People who love music often love to sing the lyrics of the songs they enjoy. They sometimes inject them into a conversation.
In my house, it’s routine to respond to a comment with a set of lyrics from some song or another, for example.
It’s fairly common.
And yet, it also got one TV anchor fired.
A veteran anchor of a Mississippi TV news station is off the air after repeating a phrase by rapper Snoop Dogg that includes slang for the N-word.
Journalist and meteorologist Barbie Bassett no longer is listed as a member of the WLBT-TV news team, the Clarion Ledger reported, adding that "social media reports suggest she has been removed from her morning anchor position for racially insensitive comments."
What did she say?
The paper said Bassett's on-air comments in question followed a story about Snoop Dogg's Snoop Cali Blanc, one of his wines. A clip showing chatter between anchors included Bassett repeating a Snoop Dogg phrase, "Fo shizzle, my nizzle." The last word in the phrase is said to be slang for the N-word.
The thing is, not everyone knows that the last part of that is a variation of the dreaded n-word.
In fact, it’s not just me—a white boy—who thinks that.
While a number of commenters on Bassett's Facebook page reveled in her removal from the broadcast desk, radio host Charlamagne Tha God — who is black — came to Bassett's defense.
“She can’t say, ‘Fo shizzle, my nizzle?’ Oh, I guess 'cause nizzle is a derivative of the N-word," Charlamagne said during a recent broadcast of his program, "The Breakfast Club," according to Mediaite.
The host added that “she might not even know what ‘Nizzle’ means, yo ... that’s not a fireable offense. I hope she sues," the outlet reported.
She probably didn’t.
As it was, she was quoting Snoop, who has seen that particular phrase become something of a catchphrase for him over his now-long career. It’s entirely possible she wasn’t even cognizant of the fact that it meant anything.
Look, the n-word is unwarranted. I’m not going to excuse anyone for using the term.
But she didn’t use the term. She used a term that’s apparently something of a stand-in for the word, one that a lot of folks didn’t know was supposedly off-limits.
At some point, we’ve got to stop punishing people for stuff like this. It’s got to end.
Now, in fairness, this isn’t Bassett’s first “offense,” but that, too, looked relatively minor and was more of a case of people getting butthurt over nothing.
The truth is that people need to learn to be resilient. Had someone simply told Bassett that such was out of line, it’s unlikely she’d ever say it again. Most people are like that. They don’t want to offend people for no good reason.
But the mob doesn’t care. They want to attack any and all who don’t instinctively know and try to destroy all who oppose them.
At some point, people are going to be sick of it, then things will get interesting.
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Regarding the last line, given the past few years I can't help but wonder what will be the "Popeye moment"* for more than just random whackos here and there... and I'm really not looking forward to it, even though I'm growing increasingly skeptical that it can be avoided with some people continually pushing harder and harder as time goes on.
* "That's all I can stands, cuz I can't stands no more!"
A year or so ago a 19-yr old kpop singer was at an awards show (in Korea, natch) and was mouthing or singing along with a song being played in a break. Said song was an american rap song by a black artist, so you can imagine that there were words that "only black people are allowed to say" in the lyrics.
Naturally the woke Western crowd went nuts that a 19-yr old Korean girl who speaks English as a 4th language (Korean, Japanese, French before English) and would likely assume that a song played publicly is just fine to sing along with looked like she was saying the word that only black people can say, and she should have known American racial culture (becuz she speaks English, so that apparently transfers such knowledge by osmosis or something), and what an awful person she must be.
I had to dig under my couch to find my eyes since they rolled out of my head, across the floor, and under there.