N-word buried at nationwide ceremonies
Vail, CO Colorado
DETROIT ” The NAACP is putting to rest a long-standing expression of racism by symbolically burying the N-word in a ceremony similar to one six decades ago.
Delegates from across the country gathered Monday morning during the group’s annual convention at Detroit’s Cobo Center and marched about a quarter-mile to Hart Plaza for the ceremony and rally. Along the way, two Percheron horses pulled a pine box adorned with a bouquet of fake black roses.
The N-word has been used as a slur against blacks for more than a century. It remains a symbol of racism, but also is used by blacks when referring to other blacks, especially in comedy routines and rap and hip-hop music.
Public discussion on the word’s use increased last year following a tirade by “Seinfeld” actor Michael Richards, who used it repeatedly during a Los Angeles comedy routine and later issued a public apology.
The issue about racially insensitive remarks heated up earlier this year after talk show host Don Imus described black members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” on April 4.
NAACP National Board Chairman Julian Bond repeated the call during the opening address Sunday night for the 98th annual convention, which runs through Thursday.
“While we are happy to have sent a certain radio cowboy back to his ranch, we ought to hold ourselves to the same standard,” Bond said. “If he can’t refer to our women as ‘hos,’ then we shouldn’t either.”
Black leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have challenged the entertainment industry and the American public to stop using the N-word and other racial slurs.
The NAACP held a symbolic funeral in Detroit in 1944 for Jim Crow, the systematic, mostly Southern practice of discrimination against and segregation of blacks from the end of post-Civil War Reconstruction into the mid-20th century.