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JACKSON: Incognito, Barkley and Wilbon Use the N-Word

Raynard Jackson | 11/26/2013, 2 p.m.
Raynard Jackson

According to Richard Prince’s Journal-isms column, Wilbon said he uses the N-word “all day, every day of my life” and that others have no right to tell Black people how to use it.

We, as Blacks, can’t continue to say it’s OK for Blacks to use the N-word, but it’s not OK for others to use it. The word should not be used under any circumstance by anyone. Ever.

In all my years working with professional athletes, I have never heard a Hispanic player use derogatory terms about his own people in front of mixed company. Nor have I ever seen them empower an outsider to call them a derogatory word, pretending it is a term of endearment.

This behavior is unique to Blacks and it’s our fault. We must stop blaming others when they use offensive language and words that we use among ourselves. I am embarrassed that we actually debate who can use the N-word and under what circumstances.

Incognito was wrong only to the extent that he is an adult and controls what comes out of his mouth. But don’t blame him for being comfortable using this type of language because we gave him the permission to use it.

So, if Incognito is a racist for using the N-word, what does that make Charles Barkley, Michael Wilbon and other Blacks who use it? Let’s stop castigating people such as Incognito when we have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his website, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.