Why Burning Down A Black Church Is The Ultimate Way To Call A Black Person A Nigg@r

by Kenneth Cooper

When a white person calls you a nigger, there’s nothing equivalent you can say in response. No matter how mad you get or articulate you try to be, there’s not a word or insult that carries more historical weight than the one you’ve just been called. In that situation, the only equivalent retaliation left to you is to punch that person in the face, conceding the verbal confrontation in exchange for a physical one.

White people have had this advantage ever since our ancestors were dragged off slave ships, and forced to pick cotton and grow their master’s food. From that point on, when used as an insult, nigger meant “You are inferior,” and “I’m better than you.” It was an advantage shared by slave owners and non-slave owners alike. Part of this country’s history has been the evolving ways racist white people have sought to remind black people of this historical advantage.

For about a century after slavery, racist white people enjoyed the privilege of outright calling a black person a nigger. They could either do it to their face or with signs, like the ones on buildings all over the south that once read: No Niggers Allowed. But as the country evolved from overt racism to a more subtle version, racists had to create more refined ways to say “You are inferior,” and “I’m better than you.”

One way, in the middle of an argument about some injustice in this country, was to simply tell a black person to go back to Africa, Africa in this context meaning not just back to the continent (or country depending on that person’s intelligence) that your ancestors were taken from, but back to the primitive state they were found in. It’s a sophisticated way of calling a black person an ungrateful nigger.  As with being called a nigger outright, there’s nothing equivalent you can say in response. Saying, “won’t you go back to Europe” doesn’t hold the same weight, neither does reminding them that your ancestors help build this country, mainly because they did so as an enslaved person. Again, your only equivalent response is to punch that person in the face.

And actions speak louder than words. Actions like unnecessary hurdles to voting, or pulling a person over just because they’re black, or throwing them in jail for longer sentences than a white person would get for the same crime. These insults, though, also carried with them the option of a legal response.

Additionally, some have chosen to to do more than just talk and intimidate. For them, action speaks louder than words. These are the lynchers. But lynchers, Jim Crow supporters, segregationists, and even run of the mill racists who casually hurl insults are mere mortals. Those who make the ultimate judgement and insult are the church burners, the ones who deem black people as not only inferior, but unworthy of God.

The church has always been a place of refuge for black people. Before it became a physical sanctuary, it was a mental one slaves shared through prayer. Even some of the most cold-hearted slave owners realized they could only take their racism so far. Many wouldn’t deny their slaves the spiritual redemption going to church implied, either by preaching the Word themselves on Sundays, or allowing slaves to gather and spread it amongst their own. The thought was that even slaves cursed into inferiority deserve mercy from the Lord.

When Holden Matthews burned down three churches in Louisiana, he aligned himself with those type of racists who feel black people don’t even deserve God’s grace. Yeah, there’s some narrative going around that he is a pagan who did it because he wanted to see black people reject the Baptist religion forced upon them and embrace the pre-Christian religions of Africa. At best that’s dubious. His goal was to communicate that via the language (burning down a church) that the ultimate racists have used in the past? More likely, Matthews is the beneficiary of privilege.  White criminality is always humanized with supporting rationale to explain the act. 

What response is there to being deemed unworthy of God? There’s nothing equivalent that can be expressed in words. Maybe the black people of St. Landry Parish should be allowed to line up and punch Holden Matthews in the face. It won’t bring back their churches, but it may at least allow them an opportunity to respond to him with the anger and outrage his act deserves.  

One thought on “Why Burning Down A Black Church Is The Ultimate Way To Call A Black Person A Nigg@r

