Afronista Rants #22: White People Wanna Say the N-Word, Too

Class, can anyone tell me the difference between a nigger and a nigga?

A white teacher from Chicago is suing the federal government for permission to use the N-word without negative repercussions.  All of this came about because he was caught using the N-word in his classroom.

A black student in his class had written a letter to one of her friends, and in the letter it contained rap lyrics with the N-word.  The teacher confiscated the letter and read it.  According to the teacher, he then used the N-word to explain racism as it related to Huckleberry Finn, the topic of discussion in his class that day.  At this precise moment he decided to use the N-word, the school principal walked into the classroom.  According to the principal, the teacher was using the word in an inflammatory fashion, not in a way that provoked thoughtful discussion.

The teacher was suspended from work five days without pay, but he says that the students were not offended.  They were having an active discussion on racism and the use of the N-word.  The teacher says that principal stayed in the classroom to hear the discussion.  The teacher claims that it is ridiculous that he cannot use the N-word as part of instruction and discussion.

I think this is very interesting.  I have heard quite a bit of debate on the usage of the N-word.  Black people would be supremely offended if a white person called them nigger, but yet black people say this to each other all the time.  A black person once told me that there is a difference between nigger and nigga, and that nigga is actually what black people say to each other, so therefore it is not offensive.  By this reckoning does it mean that white people can call a black person nigga?  Is that okay?  I don’t think so–at least, not in my mind.  Someone else once told me that black people calling each other nigga or nigger is a symbol of ownership.  They took the word back from the white people and made it their own.  I don’t know if I believe that either.

If it weren't for the N-word, Jim might've been Random Black Guy.

I do think that teachers, white or black, should be able to use the N-word as part of instructional discussion, but I think it might get abused and we’ll be back to where we started.  I have said before that I think we should not be so quick to erase things in our past.  Slavery, racism, segregation, these things really happened in our history.  They will never go away.  We should use the actions of our past to create better actions for the future.  Pretending these things didn’t happen is a disservice to everyone.  Trying to erase the N-word out of books that were written during slavery is ridiculous.  That was the way things were, but it doesn’t mean that is the way things are today or the way things have to be tomorrow.  I don’t condone it as correct; I am just simply saying that is how life was back then.

I also think that black people need to get it together.  Either the word is offensive to you or not, no matter who it is coming from.  If you want to use the word with each other or in music, then don’t get mad if white people say it to you.  If you don’t want a white person to degrade you then don’t allow its usage in any aspect of your life.  If you now “own” the word, then you can’t be upset if a white teacher wants to use it in his classroom.  If you say you own something that means it is yours and it cannot hurt you anymore.  That is just the way I look at it.

If we stopped using the N-word, many rappers might actually have to use a dictionary.

For me personally I do not use the word and will not allow anyone, black or white, to refer to me as such.  I try not to listen to music that glorifies the word.  It’s just not a part of my life.  I don’t own the word.  It is something that is there but not for my use or interest.

I don’t really know what happened in that man’s classroom.  If he was really having a genuine and true discussion with his students and they were actively engaged, then I don’t see the problem.  But if he was in there harassing them, degrading them then, yes, he deserved to be suspended out of his school.  To be quite honest, this confusion over the use of the word is really the problem.  It’s either acceptable or it isn’t, no matter who it is coming from, black or white.

I think we as a people, black and white, need to come to some sort of consensus on this thing because quite frankly, I am really quite tired of this discussion

The Afronista Rants #21: You’re American, Get Over It

I think I have written about this before, this weird desire of ours to label everything. In honour of black history month (I guess), there was an article on Yahoo about how some blacks in America preferred not to be called African-American. Even though I count myself in their numbers, I no longer get annoyed when some white person (or even another black person) refers to me as African-American. I figure they’re confused, I’m confused, we’re all confused, so let’s just call the whole thing off.

He's wondering why they don't have Anglo-Scots-Dutch-German-Russian-Irish-American History Month.

