracker, redneck, spic and countless other words in the same category of racial slurs that should never be used by anyone. Me personally when some ignorant person calls me redneck or cracker it has never been a compliment and I “politely” tell them that, to me, its the same as me calling them the N word and would they like me to start addressing them that way; you should see the INSTANT outrage that comes before the logic of it sinks in. So no its not the way it is and its HIGHLY IRRESPONSIBLE for NBC to even say that.

  40. atlfan31833 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:43 AM

    Cooper is spot on! No one should be using it. To perpetuate how wrong it is that Cooper said it because he is white is the problem. The word is offensive no matter who says it or how it is used in the sentence. Period

  41. peytonsneck18 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:43 AM

    some of u should watch ROOTS and youll see how ugly that word is and who started it

  42. sactogary says: Aug 2, 2013 11:45 AM

    The ease with which the word flew out of his mouth certainly says something terrible about him as a person, BUT … when selected people are drummed out of the NFL for using “hurtful words” while all kinds of other crap is ignored or forgiven, our society has officially jumped the shark.

  43. gopblows says: Aug 2, 2013 11:48 AM

    HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE:

    Whites don’t use the “N” word.

    Blacks don’t use the “C” word.

    End of story.

  44. billyb1970 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:49 AM

    Darn near every one of us have used a racial word before, I work with black guys that use the N word all the time, does not mean we are racist, sometimes people say things they dont mean, get over it, he is friends with black guys so id think he has nothing against blacks

  45. mcwest1 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:51 AM

    Count me educated. I never differentiated between the word ending in “a” or “er” Either pronunciation is derogatory in my eyes.

    What I don’t think AAs understand is that when the word is tossed around freely in song, in conversation , when addressing each 9ther, it desensitizes the word for many people. Even for those who think and feel it is taboo.

    I always hated the “F” word to refer to gays. Having worked with a gay guy and hearing that word getting tossed around on a daily basis and him joking back and forth with the other guys, it desensitized the word for me. And I found myself using it, I’m ashamed to say. As I didn’t like hearing it come out of my mouth, I quit using it long before it became an acceptable word for me.

    I’m of the opinion that all races should stop using the “N” word, whether it ends in an “a” or an “er” And all races should take offense no matter the context in which the word is used.

  46. gopblows says: Aug 2, 2013 11:51 AM

    The bigger question isn’t why Whites aren’t allowed to use the “N” word, the bigger question is WHY DO Whites want to use the “N” word?

  47. jack3dsd says: Aug 2, 2013 11:52 AM

    The “that’s just the way it is” way of thinking leads to no progress or advancement

  48. elgranderojo79 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:53 AM

    I appreciate all of the discussion regarding this issue. Cary Williams has a very valid and enlightened view.

    With that said I think it is time for Florio to stop calling for Cooper’s head on a platter. It seems he won’t be happy until the Eagles cut him. That is a decision to be made by the Eagles based on how it affects their team.

    I think this is a perfect opportunity for the players on the team to discuss the issue and hopefully all will grow to be better from it. Forgiveness is much more powerful than hatred. I think Cooper has been very contrite and probably needs to address the team and ask for their forgiveness. If he is genuine hopefully forgiveness will follow and we can all make one more step in the right direction from the racism of our past.

  49. kelmcc says: Aug 2, 2013 11:54 AM

    Where is the “outrage” over the people who are “outraged” there is no “outrage” over the African Americans who use slurs?

    Where is the “outrage” over the “outrage” over the people who are “outraged” there is no “outrage” over the African Americans who use slurs?

    I love it when these comment board commenters awkwardly try to justify bigotry.

  50. tannethrill says: Aug 2, 2013 11:57 AM

    leroyquimbly…

    If it makes you feel any better I can’t catch a cab either and I get followed in stores too and I’m a white guy :-(

    My girlfriend Tanesha is with me all the time and we just don’t get it lol

  51. Deb says: Aug 2, 2013 12:03 PM

    Whether it’s the Cooper footage or Paula Deen’s court admissions, I can’t help wondering how that word rolls so easily from the tongue of some whites when they’re angry.

