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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

On Ohio's Plunderbund: The N-Word Gets Used, NAACP Gets Ripped

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Why would anybody want to use the N-word, to write it or say it? An Ohio blog, Plunderbund, has taken issue with the NAACP's burying the N-Word protest in Detroit. Plunderbund called it "cheesy," which is one way of describing an event designed, scripted and intended to have a cultural impact.

Under the Plunderbund standard, one supposes, Gandhi's and MLK's actions that argued for the dignity of mankind were just another slice of Roquefort.

[UPDATE: 7:57 PM EDT: There's another apparition of the N-word on the always provocative Cincinnati Black Blog, where it manifests itself as a five-letter variant. This time it appears under a caption referring to Ohio State Sen. Eric Kearney, D-9, a lawmaker who is described as wondering about the sanity of Christoper Smitherman, the Cincinnati NAACP chapter president. Yes, it is down to five letters, hopefully a portent it has shriveled and may leave all of us refreshingly free of old stereotypes.]

But was Plunderbund guilty of cheese-manufacturing itself? Did it have to use the hateful six-letter slur to try and make its point -- that it is probably futile to try to drive a fetid racist expression out of the English language for all time. Did it use the malodorous N-word merely to attract attention?

The N-word is supposed to denigrate the person at which it is aimed. But its force for evil is such that it also lowers to the gutter the utterer. Plunderbund is a great blog -- and the opinions expressed therein have a record of being progressive and powerful. But Plunderbund, please stay away from the N-word. Don't use it. Don't write it. Please don't allow it ever again to creep into your mind and intrude upon your mental processes.

Remember always: The N-word is dead and gone. This time the NAACP got it right and you got it wrong.


  1. Bill, I disagree with your following statement and I am a progressive activist:

    "Plunderbund is a great blog -- and the opinions expressed therein have a record of being progressive..."

    No, the fact is that PlunderDUMB does the hackery bidding work for the controlling faction of DLC-like moderate establishment Dems that spineless Chris Redfern supposedly manages.

    I would NEVER describe the PlunderDUMB blog as being "progressive" and it certainly can be argued that it is NOT a "great" blog.

    IMO, PlunderDUMB's written words far too often "lowers to the gutter the utterer" (as you put it) and likewise PlunderDUMB abuses the use of "malodorous (words) merely to attract attention..." (which is inappropriate and unnecessary).

    It's one thing to have an opinion and to take sides. But, it is an entirely different thing to slant PlunderDUMB for the sole purpose of driving up traffic without any real conscience check to gauge the negative impact that ill-chosen "malodorous" words have on readers.

    It is even worse that PlunderDUMB regularly censors and bans people who disagree with their "opinions" and tactics (I know this from personal experience). PlunderDUMB doesn't even come close to allowing ANY dissent or free expression that opposes their positions.

    PlunderDUMB blog publishes hackery almost all of the time which makes it difficult to be trusted as a source of reliable information, IMO.

  2. Well Mr. Hickman --

    I know you have issues with other blogs. I don't share your condemnation at all. I just hate the N-word. You really didn't have much to say about the N-word and how terrible it is. Instead, you had a lot to say about Plunderbund and its politics.

  3. As for the "N-word"... Is it hateful and spiteful? Yes. Do I think a mock funeral is cheesy? Yes. Do I think Joseph's decision to print the word in the blog took guts? Yes. Do I wish it'd go away? Yes. Do I think it'll ever go away? Sadly, no.

    As for Mr. Hickman's rant, I can unapologetically say that as far as I know his allegations are entirely untrue. I've never been directed to post anything on the blog, and there is no concerted effort to use "maloderous" words to drive traffic. There is definitely not any "regular censorship" going on - I see the comment approval queue. Very little is rejected. What is rejected is done so because of troll-like qualities, not because of ideology. Naugle is allowed to comment on PB, for crissakes!

    It's a group blog, and as such there isn't much editorial control over what goes up there. Everyone has enough rope to hang themselves. Sometimes my own posts are too... raw. But that's my fault, and my fault alone.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions about Plunderbund. We hope that people like us, and that we can be a positive force in the progressive and liberal blogosphere (and beyond), even if we don't always meet those goals. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

  4. Brian --

    Bill told me to tell you that your comment was gracious and thoughtful. He detests that word.

  5. I don't use that word and don't like that word, my question is what word is next? If we could get rid of the mentality that accompanies some words then maybe I could take these things seriously. Having said that, I'm not going to criticize their actions. Maybe, just maybe, they'll get through to a couple young people and get them to think before they speak or act.

    I hadn't heard the "N" word used in casual conversation in decades. In the Navy you'll be kicked out for that garbage. However, moving back to Ohio, I've heard that word way too much when visiting the Cleveland area.

  6. Large Bill --

    As usual, you gave us a good insight. The Navy angle was pretty good -- you can't say that word in the service without getting into trouble.

    As for the NAACP, if they get a few kids to stop, that would be great, as you say.

    Cleveland -- I didn't notice that phenom, but when I'm there I'm going to keep my ears open. Or were you kidding?

  7. Not kidding about Cleveland. I'm originally from Lakewood and still belong to a fantasy baseball league up there and we stop for beers after the draft and a couple of the guys used that word like it is a normal part of their vocabulary. These guys were talking loud enough for people at the next table to hear. I just finished my beer and got out of there. There is some justice, his team is currently next to last.