Wednesday, March 31, 2010
What's in a Song?
I had an interesting conversation with our newest family member on the ride to school this morning. He was listening to his iPod without headphones so I was able to hear the lyrics pretty clearly (instead of just squeaky noise with a heavy base). The rapper’s lyrics included the “N” word in almost every verse. I asked him what he thought about that. Didn’t it bother him to be referred to by such a degrading term? He is half African American and half Puerto Rican. He admitted that it bothered him a bit. I asked if he understood the history of the word, that it was used by whites as a way to degrade, disgrace, humiliate and dehumanize an entire race of people. He just nodded and shrugged at the same time. I suggested that it was a bit odd that people were not only listening to these insults but were actually paying money to be insulted. His response was a puzzled expression. I explained that I found it very offensive and that perhaps the rappers could use a good history lesson. I don’t know if our brief conversation will inspire him to immediately stop listening to those songs but I hope it at least gave him something to think about.