  • April 19, 2019 at 10:11 am
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    WHY DO BLACK PEOPLE CALL EACH OTHER NIGGER?
    WHEN I TURN ON NEW ORLEANS TV, AND SKIP THRU CHANNELS, I PAUSE AND
    HEAR BLACK PEOPLE CALLING EACH OTHER NIGGER?
    WHEN I DRIVE DOWN THE STREETS AND COME TO RED LIGHTS, I HEAR THE CAR NEXT TO ME WITH A LOUD RADIO PLAYING VULGAR, DEROGATORY, DEMEANING, VILE, FILTHY MUSIC CALLING BLACK PEOPLE ESPECIALLY WOMEN, EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE NAMES OVER AND OVER AND ALSO USING THE WORD NIGGER OVER AND OVER AND PLAYING THEIR MUSIC AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE FOR ALL THE PUBLIC TO HEAR?
    I ONCE SUPERVISED A DEPT AND HAD 22 EMPLOYEES, 9 WERE BLACK, AND 8 OF THE 9 CONSTANTLY CALLED EACH OTHER NIGGER ALL DAY LONG TO EACH OTHER AND ALSO TO ANY OTHER BLACKS THAT VISITED OR IN OTHER DEPTS !
    NONE OF THE WHITE EMPLOYEES USED THE WORD NIGGER WHEN I WAS THERE,
    INSTEAD OF WRITING THEM UP AND HAVING THAT GO INTO THEIR RECORD, I OPTED TO SPEND TIME IN DISCUSSIONS, WHICH TOOK ME A YEAR OF GENTLE CONVERSATIONS TO GET THEM TO STOP USING THE WORD AND BE MORE RESPECTFUL TO EACH OTHER. AND IT WORKED, AND OUR DEPT BECAME VERY RESPECTFUL ALL OVER AND DECENCY AND COURTESY ELEVATED 1000%.
    AND THEN THEY SPREAD IT TO ALL THEIR FRIENDS, AND CO WORKERS !
    THE WORD DISAPPEARED !
    TODAY 2019, I DO NOT HEAR WHITE PEOPLE IN MY CIRCLES EVER USE THE WORD NIGGER EVER TO DENIGRATE OR MALIGN OR LABEL ANY PERSON. NONE!

    THE CHURCH BURNING WAS WRONG TO DO, NO REASON IS JUSTIFIED!
    THIS IS NOT THE 1ST or THE LAST PERSON, WHITE OR BLACK, WHO HAS NOW OR IN THE FUTURE COMMITTED HURTFUL DESTRUCTIVE ACTS UPON INNOCENT PEOPLE THAT IS DRIVEN BY INTERNAL VOICES OF DECEPTIONS THAT COMPEL ANY PERSON TO BE DESTRUCTIVE, RACIST, DISCRIMINATE, OR MEAN.

    THE MAN WHO BURNED THESE CHURCHES, HAS DEFECTIVE LOGIC. I CANNOT SIT BACK AND RANDOMLY CONJECTURE OR SPECULATE WHAT IS IN HIS MENTAL FUNCTIONS THAT DROVE HIM TO ACT OUT HIS WAY.
    THE MAN SHALL FACE HIS CRIMINAL ACTIONS AND PENALTIES PRESCRIBED BY
    OUR LAWS, OUR COURTS, AND HIS MENTAL ANALYSIS.
    “““““““““““““““““““““““
    WHAT ABOUT YOU, US, ME?

    IN CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, IT STATES:
    IF I speak with the tongue of a men or a angel and do not have love, then I am nothing but a banging gong or clanging cymbal. Just noise!
    LOVE is patient, kind, gentle, easy to speak to, merciful, & long suffering!
    BY THIS, said Jesus, shall all men know you are “my disciples” , by the “love” you show to one another and how you follow me, and how you listen and how you obey my voice and how you follow all my teachings in spite of or how any man treats you. THEREFORE, “love your brother and sister and one another” as I have shown and illustrated to you as a example.
    “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, mistreat or abuse you” for if they did it to me they will do it to you.
    Your mission, if you are my Disciple, and if you choose to accept it is to deny self, and take up my cross, and go to all ethnic groups and preach and proclaim the Good News Gospel of my message, lead them to me, Baptize them, and teach them to “obey and follow” all the commandments I have shown, taught and shared with you.
    Remember, “my ways” are not your ways, “my ways” are not your thoughts, as far as the stars are above in the Heavens, so are Gods ways far above all of mans ways, mans thoughts, and mans opinions. Do not love this world, nor any thing in this world, for the world offers only the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the idolatry of mans pride, and all these of the world are at enmity with God.

    Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of the world or any sinner, and Blessed are you to not sit in the seat close to mockers of Gods wisdom.
    A Good Man, yes, his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his laws, commandments and doctrines does he constantly meditate day and night.

    Greater love has no man or woman than this, that one of My Disciples would lay down his/her life for his Christian brothers, sisters, and friends.
    Jesus said, You are My friends if you do what I command you.
    ——————-

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