I’ll always appreciate Tim Allen (pictured) for introducing Jonathan Taylor Thomas in to my life, but he and his White entitlement can go have a tragic accident, straight “Home Improvement” style for all I care. Last week, the comedian and actor lamented over his inability to use the word n*gger — and its variations — in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. Indeed, the artist formally known as Tim “The Toolman” Taylor opined that “the N-word’ is worse to me than n—–.’ ”
Yes, Tim, but that’s because you bear the burden of that word.
Borrowing a point of view held by his Black comedic brethren, Allen continued, “You want to take the power away from that word so that no one is offended by it. If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist, then how can ‘n—–‘ be bad coming out of my mouth?”
Here’s something I want well-meaning White people to understand: If you belong to the party responsible for the racial slur, it’ll never be “okay” that you use it to the majority of the people for which it was intended to denigrate.
As a heterosexual White male of wealth, Tim Allen has more privilege than just about everyone else walking the Earth. If the largest burden in your life is that you can’t use a racial slur in a context similar to that of the people who decided to flip it and reverse without repercussions, get the hell over it. You are White, and trust me, it could be a lot worse for you.
Just based on his explanation, this isn’t so much about doing his part as the nice White guy to repair the irreparable as it is a man used to getting his way and vexed that there’s still an exception to the rule in place. If you need any additional proof of that, look at the way he dons a cape to save Captain Shake, Bake, and Enslave, Paula Deen.
I’ve had this argument on stage a million times. I do a movie with Martin Lawrence and pretty soon they’re referring to me, ‘Hey, my n*gga,[what’s] up’? So I’m the n*gga if I’m around you guys, but 7 feet away, if I said n*gga, it’s not right. It’s very confusing to the European mind how that works, especially if I’ve either grown up or evolved or whatever. it literally was growing up in Colorado, with Hispanics and Anglos, that’s all I remember. So when Paula Deen [admits her language], they go after her, and now we’ve gone backwards in the world. She said n*gga in ’83 or something?
Ladies and gentleman, here is the reason why Tim Allen’s White self best keep his n*gger vs. n*gga vs. the N-word battle royal inside his lily White head: One moment he is asking why can’t he use the word if his heart is pure and in the very same interview, he goes out of his way to defend Paula Deen using the slur to allegedly create a hostile work environment.
Here’s something I want those swimming in the shallow pool of thought to understand: Paula Deen using the slur allegedly isn’t the larger issue as it relates to her suit. It’s the idea that she and her brother created a hostile work environment. Moreover, it’s the allegation that the “southern belle” wanted Black people to play slaves in a wedding. Then there’s a charge that she had another Black employee dress “old Aunt Jemima style.” When you combine that with a recent New York Times story about the Black employee whose recipes she used to fuel her own fortune and broke her promise of making sure her “Soul Sister” got to enjoy a fair share of the wealth, it’s easy to conclude how clueless Tim Allen is.
I can’t defend the wayward Blacks who decided to call you their “n*gga,” Tim Allen, but I can assure you that if you dare to get captured on camera repeating that, you’ll enjoy the public smack down from many a Negro. As much as that seems to pain you, fret not. Again, you’re White.
You have just about everything else.