    I’m Southern. My elderly dad grew up in a North Alabama town that’s still virtually segregated. Yet I’ve never heard him utter that word in any circumstance. It was never used in our home. Yes, I’ve heard extended family say the word–and always saw my parents disapproval. That word has never come out of my mouth in any situation because I was raised with an understanding that it’s not acceptable. Nor would it be acceptable if I were black. We shouldn’t have to debate this. But we also live in a society where women routinely call each other the b-word and the c-word. Apparently self-flagellation is the new normal.

  52. redandgoldenbears says: Aug 2, 2013 12:05 PM

    I agree with cary williams that no one should say the word HOWEVER you come off like a bigot trying to compare a black person saying n….i….g……g……..a and the version with the ER on the end. Regardless if u understand it or not there is a difference. Had riley said the 1st version, he would have caught some flack but it wouldn’t have been nearly this bad

    There are double standards in life we all have to deal with. Men can sleep around, women can’t. Women can call other women the b word but as a man if you do that it looks bad. Rich people get away with waaaaay more than the average joe. Who cares if its right, thats how it is

  53. djvicdogg says: Aug 2, 2013 12:05 PM

    We’re talking about two different words. One ends in G-G-A and the other one ends in G-E-R. There is a difference. I’ve never heard black people use the one that ends in G-E-R.

  54. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Aug 2, 2013 12:05 PM

    Here’s the deal, Riley cooper isn’t responsible for slavery. Whites aren’t burdened by the sins of southern fathers(especially if you are from the north like me whose family did the bleeding for said freedoms)

    You can replace the word, but it won’t do any good. Swear words come and go, just like PC terms just like “clinic for the feeble-minded” used to be for mental health centers, the word “retardation” belongs in between.

    The problem isn’t the word, it’s the power and feelings behind it. Ban a word for an entire race? Wow. How feeble-minded our groupthink is(see what I did there?). It’s a bandaid on a bullet wound.

    We need to heal as a nation. You can replace a word but the feelings of resentment will just put a new word in its place. We need to start a dialogue as a nation about the root causes behind the word and fix them. On a side note, a place to start would be to take a cue from the French, it is illegal for their government to collect data on race, so there are only guesstimates to how many of each color there are. There are all, regardless weather black or white, French. There is something beautiful about that.

  55. fargovikesfan says: Aug 2, 2013 12:05 PM

    leroyquimby says: Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM

    I guess white people want to be able to use the word without consequence.
    _________________________________

    Um, no… its not that “white” people want to use it, its the fact that if the use of that word causes such an uproar, then NOBODY should use it.

  56. richcranium2112 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:06 PM

    Thanks Cary. It’s a conundrum. Rather than say it is one black person to another’s “term of endearment,” let’s stop it. Plain and simple.

    Don’t glorify the rappers and others who perpetuate it. Make them pariahs.

    Why can’t we just get along? – Rodney King (RIP)

  57. crubenst says: Aug 2, 2013 12:06 PM

    The word will never so away. So instead we should figure out a way to deal with it. Bottom line, the word says more about the person who utters it. IF you use it in a derogatory word it reveals you as a racist. Period. If you use it as an endearing term amongst friends, you may not be racist, but you run the risk of making your black friends think you are racist or at least view them differently. Thats it. If you use the word, deal with the consequence.

  58. dankil13 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:10 PM

    I don’t care if he didn’t use the “N” word but said I will kick every black guy’s ass here, he still comes off as an ignorant racist. He still would be in the same situation. I find it hard to cheer for someone so ignorant towards others, whether it is black people, women, gays, etc

  59. prmpft says: Aug 2, 2013 12:12 PM

    Well – in light of some of the self proclaimed deep thoughts on the topic from CW and respondents here – if you want something to go away, ignore it. You want something derived from someone else’s suffering or someone else’s misdeeds. I would say that the folk who have watched the progress SQUANDERED as it has been to this point would be disappointed to say the least. All this has become is a (perceived) power grab – not unlike looting and killing when things do not go the way folks want them to go. You want terms to disappear and impressions to change – in the words of Coach Ditka – STOP IT!

