WHEN IS A NIGGER NOT A NIGGER….DISCUSS

Robert crumb and nigger hearts

Satirical illustration  courtesy of Robert Crumb

I see Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn fein has got himself into some bother and was forced to make his apologies . Apparently he was watching the Tarantino film “Django Unchained “and it occurred to him to equate the lot of the negro slaves with the history of he Irish and their relationship with their neighbouring britons who had some years back decided to take the island of Ireland as one of their possessions.There has obviously been some residual animosity stretching down through the years because of this neat piece of shoplifting.It resulted in some 800 years of aggravation , including eventually absentee landlords mismanaging the land, the Great Famine of the 19th century ,the Rising of 1916, mass immigration to America, the Irish Civil War, Bloody Friday, Bloody Sunday and any number of calumnies that followed throughout the island of Ireland. There’s 800 years of historical musings to study there. Mr Adams obviously saw his localised nationalist community as being somewhat enslaved on some level , by his neighbouring britons.
I was watching one of the “Antiques Roadshow” television programmes over the weekend and a lady was getting a valuation on an old map of the world which she owned . There it was , a odd cartological drawing of the known world some centuries back and what was assumed to be the shape of several countries . Greenland was excluded , for example , because no one knew it existed . On the map of Africa there was an area neatly named “Negroland” in italicised copperplate script. That one made me stop and think for a while.That is obviously how the map -maker perceived the known part of the African continent of his day .
Mr Adams used the word “nigger” in the context of slavery ; it being a corruption of the word “negro” which was in common parlance at the time .Some people are overly sensitive to language , of course, seeing old Anglo Saxon words such as “fuck” as being obscene , but they are in essence no more than human sounds emoted to describe normal common acts or things. One local word which developed around the 1970’s in relation to Norneverland’s native Roman Catholics of a Irish nationalist persuasion was the word “taig”. I grew up to my teens without having really heard the word used socially , but apparently it is an anglicised version of “Teague”, itself an Irish name “Tadhg” , which had been used since the 17th century as a derogatory racist nickname for an Irishman. The word “taig” soon came into vogue as the Troubles progressed and became common parlance hurled in anger or painted on gable walls …sucha s the epithet “Taigs Out”. A stranger would have little idea what that was all about.
The word “nigger” was similarly used as a derogatory slang term for black Americans ,who had obviously initially been the result of the slave trade in America, especially since those days of their ancestors’ theft from Africa, by slavers , to finish in the cotton fields of the southern states of America where the Django film is set . Many now claim that the ancestors of those original slaves have now taken command of the word and their own destinies by casually referring to each other ribaldly as “nigger” in conversation . You can hear that in a lot of the current popular rap music which has succeeded rock and roll , blues and soul music within current black communities.
The underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, in the 1960’s , satirised the term and white America’s perceptions of black America with his comic strip “Angelfood McSpade” which the above illustration refers to . Many people would rather that their fears were left unsaid , of course, so underground comix were banned .The fears were still every bit as real , of course.
Over forty years ago John Lennon of Beatles fame also wrote and recorded his song “Woman Is The Nigger Of The World” as a feminist statement in his sloganising period . Whether or not his comparison is valid or not , people still get hung up on the language rather than what is being said.
Maybe Mr Adams was thinking along those same kinds of lines or maybe he shouldn’t bother tweeting when he’s relaxing with a few beers while watching a movie.


“Woman Is The Nigger Of The World”(John Lennon)

Woman is the nigger of the world
Yes she is…think about it
Woman is the nigger of the world
Think about it…do something about it

We make her paint her face and dance
If she won’t be slave, we say that she don’t love us
If she’s real, we say she’s trying to be a man
While putting her down we pretend that she is above us
Woman is the nigger of the world…yes she is
If you don’t belive me take a look to the one you’re with
Woman is the slaves of the slaves
Ah yeah…better scream about it
We make her bear and raise our children
And then we leave her flat for being a fat old mother hen
We tell her home is the only place she would be
Then we complain that she’s too unworldly to be our friend
Woman is the nigger of the world…yes she is
If you don’t belive me take a look to the one you’re with
Woman is the slaves of the slaves
We insult her everyday on TV
And wonder why she has no guts or confidence
When she’s young we kill her will to be free
While telling her not to be so smart we put her down for being so dumb
Woman is the nigger of the world…yes she is
If you don’t belive me take a look to the one you’re with
Woman is the slaves of the slaves
Yes she is…if you belive me, you better screem about it.

[Repeat:]
We make her paint her face and dance
We make her paint her face and dance
We make her paint her face and dance