submitted by Yolanda Floyd
March 21, 2005 —
I'm an African American student here at SVSU. I was surprised by some of the comments made in the commentary "Racial differences hindering everyone" in the March 7 issue of the Vanguard.
First was a statement regarding the use of degrading words used by races against their own race. How can Sean Locey speak about something he knows nothing about? He should do his research first. Rap artists do not use the word nigger, nor do many African Americans tolerate it. The word alone surfaces a history of pain forced upon African Americans for centuries. Rap artists use the word "nigga" instead. If he was aware of hip hop culture he would know how each terms differs in usage and meaning. I have no energy to explain this. Research it.
Second, he stated slavery "doesn't have anywhere near the effect that it did of those who suffered at the time." Okay, and how would he know this? Although African Americans are no longer oppressed physically, we still deal with very deep emotional and mental issues that were passed on to us from generation to generation by family members who were enslaved. These issues still affect us tremendously today. I agree that a person should be judged according to their merit, but that is not reality. Often, people are misjudged and stereotyped regardless.
My advice is to tread lightly when discussing matters he has not experienced personally. Better yet, do plenty of research first. And if he's feeling extra ambitious, he should talk to the African Americans he encounters on campus and inquire about their views.
Yolanda Floyd Student