I want to make a quick statement, before discussing U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s ‘slip of the tongue’ a few days ago. My reasons are due to comments submitted over the past few weeks and months from individuals who accused me of something I passionately fight against; biases, discrimination, racism and prejudices.
Accuse me of a bias towards beautiful women. Accuse me of a bias towards cute baby girls. I’m guilty as charged. If I’m aware of something or made aware of it and feel its cause for me to say something about it, I will. I don’t claim that Republicans are eternally wrong or Democrats are forever right. I honestly strive to be fair and consider others. Politically I may align on the side of Democrats more often than Republicans, but it doesn’t mean I do not consider Republicans or agree or defend them when unfairly attacked.
Now onto Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s ‘slip of the tongue’. Please make note, this is how you not launch your bid for Senate.
While relying on a telephone conversation Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) used the opportunity to gain some political points by criticizing her fellow White Female Democrat and soon-to-be Senate opponent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Rep. Maloney said, “I got a call from someone from Puerto Rico who said Sen. Gillibrand went to Puerto Rico and came out for English-Only.” Now to some that’s not offensive, but English-Only Amendments says something all together different to our fellow citizens that English is their 2nd language. But that’s the nice part of the conversation. She continues to say, “It was like saying Nigger to a Puerto Rican.”
:O Now close your mouth for a moment. I need to talk to the congresswoman for a moment.
Carolyn… Come on now. Do you realize what you’ve just said? Did you ask a Puerto Rican? Did you ask anyone that English is a 2nd language for them to see how they would view it? No, No, No. You didn’t. You just saw the opportunity to make a political gain because you were speaking in the comfort of being around all White people. You made the mistake of assuming Whites are racist when you think about it, because you didn’t see an issue with saying Nigger.
If there was one Black person in the room I bet you wouldn’t have said it. How can I make such an assumption? Because you wouldn’t have to apologize or even say “I apologize for having repeated a word I find disgusting.”
If you truly find the word to be disgusting you wouldn’t even say it in any company. If so, you would have clearly made a statement before or after repeating what you’ve said.
I’m not going to beat up on you for making the mistake, because we can go through instances where Black, Latino, Asian, Native and/or Jewish Americans have made racially tinged statements in the comfort of their own. It’s wrong any way you slice it. If you disagree with the word or the meaning of it, then don’t use it. If you’re using it to make a point, then pay attention to the context of your words and delivery, so it will not be misunderstood.
I really believe politicians should include a cultural advisor to their team of political advisors. Seriously, this stuff can be easily avoided with more than a sensitivity training class, but someone to help you navigate through the cultural political obstacles. Why do you think the Republican Party as a whole now has such a difficult time attracting anyone who isn’t a White male? Of course you have some fine Black, Latino and Asian American Republicans, but look at the party as a whole and who do you see? The last campaign didn’t help at all, but I’m the racist. The same goes for Democrats. Think about what you’re saying or what your words may suggest to someone not like you.
Black people everything isn’t about race. Yes, sometimes it is, but how do you best get your point across, but by demonstrating it. There is justification for mistrust, but if we continue to not trust each other on the notion of race then we will never progress and we will be just as bad as those we mistrust, because we are essentially reciprocating the mistrust back. An eye for an eye leaves both of us blind. I think you can see what I’m suggesting.
The same is true for White people. My goodness, think about what you’re doing or how you may alter your actions when around someone of another race. That’s easily detectable, although they may not say anything. Continue to be who you are; just be more aware of how others respond to you. You may not be racist or hold any biases based on ethnicity, but the things you may say unintentionally out of the comfort and security of not having to be viewed by the prism of race first is perceived very differently to someone who does.References & Inspirations NY Daily News – 07/20/09 “Rep. Carolyn Maloney Apologizes Over Use of N-Word” U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY, 14th District) – Official Website U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) – Official Website