Late, and I mean LATE last night on the ever so popular social networking site Twitter a discussion took off regarding the inflammatory nature (to some) of the use of the term Nigga. Nationally recognized journalist, Roland Martin and a young man from Alabama engaged in what I considered an open conversation about the term.
In my eyes, Martin, a 42 year old Houston native failed to recognize the teaching opportunity that arose via his conversation with the young man from Alabama. Shortly thereafter, a Twitter feud emerged. Having followed Martin for some time on Twitter and throughout the years as a journalist I was disappointed to say the least. I saw the disagreement as an opportunity to begin bridging the gap between yet another generation in the African American community.
Recognizing the potential opportunity being presented through the “Twitter Feud” aka Birmingham vs. Roland Martin, I asked Martin to come to the historic Magic City and join us at our next Tweet & Greet and make it a forum instead of a party so that we can discuss the generational interpretations and use of Nigga.
Many young people see the word as just a word, understanding the history behind it they refuse to allow it have POWER over them. I’ve used the word, and variations of it. I’ll admit that. However, its the malice intent that is associated with it that upsets me not the use of it generally in the context that it was used initially last night.
We’ve extended an invitation to Mr. Martin to come to Birmingham and sit down to discuss this, but he has continued even at this very moment to disrespect and belittle the very people he claims to want to help.
Last night he was so gung-ho about being an Alpha Man (A PHI A) not afraid to check another brother, that he failed to remember one common trait about brotherhood; you’re only as strong as your weakest link. I wish he would have embraced the brothers and others by being a leader.
The Kwanzaa principle Ujima teaches us that we must work collectively and responsibly to correct wrongs in our community. Today we renew our efforts to build and maintain our community, while working with others to solve our problems. I wonder if Mr. Martin knows that? Perhaps if he did, he would not still be ranting and raving on Twitter and instead he’d offer solutions.
The funny thing about last night with Mr. Martin and still this morning, his defiance and belittling tone towards the young people of Birmingham has incited the same if not more fury and anger as the word Nigga itself…
**To be con’t**
Also checkout my friend Chad and his assessment of Roland Martin’s tirade… Mo Better Truths