  60. djax10isthebomb says: Aug 2, 2013 12:13 PM

    The first comment on this thread is dead-on accurate.Such a double standard in this country and through the media.

  61. schmitty2 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:15 PM

    leroyquimby says:Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM

    I guess white people want to be able to use the word without consequence. I don’t understand the venom towards the double standard either. As a black man I can’t catch a cab in NYC and I get followed around in retail stores by employees. Get over it. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

    You don’t understand the venom towards double standards?? How about it’s ok in society for an African American to say racial things towards white people and its laughed off. Or the fact there are numerous black colleges in this country, black groups like NAACP, Black music award shows etc. Now just imagine if it was white people trying to do these things. Look, I understand the racism towards African Americans and think it’s disgusting and do feel for you when you are treated poorly but let’s pipe down with the “whoa is me…my life is surrounded by racism” talk.

  62. bigd9484 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:19 PM

    Hear Hear. Great response and one we should all heed. The only way to make racism go away is to start treating everyone of every color equally. Slaying Cooper while others of a different race are allowed to sling it all day long with no consequence keeps reminding everyone that the color barriers are still very much up. Its 2013, time to stop collecting race data for legal citizens. Time to stop using it as basis for special treatment (both ways). Time to stop with the BET, NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc. The more people who are around that constantly remind us of the color barrier, and use it for personal gain, the longer it’s going to stick around.

  63. sparky151 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:26 PM

    Forty years ago the word was impolite and marked the user as low class. Nowdays black people are basically expected to attack a white guy who uses it. That gives the word too much power in my opinion.

    Besides what will Samuel L Jackson do if the word is banned?

  64. jhisler says: Aug 2, 2013 12:31 PM

    He’s right nobody should use it. And punishing 1 person for it simply because hes not the right color is the completely wrong message. To say “thats just the way it is” hurts any chance of equality. If its said, it should be punished.

  65. timothyinbrazil says: Aug 2, 2013 12:31 PM

    There is only one race, it is called human.

    You cannot please everyone all the time, but there are times when you have to go out of your way to try. I think it is a dangerous think to strike words out of use. What happens to the historical context, how the word has changed over time…for sure it does not mean today what it mean yesteryear, even yesterday.

    Words have meaning based on all sorts of things.
    What is someone said “I am going to beat the ______ out of all these slaves…”

    I know a lot of people that consider themselves a slave to an addiction, to a job, to __________. Are you saying something about the person’s worth as a human being when using a particular word, or their context in a given situation.

    If someone called another person a piece of refuse, of waste, of that other word, then that seems to be in a much worse position of being a salve.

    As some pointed out in this article, slavery existed way before the USA was a dream in the minds of the founding fathers, and has been throughout the whole world, based on all sorts of reasons.

    What this tells me is that there is total unrest in the population as a whole about what slavery was, and what it caused, and how that trickle down effect has placed certain groups in the positions they find themselves born into.

    If you have some doubts on this issue, read the book of Philemon in the NT, then make a comment.

  66. letemplay says: Aug 2, 2013 12:31 PM

    Cary has the right of it. The word needs to go away completely. Equality needs to be equality according to the definition of the word. Not this, it’s okay for some but not others, and that’s just the way it is BS! We need to rise above that as a united race of humans.

    It’s going to happen no matter what, since we have become a more global society. If nothing else, racism will breed itself out eventually. I wish I could be there to see it, but it’s probably a few generations away. It’s has to start somewhere.