After slavery and the Civil Rights movement, black people are like, what the hell are we? White people are like, what do we call them without sounding all racist? Quite obviously you’re only allowed to use n-word if you’re not black, but they don’t have that option on those little forms at the Census Bureau. Even though the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People uses the term “coloured,” I’d be a little bit miffed if someone referred to me as coloured. That sounds a little too 1963 for me. One woman said that the term “African-American” made it sound like all black people are descended from slaves. I think I agree with this a little bit. Some people agree that it just sounds too ridiculous in these efforts to be as politically correct as possible.

I have disliked the term African-American for a number of reasons. First, most white people do not refer to themselves as European-American. They’re not even white-American. They’re either white, or American. So why can’t I be either black or American? Secondly, Africa refers to a very large place with dozens of countries and ethnicities. Many people going around calling themselves African-American don’t even know what part of Africa their ancestors came from. Lastly, not all brown people (coloured people, black people, whatever) are African. One of my BFFs is Haitian and Jamaican. She is just as brown as I am but I would not call her African-American since her family is from the Caribbean. Referring to her as black makes more sense because she actually is.

Worf is a proud Klingon-American

I also ask myself what to do black people in England or France, or other European countries call themselves. Are they African-British, African-French? Idris Elba is British, but Denzel Washington is African-American. Do you see the distinction?

Some say that we refer to ourselves as white and black to distinguish one from another, but then I ask this question: in countries where almost everyone looks the same, how do they distinguish themselves? For example, police in America are quick to ask, “Was the suspect white or black?” What do the police in Japan ask, since 99% of the population looks the same (as far as skin tone, hair colour, eye colour, etc.).

I'll take Negro for $2000, Alex.

I have known many African people who have come to America and they do not refer to themselves as African-American. They are quick to identify precisely what country they came from (Nigerian, Kenyan, Ethiopian, etc). Most get offended if you mistake them for some other country or just try to lump them all into one group. I think it’s because they actually know where they came from.

I also have a problem that some American “African-Americans” don’t have any real desire to go to Africa or know anything about it other than what they show in the media. How can you claim something you’re not even interested in?

Read the article here.

The Afronista Rants #20: Dear Former Master

Usually when you read about the slave era, it is a depressing endeavour.  It is a part of history that needs to be studied so that we don’t make the same mistakes in future, but it can be awfully glum.  There are lots of stories about the mistreatment of people, the separation of families, the hardships.  Even stories about the white people who tried to help black slaves are morose, because a lot of them just didn’t end well.  I will admit there are some stories that are actually uplifting, stories of hope in the face of such grim times, but most of the time it’s just sad.

But then there are stories like this one.  A letter from a freed slave to his former master has been discovered.  The former master, Colonel P.H. Anderson had recently asked his runaway slave Jourdan Anderson to return.  After Jourdan had run away, he gained his freedom and this was his response to Col. Anderson.

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house.  Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living.  I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

After Jourdan left, Col. Anderson had to pick all the cotton himself.

Translation:  Sir, I am so surprised that you remembered me, since you owned hundreds of slaves.  I guess the one that got away will always stick in your memory.  I can’t imagine why you think I would come back to work for you since I am now a free man.  Who would want to work for free when they can get paid?  Also, you tried to shoot me, so what makes me think you won’t try to shoot me as soon as I come back?  I thought the Yankees would have hung your sorry ass anyway.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for my wife and children.  The children go to school and are learning well.  Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

Translation:  I want to know more about this job you say you have for me.  I hope you realize that we’re not interested in working in the cotton fields anymore.  Right now I am getting an honest salary with benefits.  My kids even go to school, something you would not let us do, purposely trying to keep us uneducated and dumb.  So please, tell me more about this supposed job.  If it doesn’t pay more than what I am getting now, don’t bother writing back.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864.  My wife says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and my wife twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for my wife, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor’s visits to me, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams’s Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

Back wages owed to Jourdan after calculating for inflation and interest.

