My Best Friends Called Me a Nigger

Boy! How things have changed. And not necessarily for the better. I was a scruffy, somewhat washed, black kid growing up in a working-class urban environment of the 1950s and 60s. I guess we were all poor back then by American standards. But hell, none of us seemed to notice it. My friends and acquaintances were quite diverse. I suppose nowadays, terms like cultural diversity or multicultural would best fit the neighborhood’s taxonomy. We weren’t governed by the intracultural dogmas dictated by today’s arbiters of race and gender that are omnipresent in the MSM, schools and unfortunately in today’s body politics.  

I had Italian, Irish, German, as well as Polish buddies. Later in the 1960s, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Cubans were added to the neighborhood nomenclature.  We were mostly Roman Catholic, along with a growing contingent of Protestant Brethren, which I distinctly remember praying for, so they could go to heaven. At least that’s what the good Catholic nuns encouraged us to do.

Sometimes my friends called me a nigger, when we got into one of our occasional tiffs, and/or obligatory punch to the head moments. Things like that happened now and then. The scenario always played-out thusly. We would have a spat over some incredibly stupid thing, we thought was catastrophic. When my friends and I got far enough away from one another, we would holler back Nigger, Dago, Wop, Spic, Beaner, Kraut or whatever colorful politically-incorrect-free epitaph, that would come into our little heads. 

 Afterwards, we would run home like hell. The next day, we always made-up, or most likely just plain forgot about it. I also remember, that we often rekindled our friendship by sneaking over to Mrs. Waterhouse’s yard to steal pears and apples from her orchard. Those were some good eating pears and apples!

Political correctness or not wishing to offend a fellow “ethnic” was not the neo-segregationist tome, that is invoked today by the cultural left, Progressive Democrats and Republicans, the MSM, leftist academics (an oxymoron) and others that think they have been building a culturally sensitive America by shutting people up. Its effect has been the complete opposite. What a surprise! 

In retrospect, what really worked back in the bad-old-days is, that we were left to work things out. Everyday human interaction, passing racial, and gender slight did not become the stuff of an ACLU or NAACP lawsuit. Our parents wouldn’t be dragged into Civil court, nor in front of a cultural sensitivity arbiter or expert for some type of adjudication. 

 The current mind-numbing nonsense surrounding the bullying epidemic in schools, and over the internet, is a manifestation of this overreach by our intellectual betters to protect us from ourselves.  

If someone at my school called me a nigger or I called them a Dago or Spic, the NAACP, the ACLU, or some other insufferable Progressive Liberal adjudicator didn’t jump down our throats, asking us to recant. They certainly wouldn’t threaten to sue the hell out of you for hurting someone’s feelings. People used to have the good sense, unlike todays social justice warriors, that shutting people up, censorship, legal intimidation, and getting everyone walking on eggshells, doesn’t build nor enhance tolerance. It does just the opposite. It also has the added benefit of creating even more division between individuals and groups. 

It is my contention that the misplaced rancor by the MSM, politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, over President Trump’s honest and unencumbered by PC hermeneutics, says more about the damage caused by the secular heresy of “cultural diversity” pushed by the socio-political left in the Post-Civil Rights Era.[i]

 Today’s purveyors of multiculturalism, cultural diversity, and ethnic sensitivity have only manufactured a peculiar neo-segregationist milieu. We really don’t talk frankly with each other. Instead we have been socially engineered to sit in our little “proud multicultural-hyphenated=enclaves” waiting to be offended by God knows what. [ii]

 We have entire ethnic study departments at colleges and universities, who have dedicated themselves over the past five decades to promote this neo-segregationist catechism. Everyone is embolden to be a proud African American or Mexican American. Women are motivated to confront the unicorn of toxic masculinity. Oh yes, can you hear them roar! The militant LGBT community also contributes to the neo-segregationist movement. No one wants to be just a plain old American. Too many Americans without knowing it, have fallen prey to the canon of “Peer-reviewed Narcissism.”

 We search for racism, sexism, ethnic phobias everywhere.[iii]In so doing we shutdown any hope of true communication.  We have become a nation of hyper-sensitive, racially and gender aggrieved candy-asses.

My playmates of long ago, who to this day remain my closest allies, understood that tolerance and cultural sensitivity cannot be politically mandated.  No amount of legislation pushed by liberals will foster societal cohesion that they seek. It can only be created in the bumps and bruises of everyday human interaction.  It may seem counterintuitive, especially to the provocateurs of multicultural diversity; but a little cultural hazing is not always a bad thing. 

You’ll never hear that at your next employer sponsored diversity training indoctrination session. [iv]

Merry Christmas. Oh, wait a minute! Did I just offend my Jewish and Moslem relatives? Never mind. 


[i]See., Pitch Imperfect

[ii]See., The Fighting Negroes

[iii]See., All Enemies fabricated and imagined

[iv]See., Musings of a Colored Person

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2 thoughts on “My Best Friends Called Me a Nigger

  1. Bill Hitchcock says:

    Thank you Mr. Hall. Well written, well said. Now if we can only communicate your message to the rest of the PC planet! God Bless!

    1. Barbara Lee Smith says:

      How refreshing! Well said & so true! I remember those days, although it wasn’t “nice” we knew it wasn’t a big deal! We always retorted with, “sticks & stones can break the bones, but words can never hurt us”.! The good old days, huh!

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