  67. inallsincerity says: Aug 2, 2013 12:36 PM

    A drunk mind speaks a sober tongue…

    Having said that, my mother is 88 year’s young, from the South and she explained to me the origin’s of the N-word. You have the word Negro, which in Spanish means Black and the river Niger in Afrika, an area where many slaves came from. Poor whites in the South couldn’t enunciate these words correctly, hence the N-word was derived and the rest is history.
    Once I understood this, it’s hard for me to be offended by this word. In my honest opinion, if whites want to continue to perpetuate their ancestor’s ignorance, so be it…

  68. fdugrad says: Aug 2, 2013 12:37 PM

    I hope for Cooper’s sake he took advantage of that FINE educational opportunity within the ivy-covered halls of UF and obtained a marketable degree of some sort, because it is quite obvious to me that he will not survive this mess and his career as an NFL player on ANY team will shortly be over, perhaps before this Monday. Come to think of it, I have no idea what company in the business world would hire him, regardless of his degree. MAN, has he ever screwed up his VERY young life!

  69. leroyquimby says: Aug 2, 2013 12:37 PM

    Or the fact there are numerous black colleges in this country, black groups like NAACP, Black music award shows etc. Now just imagine if it was white people trying to do these things.
    ==========================
    White people did do those things. Did you ever stop and think why there are black versions of those things? It is because blacks weren’t allowed to go to universities! At one time it was illegal to teach them how to read.

  70. Kaz says: Aug 2, 2013 12:38 PM

    schmitty2 says:
    Aug 2, 2013 12:15 PM
    leroyquimby says:Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM

    I guess white people want to be able to use the word without consequence. I don’t understand the venom towards the double standard either. As a black man I can’t catch a cab in NYC and I get followed around in retail stores by employees. Get over it. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

    You don’t understand the venom towards double standards?? How about it’s ok in society for an African American to say racial things towards white people and its laughed off. Or the fact there are numerous black colleges in this country, black groups like NAACP, Black music award shows etc. Now just imagine if it was white people trying to do these things. Look, I understand the racism towards African Americans and think it’s disgusting and do feel for you when you are treated poorly but let’s pipe down with the “whoa is me…my life is surrounded by racism” talk.
    _________

    You do understand why this is right? It’s because of seperation laws. We weren’t allowed to join your schools, your churches etc. So we had to set up our own. Duh!

  71. blackmagic7 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:39 PM

    And that’s really my point. NO ONE should be using the word.

    But people are, the 35+ generation is going to have to understand that the term is recognized and glorified in many different forms of entertainment today. That is the truth. White people who would otherwise never even know the term hear it for 30 years in entertainment. That is the truth.

    Maybe he listened to Chris Rock?

    Everyone is subjected to the term and at a bare minimum associates. That is the sad truth. Cooper is practicing with black teammates on a daily basis is whole life. He has black friends in his corner who associate with him on a daily basis. I do not believe that this is something that should be a flash in the pan news topic because of the racial tension that truly does exist. Quite frankly, the reaction from the league is what is really important to me on this issue.

    We are talking grown men who have grown up a lot more diversified and emotionally invested than you or I breaking down the issue. Some teammates don’t think he is racist. Some teammates do. I think the debate really needs to be “What is racism?”

    You’ve got this Redskins arguement, where people are stone cold serious about it being an honorable term. People who have grown up being told and only understanding that for years. The same thing has ALREADY HAPPENED with this term in entertainment circles and society.

    The Redskins argument needs to be extended to the the n word and the entertainment industry:

    People are born, grow up, and die hearing the name Redskins used as a football team name. They aren’t told some racially hate-charged back story about the name, they are told it’s “out of respect” and “honorable.” They grow up told to respect it and die-hard fans simply do.

    People are born now and grow up hearing the N word used as something other than what makes it so ugly. They aren’t told some racial hate-charged explanation of the definition, they are told it’s “out of respect and honorable.” They grow up told to respect it, and people who don’t want to be deemed racist do.

