Television The Apprentice

Admitting that the United States of America is a nation built upon the stolen land of Native Americans, the backs of slaves, and the efforts of millions of immigrants who came here for a brighter day, is an uncomfortable truth in our country’s past.

Often, we choose to run from our history, then act surprised once it rears its head in present day.

So let’s just turn and face the elephant in the room – racism in America is a REAL and unsettling legacy, one that hasn’t died out nearly as fast as many have hoped.

Still, many would like to believe modern-day racism can be cured or at least curbed through a simple quick fix. Former CNN anchor Piers Morgan is one of those many.

Morgan found himself under fire on social media on Monday evening, following his publication of an editorial in which he offered his own solution to America’s issue with race – the eradication of the N-word from our collective vocabulary.

A noble theory. Yet what the native Brit conveniently failed to recognize is our nation’s unique history. It’s never been “just about a word”; and “erasing” it won’t kill the actual infection, as the word itself is simply the manifestation of a larger disease.

Hip Hop – music originally birthed by a frustrated generation – has shed light on our inner cities, but in doing so, romanticized the dangers and ills within them, as well. As a result, millions of suburbanites even now use a term that many of them are too young to fully understand the history of.

“Jiggaboo.”

“Coon.”

“Boy.”

“Mammy.”

“Nigger.”

The words themselves are merely interchangeable for a larger issue at hand.

Now as some (non-people of color) laughably argue, “Why can they say it but we can’t?” the real question must become, “why do you even want to say it?”

In response to the outcry that met him on Monday night, Morgan fired back at his detractors with a number of tweets including this one:

(as we “owed” him for turning attention to the pursuit of justice)

And this one:

Oh, and this one, too:

Important to remind you: whether King used the N-word or not…they still assassinated him.

I think back to the “Mistaken Identity” episode of “Fresh Prince,” where Carlton and Will’s characters are pulled over and harassed by police in an incident of racial profiling, proving that if a poor kid from Philly can fall victim, even an affluent one from Bel-Air is not immune.

Let’s be frank: whether you’re viewed as a professional or a “thug,” for some people, their skin color alone is what determines how they are treated.

As the years go on, the country has swelled in size, but that elephant-filled room has grown smaller. And sooner or later, we’ll understand that racism is far too large and complex at this point to be ignored or done away with through as simple a “solution” as removal of a single word.