Translation:   Thanks for offering me my freedom, but it’s a day late and a dollar short.  I already got my free papers, no thanks to you.  But if you really want to make good on this offer, you can pay me and my wife for our back wages.  We slaved for you for a total of 52 years between us, so that comes to about $11,680 you owe us, minus clothing and the doctor’s visits and not including interest.  If you really want us to come back, then send the money to our attorney (yes, we have an attorney).  All those years we worked for you and you didn’t give us anything, now you want us to come back.  You can either pay us a reasonable rate or hire some white people to do your yard work, and you know they will charge you three times what I am asking for.  If you don’t want to pay, that’s fine.  You will probably rot in hell anyway.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my daughters, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with my poor sisters. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.  Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

The kids send their love.

Translation:  If are truly being sincere, please let me know if it will be safe for my kids.  Your sons raped my sisters, bringing on them such shame and humiliation that I would rather die than have my daughters suffer the same fate.  Also, let me know if there are any good charter schools in the area.  We are educated now and won’t take to being held back by the likes of you.  And say hey to your friend.  Thank him for taking that pistol away from you while you were shooting at me.  If it weren’t for him, I might not be leading this fabulous life I have now.  We’re doing so well, I am not sure how you could really help us.  So yeah, thanks anyway and have a nice life.

Col. Anderson is confused why no one wants to work in his fields anymore.

I thought this was absolutely hilarious.  A guy after my own heart; you know I am fond of writing carefully worded letters that insult people that are too stupid to realize they are being insulted.  And it was all so polite.

Of course, there are some nay-sayers that do not believe this is a real letter.  For the record, Jourdan Anderson did not read and write (because his master wouldn’t let him learn).  He had the letter dictated by an attorney.

I did excerpt this letter in the interest of time, but you can read the whole letter for yourself.

Incidentally, historians have not found Col. Anderson’s response, but I’m sure it went something like this:

Dear Jourdan,

You uppity n….!!

The Afronista Rants #19: x(white teachers) + y(black students) + z(slavery) = how many problems?

Let’s do a math problem, guys.

Let’s take x white teachers plus y black students plus z inappropriate slavery questions and figure out how many problems will result.

In order to figure out this problem, let’s examine some facts.

So, a group of nine teachers at an elementary school in Georgia decided that it would be a really awesome idea to correlate their students’ coursework in Social Studies with their math homework.  In theory, this sounds like a great idea.

But what if your child, black, white or Chinese, came home with a math problem like these:

Each tree has 56 oranges.  If 8 slaves picked them equally, how many oranges did each slave pick?

If Frederick gets two beatings a day, how many beatings will he get in one week?

I know that I have a warped sense of humour, but when I first read this article I started laughing.  It’s so embarrassing that it’s funny.  If my kid came home with this sort of nonsense, his answers would be something like this:

Q.  If Frederick gets two beatings a day, how many beatings will he get in one week?

A.  None, because Frederick will shoot his master and join the Underground Railroad.

But seriously, the teachers at this school really ought to be ashamed of themselves.  Let met caveat by saying that I do not know the true racial makeup of the teachers nor do I know the racial makeup of the students with this math homework.  Given the location this incident occurred, I will say the teachers were probably mostly white and the students were mostly white with a good helping of black kids.  It’s so ridiculous that only white teachers would come up with this sort of crap, and if by some unlikely chance that there were black teachers involved, it just makes the whole thing even more laughable.

There are plenty of ways to teach students about slavery, but this is a little bit over the top.  I am all for not pretending that slavery didn’t happen.  What amazes me about this situation is that no one sat down to think if it might offend someone.  I do not believe that every white person is racist.  I bet none of these teachers are racists (if they are all white).  It just didn’t occur to them how idiotic this situation is.  And that’s what’s so scary, how people just don’t think.  Nobody ever stops to think how other people might feel about a certain situation.

The NAACP wants the teachers fired.  Everyone always wants to dole out the maximum punishment, but as offensive as this is, I don’t think the teachers should be fired.  I think they should attend some serious sensitivity training.  They should also have to do some role reversal where they get to walk in other people’s shoes for a little while, to see how it feels to always be the butt of someone’s joke.  I doubt these teachers are racist, just thoughtless.

So, now that we’ve had time to consider the above question, you will discover that there is no solution.  So here’s a new question:

9 teachers send out 5 resumes a day for 5 days. What is the maximum amount of rejection letters that can be written in response?

