Dennis Prager Feels Like The Left's N-Word Because He Can't Just Say ... You Know.
Dennis Prager at the not-an-actual-university Prager University feels very oppressed that he can't say the n-word. On his self-titled radio show, Prager was discussing how former presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon liked to drop racial and anti-semitic slurs. "Steve" from Cleveland, Ohio, phoned in to ask Prager why he used the euphemistic n-word but actually said the full anti-semitic slur. One possibility is that Prager is Jewish and not black, but Prager had a different, more banana pants answer for "Steve."
PRAGER: So, why didn't I say "k-word"? Because the left has made it impossible to say the n-word any longer. That's disgusting, it's a farce. It's the only word that you can't say in the English language.
Maybe it's just me, but I consider "farce" a "comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations," like Noises Off or Fire and Fury. It's not exactly farcical that decent people refrain from using a racial epithet that's indelibly linked to America's history of racial terrorism. No one's stopping you from saying the racial slur. There's no n-word police. Prager, however, believes there is an n-word police, and it's conservatism's favorite bogeyman, the "left." The left didn't drag him off to a reeducation camp for saying an anti-semitic slur, because the left doesn't give a damn about that word (or apparently Jews).
PRAGER: The left runs the country in the culture. The Republicans have the Senate and the presidency and that's very important.
It's not just important. It's what's actually relevant when making claims about just who "runs" the country. Conservatives also control the courts, but there's some tenured liberal arts professor somewhere who's big on Saul Alinsky. I don't think that's equal to the Supreme Court, which is why I don't have my own fake university like Prager.
PRAGER: But the culture? And the more the left controls the more totalitarian it is. That is not an attack, it's a statement of fact, like two plus two equals four.
There is this (predominately) male insistence on declaring an obvious opinion is the same as math. They are fundamentally different. Claiming the "left" controls our culture and is making it more "totalitarian" isn't even an informed opinion. It's what you find on page seven of some basement dweller's manifesto.
PRAGER: It is idiotic that you cannot say the n-word. Idiotic
You also can't say "fuck" on the radio. The left doesn't control the FCC. Bill Maher did say the full racial epithet on his show and he wasn't "canceled."
PRAGER: Of course you should never call anybody the n-word, that's despicable. But to say the word? You cannot even say that the word is despicable. You have to say "the n-word." That's the answer.
Yes, and it's not a terrible answer. People aren't confused when someone says "the n-word." We know they're referring to a racial slur with a painful history and don't wish to compound that pain by repeating it. That's what polite people do. Despite what white standup comedians or filmmakers might tell you, casually saying racial slurs don't "remove" their power like some magic Disney spell if people dropped n-bombs in Disney movies. No one walks away from Pulp Fiction thinking, "Wow, racial slurs are dehumanizing and awful!" No, we just wound up with a generation of hip white kids quoting the "dead n****r storage" scene.
If white men like Prager can't willingly and graciously sacrifice a single offensive word from the English language, it's obvious that actual reparations are an uphill battle.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).