I have lived in Columbia and been at the university for almost 18 years. During this time, I have been called the n-word too many times to count. Yes, we are better off now than we were in the '50s, but to some extent, we are taking many steps backward by ignoring or not talking about the racial issues.
As a mixed-raced family in a white space, the reality is that anytime we leave our house as a family, we risk incurring the wrath of the ignorant. To partake in the joys of the first treats of spring can turn ugly without notice and, sadly, a visit to Maine's most populous city yesterday was the day when the ugly became personal.
Recently, Piers Morgan penned an incendiary piece titled "If black Americans want the N-word to die, they will have to kill it themselves." I held my breath the entire time I read this misguided piece. I saw all the markings of a privileged white male telling me and my community how to behave ourselves.
I must be the most serene dude on the planet, because I swear to you that I have never hurled a racial invective at someone. No, not even when I was a kid. And no, not even when I was drunk. I'm not boasting, because it would be pretty sad if I wanted kudos just for avoiding hateful insults. To me, that should be basic behavior.