ever since the imus comments and the tirades and pseudo conversations that followed, there has been serious discussion about words. more accurately, about censorship. the reasoning in these otherwise thinking individuals is that words have power.


if words didn’t have power poets wouldn’t string them together to describe love and non fiction writers wouldn’t reconstruct the truth. writers give power to their words and we give them power through our understanding. that is the point.

so what about gaining power by taking words? what about censorship as an answer to the degrading references to women and the racism and dividing language that comes from all sides at all times?

the argument is compelling. people call “me” degrading things and it becomes normal and it affects me and everyone around me because we start to internalize it – it becomes normal. but here is the kicker…

if imus and gangsta rap and comedians refer to me as a “curly haired woman who has sex with a plethora of men and a real professional at fellatio” is that ok? seriously. that is what a nappy headed ho is. and yeah imus would have had to have come up with something different since that doesn’t describe the women of the rutgers basketball team but would we have all been up in arms if he had just said they were ugly. isn’t that an irrelevant and purely subjective point that was misplaced in a commentary about basketball?

but that said, are we really trying to deny is right to say it?

where does it end? who decides what words are off limits? and what venues make it ok?

i used to be a poet, a writer, a reporter. i’m still a blogger. i write because words have power…my words have power. for me the key is to make sure my ideas are powerful, my arguments strong, my words powerful in themselves and the way that i string them together.

taking away nappy or ho or even nigger won’t take away their power – in some ways by trying it makes them more powerful. there will be other words, new ones or old ones or differently arranged words that will say what people want them to say. as it should be. because words have an accessible power and i use my power often.

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