Bill Mahar’s Use of the “N” Word Sets Off An Avalanche of Criticism
Recently, Bill Mahar’s use of the “N” word set off a cascade of criticism that is yet to cease. While Mahar is no stranger to making inflammatory statements, this is one that has definitely had some far-reaching consequences. The truth is that Mahar is a comedian who has made his career off of being willing to say things that other people want to say, but don’t feel comfortable saying. He has been given an exceptional amount of latitude in doing so. His liberal approach to politics makes him popular among Democrats, and especially Blacks.
I am not a person who believes that one moment in time should be used to define who a person is, but I have been around long enough to know that many people have had their entire lives defined by one moment. I doubt if that is the case here, but a message has been sent that there are boundaries that should not be crossed no matter what you are doing.
While I posted a YouTube Video on this issue, I wanted to take the time to elucidate some points I feel are immensely important to the Black collective.
Allow me to make it clear that I am not one of the people that is enraged with Bill Maher — not because I find his use of the “N” word acceptable, but because I am simply not invested in any white person to properly and effectively relay a message that represents the plight of my people. I am not looking to Bill Maher as a beacon of light. I am aware of the platform that he has given to numerous Blacks in order for them to make their rally cry, but he is still not someone I am invested in, and that means I am not significantly impacted by his actions at any given time.
Blacks are far too invested in what White people think and say. We have far too many issues that we should be concerning ourselves with that have a far more dire consequence on our outcome as a race. We engage situations from a place of emotion, which completely inhibits our ability to use critical thought as a means of advancement. No one cares that we are mad about something, we should know that about now.
Instead of becoming consumed with Bill Mahar and his poor judgment, why not focus on the high rate of Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Black community? What about the high instance of intimate partner homicide that is plaguing the collective? Why not focus on the inherent level of poverty in the Black community? As much as 75 percent of Black children who are born in the U.S. are born into single-parent households, what aren’t we addressing these issues with the ferocity and implacable force that we possess when a White person steps out of line?
We have more than 1.5 million Black men missing in our communities, as a result of mass incarceration, intraracial violence and drug abuse. Our children are being perpetually mis-educated into a mental condition that renders them ineffective and vulnerable to a social system that seeks to exploit and oppress them. Our men disrespect our women at alarming levels, and unity among us is virtually nonexistent. It seems that we would rather be entertained that educated, but we are concerned with what a White man said.
With all of these malevolent forces actively metastasizing throughout the collective, we don’t have the luxury of looking outside of ourselves in order to point fingers and place blame. It is the enemy within that has made us subject to the multitudinous machinations of our enemies. It is the infighting, the lack of cohesiveness, the failure to effectively protect our progeny and the inability to devise an efficacious plan of elevation that is the thorn in our collective side of Blacks in this country.
Yes, Bill Maher stepped across a line that he should have known was unapproachable, but when we as a people cannot even agree on how we should deal with such an explosive moniker, how can we expect others to respect a clear line that we have consistently blurred ourselves.
The moment we begin to respect ourselves — holding one another in high regard — at a level that honors and acknowledges the plight of our ancestors and elders, we will not have to be concerned with how others treat us. We are simply being treated by others, the way we treat ourselves. The time has come to elevate our thinking, our behavior and our expectations for ourselves. The time has come to raise the standards by which we operate and deal with one another. It is time for us to look inside and extract the cancers that have been eating away at us for generations. The reason that the “N” word hurts so much is because it is consistently being poured over the open wounds of intergenerational trauma — further exacerbating the psychopathological behaviors that we have embraced as part of our culture. My brothers and sisters, it is time to heal. ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.