The Afronista Rants #18: Black People Eat Different Food!!!

Here I am again, trolling CNN and I come across an article “My First Thanksgiving with White People.”  I wanted so bad not to click on the article, but it’s kinda like a train wreck:  you have to look.  So it’s written by a black man who visits his (white) partner’s family for the holidays.  He compares their Thanksgiving spread with his family’s spread and at first, is a little bit disappointed.  Later he discovers that white people prepare their food with just as much love as black people do.  And they all lived happily ever after. 

I don’t know who this man is, but he is hailed in journalism circles.  I do occasionally read his articles, even though I cannot recall to mind the last one I read.  At any rate, we’re not talking about his journalism abilities.  We’re talking about his perpetuation of race and racism in this country.

“My First Thanksgiving with White People.”  ???  Seriously?  I mean, seriously.  If a white person were to write an article, “My First Thanksgiving with Black People,” it would be seen as inflammatory and racist.  The news website would be blasted for allowing such a divisive article.   Black interest groups would call for a boycott.  The news website would have to issue an apology, stating racism wasn’t the intention of the article.  They were trying to bring cultural awareness.  Whatever.  See how silly it all becomes when you have to resort to describing anything by race?

If it can’t work both ways, it can’t work at all.  I am not white but I am so offended that CNN would allow this title.  It’s not the article, per se.  It’s just the title that is so wrong.  If this guy wants to talk about the first time he had Thanksgiving outside of his close friends and family, that’s perfectly fine.  If he wants to wonder why other people don’t put paprika on the top of their potato salad, I’m okay with that.  I wonder why anybody would eat potato salad period at Thanksgiving.  I’d never heard of that.  To me, potato salad is outdoor food, something you eat at barbecues.  It’s different, but is it white?  Is it black?  No, it’s just certain family’s traditions. 

I think racism will persist in this country because we are always too focused on race.  I think it is very important to have pride in one’s history, but we are a nation honed in on race:  black history month, Asian history month, Hispanic history month.  Why don’t white people get white history month?  Because all the coloured folk would rise up, foaming at the mouth that all the other days of the year are “white history month” and we are being forced to celebrate the likes of KKK or whatever else.  Once again, if it can’t work both ways, it can’t work at all.

I understand that we began these different history months to bring awareness that other people beside white people in this country exist.  If the educational system focused on a well-rounded history of all the people that contributed to this country then we would not need to have whatever-colour history month, and we would not have ignorant articles “My First Thanksgiving with White People.”  You are not a native American newly discovering white people for the first time in your life.  You know that different cultures eat different things.  Who would assume that what you eat in your house is the same as what anybody else eats at their house?  Really? 

You’ve never watched Thanksgiving TV specials and seen people eating dried up turkey, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole?  You know you do not eat that in your house, so, wonder of wonders, people must be different.  I wish the article had been more of an exploration of what various people consider to be traditional Thanksgiving cooking.  He could have talked about the differences of his family and his partner’s family.  He wanted to note that he is in an interracial relationship and that’s awesome, but he placed such emphasis on his white partner’s family, almost alienating them and making them seem weird, when really they are just different than what he was used to.

I am a black person and I invite you to my house for Thanksgiving.  You will not find a turkey or neck bones soaking in collard greens.  You definitely won’t find any potato salad, with or without paprika on top.  Yes, we do have the macaroni and cheese, but we prefer hot rolls over corn bread.  Instead of collard greens, we have spinach.  Cornish hens, fried rice, maybe some kind of stir fry and definitely some fried turkey wings.  Sweet potato pies are good, but pecan is better.  If I wasn’t deployed, I might have put some tofu burgers on the menu.  I don’t know if that’s black, white, weird, or whatever.  I just know that it’s what we put on our table at Thanksgiving.

I have one friend who puts sauerkraut on her table and a different friend has oxtails.  I guess we don’t fit into this guy’s neat little labels of black and white.  It’s cultural differences, and they are wonderful and when I am invited to other people’s homes for holiday dinners  I would never think to expect that their food would be the same as mine.  And then I wouldn’t return from their house and say, “Hey guys, I just had my first Thanksgiving with [whatever colour] people!  What an experience!”

