Not long ago while I was on the bus, a small group of teenagers sitting in the back were having an exuberant conversation about classes, music, sports, an upcoming party, prom, college, and friends. Normally, these words alone, spoken by African American teenagers about to face the next phase of their lives—-would generate a positive reaction. Yet, as their dialog was consumed with, bitch, niggah, whore, fuck, shit, goddam, motherfucker, asshole, sonofabitch, punk, and many more (you get my point) colorized words—I looked about me and saw the cringe of disgust on so many people. I couldn’t take it anymore. I wasn’t in the mood for an altercation if I spoke, so I exited into the heavy downpour and walked my last two bus stops and 3 more long blocks to my home.
I thought about this blog and wanted to express my thoughts on the subject of WORDS.
A public perception of having a sense of self-worth, pride, and intelligence is a matter of choice, style, and attitude. If the words in one’s vocabulary are strewn with one-after-one—-fuck, shit, asshole—then, where is the line drawn for self-respect? I say if you want respect, start with yourself. One of Michael Jackson’s most prolific songs, Man in the Mirror, embraces self-examination all too well.
Below is a list of words I wish would grow wings and fly away…
- Take a chill pill
- I don’t care
- You’re just confused
- What’s the point?
- Are you stupid, or just not listening?
- Fake News
- Poor excuse for a human being
- Have you been living under a rock?
- Why don’t you do us all a favor and die?
- Piece of trash
- Immigrants don’t belong here
- Those people
- It’s not my problem
- Go to hell
Maybe I’m idealistic and believe as Michelle Obama has said, “When they go low, you take the high road.”
Honestly, words hurt, cut, and destroy. How can we as writers believe otherwise?