The Art of Visual Healing

Psychic Sterling Sinclair Reflection – “Paula Deen and the N-word,” June 25, 2013

Psychic Sterling Sinclair Reflection

“Paula Deen and the N-word” 

Paula Deen’s use of the “N-word” raised an important issue for me.

In the 60’s and 70’s, I grew up in a rural white Christian farming community in Ontario.  I used to refer to myself as a “bush baby.”  Up until the age of 12, I did not know that “people-who-are-black” were known as any other name.  I did not know that the “f-word” for gay was inappropriate.

There were many insulting terms used in my community that I had no idea were insulting and hurtful to anyone.  There were many terms that were hatefully used as ways to say, “We are better than them.”  Sadly, I did not know any different.

It was only when I met people, expanded my experience of life and was further educated that my understandings and uses of such language were altered.  It was only from hearing the stories of people who were hurt and found words/terms hurtful that I grew to appreciate the hurtfulness of certain terminology.

I was the second person in my family to move away and attend university (at that time 250 close living relatives).

If I were asked if I had ever used the “N-word” in my life, my answer would be “yes.”  The fact that I am not proud of it does not change the fact that I did.  The fact that I am sorry for doing so does not change the fact that I did.  The fact that I used such a word does not mean that I hated or hate the people described by the use of the word.

Our lives are forever changing.  If we are to move forward, we must learn from our past but not hide from it.  If we do not acknowledge from where we once came, how can we know how far we have gone?

The following article tells of a brief history of the “N-word.”

It seems that if the “N-word” was used in my community where within an hour from which was part of the underground railroad, it is possible for the “N-word” to be used by someone who lived in Savanna Georgia (a place historically central to the slave trade in the USA).  See the following article for some history regarding the slave trade in Savanna.

If you are not familiar with the Paula Deen controversy, see the following link:

While I was writing this reflection, the following news was presented on a news channel.  It followed a discussion regarding Paula Dean’s use of the “N-word” and the “plantation” wedding.  The basic point I took from the discussion was – racism and racist terms need to end.  Centering out “people-who-are-black” and calling them such hateful terms is a bad thing…  Then shortly after, the news channel reported on this assault in New Jersey.  The attacked woman is a person-who is-white and the attacker is a person-who-is-black.  The message, don’t hate “blacks,” don’t use the “N-word,” but please catch this man on the video.

Did the video need to be shown?  Did the video need to be shown so close to the Paula Deen discussion?

The following link (not from the above mentioned news channel) has a video attached – but the description below it makes it clear that the “unidentified male [is] described as a black man.”  I would suggest not watching it unless you live in the affected area and may recognize the man.

Surely there must be a lot of people attacked and caught on camera.  Why has this one gone so public?

Has racism truly been cleansed from all of North American society?

We all have a lot of learning, growing and developing to do.

Together we can do it.

I am truly sorry for any hurt that I have caused.




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