Grandma uses the N word

When I saw this headline tonight, I immediately thought of my Grandma:

Broward County sheriff’s office prepares Zimmerman verdict riot plan

If Grandma could see better, she’d be emailing her friends. And if she were emailing her friends, they’d be sharing and commenting on Fox News headlines like this:

Did DOJ Support Anti-Zimmerman Protests After Martin Shooting?

Zimmerman trial judge too tough?

They wouldn’t ask why a young, unarmed black man who was simply walking home is dead. They wouldn’t question how, in 2013, people can still defend vigilante justice. They wouldn’t debate the wisdom of Stand Your Ground laws.

Instead, they would make Zimmerman a martyr. They would accuse the judge of bias. They would reiterate their right to carry concealed weapons.

They would never say it, but they’d blame the victim because he was black. And if riots break out in this country over the Zimmerman trial verdict, they would double down on their opinions.

Grandma was 38 when Martin Luther King gave his I Have a Dream speech. So it boggles my mind that she’s so racist. The subject has come up a few times since she moved in with me — when she used the N word to describe the attendant at her nursing home, when she called President Obama “that black bastard.” I’m embarrassed that she holds these opinions. And I’m grateful she didn’t pass them on to me.

I wish my daughters were more aware of how this trial could be a watershed moment for their generation. I don’t want to see any more violence result from Trayvon Martin’s tragic shooting. But I do hope when my children are Grandma’s age they look back and remember this as a moment they became more committed to equality — and justice — for everyone regardless of the color of their skin.

Image credit: yupiramos / 123RF Stock Photo

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2 thoughts on “Grandma uses the N word

  1. My grandfather was the same way. It baffled me! I would be sitting on their couch, watching Family Matters, and he would stroll by muttering something about blacks on TV. I would just stare at him, wide-eyed, not really believing he said it. I live in the South and, unfortunately, hear things like this far too often, not that it doesn’t happen in other places. Luckily, I’ve grown up and don’t mind speaking up if someone says something in front of me, family or not.

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