White people who somehow learned nothing from the Joe Rogan controversy, here’s a bit of advice—just stay the hell away from the n-word altogether.
Just stop saying it in any context. Stop thinking the n-word without the hard R is OK. Stop repeating it while listening to rap songs. Stop saying it while telling stories where someone else said it. And stop sharing memes and gifs that include it. Regardless of how you feel about the fairness of restricting everyone except Black people from using the word, enough Black folks have spoken about this that the public backlash that comes after the word passes through non-Black lips is often swift, fierce, and possibly employment-ending.
Estée Lauder Cos. Senior Executive John Demsey is now a former senior executive after he was forced out of his position for sharing a meme that featured Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Snuffleupagus and joked about COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Truthfully, the joke was pretty harmless (and kind of funny, actually), but it was clearly a meme meant for Black people to share as it included our vernacular and our version of the n-word.
“My n***a Snuffy done got the ‘rona at a Chingy concert,” the meme reads.
Besides the meme’s use of the n-word, I always feel some kind of way about white people using or sharing memes that include the use of AAVE. It just always feels like verbal Blackface, even when it might not be consciously intended that way.
Plus, do white people even know who Chingy is?
Anyway, according to a statement released by Estée Lauder, Demsey, who deleted his post and was initially suspended without pay, was ultimately asked to leave the company and he agreed to forced retirement. He also apologized for sharing the meme.
“I am so terribly sorry and deeply ashamed that I hurt so many people when I made the horrible mistake of carelessly reporting a racist meme without reading it beforehand,” he said.
Just stay away from the word wherever you see or hear it, my non-melanated friends. You might not like the unofficial (but low-key official AF) rule, but you’ll hate the missing paychecks even more.
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