‘N-word’ is gone, but racial tensions sadly still remain

Hip Hop industry entertainers are reluctant to surrender the N-word, citing its artistic significance to their music.

But local community leaders find nothing “artistic” about an epitaph that has denigrated African-Americans for centuries.

While censorship does not belong in the United States, there comes a time when people need to take a stance, need to set standards.

Having freedom means taking responsibility. And some words should not fall from free tongues.

The Rev. Noah Smith, Jarae Parker and Diana Collins should be applauded for their efforts to eradicate the N-word from the English lexicon with the symbolic burial of the hateful word in Houma Saturday.

The event, part of a National Advancement for the Association of Colored People campaign, came at an appropriate time, following a week of escalating racial tensions in Thibodaux where a police dog was inadvertently released in the presence of African-American children.

The incident saw the reassignment of the K-9 officer and the suspension of his dog from the K-9 division, but the children were unharmed.

At least physically.

It is eerie how this incident – unintentional as it reportedly was – hearkens back to the darker days of the Civil Rights movement, where the Alabama Police unleashed dogs on Civil Rights protesters.

Those days are a mere one generation removed. We shouldn’t forget this.

Sending the N-word to the grave is a great first step, but there’s much more to be done.