3.3
April 20, 2013

My Response to David Foster: Jew ‘fro or no Jew ‘fro You Cannot Use the Word “Nigga”, Yo! ~ Jazmyn Burton

Your choice to quote black scholars to support your intellectual argument for the use of the word “nigga” leads me to believe that you’re a studious fellow.

So I figure you’re, at the very least, familiar with the concept of trauma being embedded in one’s DNA.

If not, let me hip you to some life game playa (I hope you don’t mind my use of Ebonics here). According to scientific research, trauma is not just psychological, but biological and even inheritable.

According to a study:

“Embedded within the DNA sequence are epigenetic regulators, chemical marks that control which genes are expressed and which are not. The heretical proposition is that these epigenetic marks can be transmitted along with the DNA. Findings indicate that psychological conditions, such as trauma and stress, also leave an epigenetic mark.”

Make no mistake—the psychological marks of enslavement are deep. So deep that even imagining you using the word “nigga” makes me itch.

Maybe you were a black man in a prior life, though I doubt it. Because if you were, the collective ancestral pain of the Middle Passage would be encoded in your DNA, and you would have a better understanding of the pain that this word has caused—and continues to cause—especially when it comes from the mouth of one who is perceived to be white.

Even if you mean it with all the love you have in your heart chakra, it doesn’t hit my ear that way.

If we’re going to get all quantum about it, it is quite possible that somewhere along the time continuum I’m lighting the kindle of a Holocaust oven while you’re somewhere being hung from a noose.

However, our understanding splits at your failure to acknowledge the universality of ancestral pain. Unlike you, I have been branded with it, for lack of a better term. For that reason, if it were ever to become culturally relevant to use the word “kike” in Jewish circles I’d probably pass.

Because brotha’, I don’t want to hurt you anymore than I already have in this life or the next.

As a Buddhist, you realize that parts of our past lives follow us. Part of the reason I practice yoga is to remove some of these markers from my DNA, to confront who I was, who I am in this incarnation and learn how to continue moving forward…but I’ll save that for another blog.

Make no mistake son, what you call hip-hop has descended into the category of a global product, packaged by a destructive, European dominated global economy that overwhelming destroys all of the cultures upon which it descents to do business. The overuse of the word “nigga” in hip-hop is not a sign of social progress—to me, it’s a sign that even our mistakes are for sale.

Yes, your ancestors did “pretty much the worst things in the world to (my) ancestors” and yes my life “has been more challenging than (yours) because of that.” But do get that your incarnation as a white male came with a level of privilege and perceived historical connection.

As far as I’m concerned, you cannot use the word—and you will continue to have to answer for the sins of your father until you work to reverse the global degradation that your European ancestors set in motion and continue to support.

Although you claim to be a cultural swagger-jacker Buddhist and a lover of all things hip-hop, whose Jew ‘fro makes him authentic, you reason like a white man.

 

Jazmyn Burton, a mother, writer and Philadelphia-based yogini, has immersed herself in the physical and spiritual practice of yoga for nearly a decade. Along her journey, she found that she was often the only woman of color in her studio classes. In an effort to bring more women of color to the practice she founded Yeye yOga, a weekly community class open to yogini of all shapes, sizes and colors, that stresses the importance of black women regaining control of their mental and physical health. In an attempt to start the process of saving the world one enlightened soul at a time, she recently enrolled in a 200 hour teacher training with Beyond Asana. Read about her yoga journey at jazmynyoga.com.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

Source: Uploaded by user via Diënne on Pinterest

 

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