    In political correct world, no one should be using the term. In the real world, a LINE needs to be drawn on “What is Rasicm?”

    Pull up Dave Chappelle sometime, after he quit his show, and listen to his reasoning. It’s a good start.

  72. broncosaddict says: Aug 2, 2013 12:43 PM

    tannethrill says:
    Aug 2, 2013 11:57 AM
    leroyquimbly…

    If it makes you feel any better I can’t catch a cab either and I get followed in stores too and I’m a white guy :-(

    My girlfriend Tanesha is with me all the time and we just don’t get it lol

    —————————
    This is not racism, this is a perception. You’ve already come with the answer (racism) and are interpreting the actions to fit your belief.
    This makes it very hard to identify actual acts of racism.
    If you followed the cabby and store detective’s and saw they only followed members of specific races, you could make a case of racism.

    When I go to a store without my wife, I see attractive women all over the place.
    When I go to a store with my wife, I hardly see any.
    My wife must be scaring them all off!! ….well no, its much more likely that I’m paying more attention to my surroundings when my wife is not present and am more aware of all the women.

    You probably do not pay attention to the store detective when you go without your girlfriend and dont notice being followed or watched.

  73. eezyxyz says: Aug 2, 2013 12:54 PM

    “For the race that was responsible for slavery…”

    I guess you mean the human race, since every single culture and ethnic group on the entire planet has a history of having engaged in slavery at some point in their history.

    You can’t fight ignorance with ignorance.

  74. naethom says: Aug 2, 2013 12:54 PM

    crazecracker I took the time to create an account too just so I could comment on this…

    I cannot believe some of the ignorance i’m reading in this thread…

    I don’t care if you’re “whether you’re black, white, green, purple, blue,” If you’ve never had the experience of walking down the street from school and have someone drive up and tell you ‘N get out the street!!’….Shut up! Never use the word and move on to the next thread! That is all!

    ________________________________

    Oh and drwbrsdmndsnxplntn, for the record northerners and southerners had slaves…just so you know and pretty much all of them were racist…js

  75. zxrated says: Aug 2, 2013 12:54 PM

    The thing that trips me out about offensive slurs in perceived racism, is all the “others” who want to feel they have a vote in judgement of the process afterwards. If your not the target victim you have no right to judge how those who have been insulted should feel.

    “I don’t use the “N” word because I always think of those who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.” –Oprah Winfrey

    Many want to cite the use of it by African Americans as hypocrisy. Most understand the A at the end of the word VS. the er. Schematics in buffoonery VS. hate that’s not acceptable either way in my book.

    Just because you hear ignorance doesn’t make it OK to repeat it!

  76. ningenito78 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:55 PM

    “Here’s the easy answer: That’s just the way it is. And it’s not that hard to understand or process.

    For the race that was responsible for slavery and decades of bias and prejudice that still lingers in the hearts and minds of far more people than they would ever admit, uttering that term harkens back to times now incomprehensible to those who accept the inherently American concept that all men (and women) are created equal.”

    Ok, first of all thank God for people like Cary Williams because that’s NOT just the way it is. If the word is so highly offensive, picking and choosing WHEN that word is highly offensive makes it seem a hell of a lot less offensive than it should be. And a couple of times referring to white people as the ‘race responsible for slavery’ is the EXACT type of thinking that makes words like that even exist. I’m not responsible for slavery. My family isn’t. My friends aren’t. Nobody alive in this country is, outside of maybe some fringe craziness, responsible for slavery. I’m not necessarily saying everybody needs to ‘move on’ but maybe just start keeping situations like this in context. For once.

  77. dyloacu71 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:57 PM

    White people use the term “Red-Neck” to describe themselves or others frequently. Imagine if Vick was Cooper and the N word was replaced with “Red-Neck”. Would there be this much support for him? Will as many of you forgive him? Would you still continue to say “It’s just a word”? Not likely.

