First there was ‘Dumb’ – Gerry Adams in a late night tweet using the ‘N’ word and immediately sparking a debate about his possible senility or sobriety.
Now there’s ‘Dumber’ – SF TD Angus O Snodaigh in today’s Irish Independent: “There’s a time and a place where it (the N-word) can be used’, he told the plain folk of Ireland. “I’ve heard some of the black leaders using it themselves….”
Yes, Angus. That’s the point. Black people are the only people in America who are allowed to use the ‘N-word’ freely. They do it for a number of social, political and psychological reasons, and as a term of endearment but mostly because when they use it is not mean to cause offense.
Whereas when White people use the ‘N’ word, it is invariably done to offend. So only Whites who want to be offensive ever use it. When it happens fists, or worse, will fly.
It is like an Irish Nationalist or Republican calling someone a Fenian. You know it is not derogatory. Whereas if an Orangeman or a Loyalist used the term then you know there’s going to be trouble.
It is also like White people telling Black jokes. It’s not done. Look at this video of Obama joking his way through the White House correspondents’ dinner at the weekend. About 35 seconds in.