The whole thing was just so lame.

The Afronista Rants #17: Uh, Oh, Black People Running!

I randomly started running last June.  I had a vague idea that I liked running ever since basic training but the concept of running for fun (as opposed to fitness and health) was bizarre to me.  After doing a couple of races with the Lunkheads, I decided that I really liked it and I wanted to get better at it.

Months later, I have now invested in my new sport.  I have purchased fancy running clothes, expensive running shoes, and all the gadgets to help me keep track of my progress.  The bottom line is that when I get out on the street for a little joggy-jog, I look like someone who runs.  Just like everyone else.

So how come when I go running, I elicit strange reactions?  What are you talking about, you ask?

Last week, I went for a run around Centennial Park.  It’s this place in Howard County with a man-made lake surrounded by a 2.6 mile long paved trail.  The trail is conducive to jogging, walking and biking.  There are many people out here jogging, walking and biking.  There are no shops and businesses.  There are no residential areas along the trail.  There are no cars.  It is strictly for jogging, walking and biking.  I am out there jogging, like the other hundred people out there, on a fine spring afternoon.

I am wearing running clothes:  my fancy new lycra pants and wick-away top, with these brand-spanking-new expensive ass running shoes.  I got my headphones on and I got this fancy, cool watch that keeps track of calories burned.  I am out there getting my exercise on….like everybody else.

If you don’t know proper trail etiquette, let me tell you real quick.  If you are running, you pass on the left.  If you’re walking, you stay to the right.  If you hear a bike behind you, you move quickly to the right so the biker can pass.  Very simple.  It seems to be an unspoken rule wherever I go.  So, I’m out there running, feeling all good and there is an older white lady walking way up ahead of me.  She is walking kind of slow, but this trail, it is quite wide.  Wide enough for several runners or walkers to stand abreast.  It is not a little narrow passageway.

So, I’m running and this white lady is in front of me and as I get closer, she heard me.  She started to move over to the right but then she turned around and the look on her face as she saw me approach.  She gasped.  Gasped.  This deep breath, like it was gonna be her death gasp, or something.  And she jumped off the trail into the grassy area, backed up into a tree, clutching at its bark as if it would save her from unseen terror.  She was in sheer and utter fright.  She was so scary looking that I got scared and I turned around to look behind me.  I was afraid that she had seen a gigantic black bear running after me.  (Not that I think there are any bears in this part of Maryland).  But seriously, her reaction was so dramatic that I thought something was truly happening.

Nobody was behind me.  Nothing was behind me.  There was only me, a black girl wearing running clothes,  running on a trail that is designed for running.

As I passed this woman, I was completely baffled.  She stared hard after me.  I could not figure out what her problem was.  Was she in shock that I was running?  Why?  I had no idea.  It wasn’t until a mile later that it dawned on me.

I am a black person running after a white person.  Oh, I must be about to rob her, because that must be the only reason a black person is running.  Wait a minute.  There are several reasons a black person is running.  We’re either running from the law, running to rob someone or running to get some chicken.  How did I forget that?  Black people do not dress up in fancy running clothes and then go for a run on a trail that is designed for running.  Only white people do that…. and skinny Asian women.  For a black person to do something like that, there must be some ulterior motive.

I must have spent all these hundreds of dollars on fancy running gear so I can case the running trails looking for white women to rob, because white people always go running with their riches hidden in their pockets.

As this occurred to me, I was so dumbfounded that I actually slowed down to a walk.  The white lady was way behind me and I could no longer see her, but if I had, I might have run back up to her and punched her in the face.  I can’t run for fun?  I can’t run to get my health on?

It is truly amazing what goes through people’s minds.  I mean, you should have seen this lady’s face.  She was scared to death, like the Ghost of Christmas Past had just come up on her.  If she had been carrying a purse, she would have clutched it to her chest.  This lady was so scared she was about to jump up in the damn tree, all because she saw a black person running up on her.