  78. fancyleague says: Aug 2, 2013 12:59 PM

    @Kaz: Anyone with an Irish immigrant in their ancestry does have someone who suffered horrible bigotry, poverty, and abuse. They were dying by the boatload to end slavery while being little more than slaves themselves.

  79. godofwine330 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:03 PM

    I don’t use it, nor do I let anybody around me use it freely without saying something. I don’t care who you are, but you are going to respect me. I don’t want to hear, “I mean it like…,” or “There are Black people and there are…,” I used to make up the same lame excuses young people today do, that somehow I am changing the meaning.

    The word is vile. It always has been and always will be. You cannot change the meaning. People of my ilk use it, but as I said before, not around me. If I had ever heard a White person using it they would be checked, too, though no one has been bold enough to try it.

    The word should be banished from anyone using it, White, Black or any color.

  80. mancini199 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:07 PM

    This thing has gotten blown out of proportion. plenty of nfl players have commited crimes that get less press. Is their a big difference in what he said then calling women the b word, or using gay slurs or calling someone white boy? To me all these things are the same

  81. doubleogator says: Aug 2, 2013 1:24 PM

    Slavery ended 150 years ago. If people of all races learned their history, many blacks were sold into slavery by people of their own color. It’s 2013, the playing field has been made equal is all aspects of life, time to stop with playing the race card. If you don’t like the word then don’t use it among yourselves either, simple logic…

  82. Kaz says: Aug 2, 2013 1:25 PM

    fancyleague says:
    Aug 2, 2013 12:59 PM
    @Kaz: Anyone with an Irish immigrant in their ancestry does have someone who suffered horrible bigotry, poverty, and abuse. They were dying by the boatload to end slavery while being little more than slaves themselves.
    ______

    Fair enough. There were a lot of good non blacks during those days. No denying that.

  83. thejuddstir says: Aug 2, 2013 1:25 PM

    leroyquimby says:
    Aug 2, 2013 11:22 AM
    I guess white people want to be able to use the word without consequence. I don’t understand the venom towards the double standard either. As a black man I can’t catch a cab in NYC and I get followed around in retail stores by employees.”
    ==============================
    I have witnessed what you describe in your post, as I am one of “those store employees who follow people around in retail stores” but I don’t single out blacks but I do give extra attention to anyone with their pants down below their ass, a hoodie over their head (indoors) and acting suspicious…..no matter what color of their skin.

  84. siggtacular says: Aug 2, 2013 1:28 PM

    From a Ravens fan,

    Cary Williams isn’t that good. Wait and see Philly fans, wait and see.

  85. garrison1981 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:28 PM

    Williams is 100% right! It should not be used by anyone! That is the problem though when it’s thrown around so much in music and I’d bet in the locker room that it becomes part of speech! Like using the phrase,”that’s gay!” I know it’s ground upon also but I’ve heard my friends brother, who Is gay, use it the same as ppl do in everyday language! Words are word but can be fine one minute but offensive the next. Sad thing is that this slavery thing you bring up and say “Whites are responsible”! Do your homework! If I’m not mistaken the White man didn’t sell slaves to himself and it was the White man who ended slavery! Racist remarks like that is why racism still lives on today! We’re all Gods people and in time of war and terrisom it’s time we put this crap behind us and live friendly amongst all of us!

  86. evrybdyhas1 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:33 PM

    Just a reminder that the stain of slavery is not the burden of a single race as proffered in the basis of this article. History has shown that each race and culture has their own sins against other races and cultures including against each other. We do history or present day circumstances no benefit by substantiating present behavior with false information. Lets all respect one another and what makes us all different.
    Sticks and stones……

  87. winsaintswin says: Aug 2, 2013 1:36 PM

    I don’t have a problem with anyone saying whatever they would like, people can be cruel and sadistic, that’s life.

    However, your employer may feel another way, especially if it offends his sensibilities (read: potential loss of income). Obviously, the rappers who use this “N-word” are not offending their employers and Cooper did offend his.

