Did you hear? Tim Allen has advice for black folks on how to react to “the N word.” The Home Improvement star offered (among other gems) this bit of wisdom:
“You want to take the power away from that word so that no one is offended by it…If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist, then how can ‘n—–’ be bad coming out of my mouth?”
At The Grio, Elon James White sets Allen (and those who think like him) straight:
“Racism doesn’t come with a barcode scanner that checks each person for their actual feelings when they use problematic language. Another thing that perhaps Allen didn’t know: you can participate in racism without taking on the mantle of “racist.” Racism doesn’t come in only one flavor. Poorly executed but well-meaning acts can still add to the problem.
Allen seems confused by the fact that Martin Lawrence might use the word ni**er with him but then he’s not allowed to go use it later on. His “European mind” doesn’t understand that. Well here’s a newsflash, sir: Your “European mind” doesn’t have to understand it. It would be nice though if your European mind might take a little time and learn about things like “historical context” and “complexity.”