And you can’t say that maybe I just startled her or something.  No, this is a place that is designed for physical activity.  It’s a loop and there were literally hundreds of other people out there running, walking and biking.  Did she jump out of her skin when the two white women who had passed me, caught up to her?  No, she didn’t.  It was only until I came up did she almost have a damn heart attack.

That is okay, lady.  I don’t want your diamonds or pearls.  I just want to get my physical fitness on.  I am out here like all the white people, working on my cardiovascular system.  I am not here for your purse (that is probably under the seat in the car, since nobody runs with a purse).  I am not here to rob or molest you.  I just want to jog, like everybody else.

In case you did not know, black people do run… and it’s not always from the law.  So please get over yourself.

The Afronista Rants #16: Negro Mountain!

This morning my co-worker asked me if I would like to take a vacation with him.  Knowing that he was joking, I said, “Yeah, sure, where we going?”  He says, “Negro Mountain.”  I thought he was joking so I busted out laughing.  Where the hell is Negro Mountain?  Why is a mountain named Negro?  Are you even serious?

Turns out, he was quite serious.  There truly is a place called Negro Mountain, and it’s right here on the MD/PA border.  As with most anything, there’s a story behind the naming of Negro Mountain.  After doing some investigation, I have discovered that nobody can actually agree on precisely why the mountain is named Negro Mountain.  There’s urban rural legend about a slave (or a freeman, in another version) named Nemesis.  In some tales, his name is Goliath, indicating that he is big… and black.  Somehow, they are always big and black.  No slave is ever described as normal sized.  Anyway, Nemesis (or Goliath) was travelling with some white people when they were attacked by Native Americans.  He was killed defending his white masters, and Massa decided to name the mountain after him.  There’s also a story about Nemesis being in the military during the French-Indian War.  He was killed during a battle and his commander named the mountain after him because of his bravery.

So, whether he was Nemesis or Goliath, a free man or a slave, in the military or just passing through, there’s a slight problem with all of the stories:  They all say they named the mountain after him.  Only they didn’t.  Either his name was Nemesis or Goliath… or Jim Bob or Takahashi… his name wasn’t Negro.  I imagine that in those days he was probably referred to as negro, and several other degrading terms, but that wasn’t his name.  So the mountain wasn’t named after him, or anybody for that matter.  Why didn’t they name the mountain Nemesis Mountain or Mt. Goliath?  Why Negro, though?  It’s just a little weird.

At any rate, some lawmakers have decided that it’s just too stupid to have a mountain named Negro and there’s some legislation pending to change the name.  As much as I am annoyed that whoever named the mountain decided to call it Negro, I think it should stand.  There’s a lot of reasons for this.  One, if this is the urban rural legend, than that’s the story of how it “really” happened.  You can’t go back into the past and change it.  Two, as much as we all hate to look back on that awful time of slavery (whites and blacks), once again, you can’t go back into the past and change it.  Whether we like it or not, it’s part of our history.  We need to learn from it and move on.  Black folk were referred to as Negro, nigger, blackie, coloured, etc and that’s just how it is.  I ain’t saying it’s right or wrong, or condoning or condemning.  It is simply the way things were.  Third, I want them to keep the name Negro Mountain as a reminder of our more foolish days.  It’s very easy to pretend things did not happen.  You cannot change history simply by renaming the mountain to something else.  I also think there’s a limit on political correctness.  After all the NAACP is for coloured people but if a white person called a black person coloured, there’d be a fight.

If Negro Mountain is renamed, then we will forget the story that is associated with its outrageous name.  I know some of us black folk are very delicate and we are easily offended, but I think we should just be happy that we have something named for one of our own.  Nemesis, Goliath, Negro, whoever you were, thanks for your bravery and for giving us something to talk about.

Lawmakers did try to change the name back in the 1990s to Black Hero Mountain, but it failed.

To be fair, there is also a Polish Mountain in Maryland that these legislators would also like to be renamed.  It is believed that Polish Mountain was probably Polished Mountain and then somewhere along the way the name got lost.

But what about the White Mountains?  Is it an innocent name?  Or something more sinister?  Something to think about.