    What people say it totally their own business, if you piss off your employer and they sanction you, well, sucks to be you…

  88. tannethrill says: Aug 2, 2013 1:51 PM

    broncosaddict…

    It was a joke. I figured the lol at the end made that point.

    The name is fake and the joke is that they’re following her and that my thoight process is sexist in that they must be following the male.

    Now I’ve had to explain the joke which ruins it. Thanks lol

  89. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 2, 2013 2:06 PM

    Then again, Cary also finds complexity in Kenny Chesney songs. Along with great depth, wisdom, profundity, and eternal truths.

  90. ptmt96 says: Aug 2, 2013 2:34 PM

    Well said Cary Williams. I concur “saintsfan26″ That should also be erased from the NFL. ***skins is just as bad.

  91. onlysane1intheroom says: Aug 2, 2013 2:35 PM

    leroyquimby says: Aug 2, 2013 12:37 PM

    Or the fact there are numerous black colleges in this country, black groups like NAACP, Black music award shows etc. Now just imagine if it was white people trying to do these things.
    ==========================
    White people did do those things. Did you ever stop and think why there are black versions of those things? It is because blacks weren’t allowed to go to universities! At one time it was illegal to teach them how to read.

    —————————-

    And now? How about today? Are blacks not allowed at the Grammys, or the Oscars, at Harvard or Yale? Seems to me that those segregated award shows are no longer needed, along with affirmative action. But we are really getting off the point here.

  92. screechdaddy says: Aug 2, 2013 3:08 PM

    Words should not be “banned” anymore than books should. It’s un-American. I don’t use it because I have no wish to hurt people, but I also do not like society telling me I do not have the freedom to express myself verbally, even if said expression makes me look like an ignoramus.

    The N-word has greater power to offend than any other ethnic slur for the simple reason that black culture GIVES it such power, when all it really does is express the ignorance of the speaker. Rather than elevate the word to such a powerful status, ALL evolved persons should simply take the higher road and not react AT ALL when it is used with the intent to offend, and simply take mental note of who used it, realize they have “issues,” and avoid their company until such time as they grow up, if ever.

    The solution to this problem is not to ban use of a word, but rather to raise the collective consciousness of the human race at large to the level where people no longer perceive other cultures as “better” or “less” than our own, and then such expressions simply fade into history, and whenever ignorance shows itself, we are quick to forgive, and just as quick to help the offending person with whatever issues caused them to behave that way in the first place.

  93. moemitch3 says: Aug 2, 2013 3:14 PM

    So I guess it would have been less racist if he said black people instead of the slur…..his actions were racist period

  94. deltaoracle says: Aug 2, 2013 3:39 PM

    Around here you can find lots of little bars, and if you stay in one long enough you’ll hear something like “Don’t pay any attention to him, he’s just a dumb Polack (or Kraut or Ole or whatever).” Everyone just laughs because they’re all European stock who’ve been going back and forth for years. If a black or Asian guy walked in and said the same thing after a few minutes, there’d definitely be trouble. Same word, but whose mouth it comes out of makes a big difference.

  95. raideralex99 says: Aug 2, 2013 6:14 PM

    One question … who sold AA into slavery …. HELLO it was their own people yet the white race gets the blame.
    It’s okay for the black race to have black slaves and use the N word but if a white person does it time to lynch them and hang them … lol.

  96. ptdennis says: Aug 2, 2013 8:40 PM

    @All … for the most part, I have seen an intelligent conversation but the comment from raideralex99 needs a comment.

    I don’t remember any African Americans sold into slavery by fellow African Americans. If you think about it, you may get it. If you don’t get it, just ask. Clue … African Americans didn’t sell African American’s into slavery. I know what you meant, which is *still* a poor argument, but you are wrong.

    In fact, I would say African American is a slur … if, as you use it, means slave.

    Thoughts, raideralex99 ?

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