Thursday, February 16, 2006

Paul Dawson Is My NI**AH - With An "H"

This is a hilarious story about a teacher getting suspended for using the N word with a student.

At this point we've heard the "white person using the n word and gets lynched" story too often to really raise an eyebrow. But you have to watch the video on this story. It's classic. Feels like an SNL sketch. The guy is so comfortable using the word, and he's the oldest whitest non-ni**a using the term ever. When he starts delineating the terms of usage, like we've seen so many black people do, it's scrumptious. When you see Paul say, "Can you loan a ni**a a pencil" then you know you've reached the delicious creamy filling in the middle.

Anyways peep the story and watch the video:
Teaching Kids The N Word

(I didn't find this story via Dragon, but she covered it also, and her content is straight butter, and always link worthy, so here she is)


  1. This guy Paul Dawson is clearly trying to reach out to black middle class folk all over the land with his Cosby-worthy sweater.

    I love his visual illustration. "I added the H. 'nig-GAHHHH!'" Freaky. Note that he admits "I need help." But then later he says "I'm cured." Thank God Almighty!

    I also like the newscasterspeak commentary: "The word is only six letters long, but..." Imagine if he had called the kid an antiassimilationist.

  2. why the hell do i share the same last name as the student? ...das right, cousin!

  3. Lucifer2/16/2006

    The face of the interviewer is priceless.

  4. Anonymous2/16/2006

    O MAN That was so hilarious it was painful! CRINGE!

  5. When I see "ni**a", I like to substitue "ninja" in my head.

    For example:
    "Can you loan a ninja a pencil" (Well, yes but he might kill you with it.)

    I'm with Paul - I don't understand why the word is used when it's so derogatory... even if it's to "take ownership" (as I've heard people say about this argument) of the word. I think it's an ugly word no matter whose mouth it comes out of.

    Word to my ninjas.

  6. Anonymous2/16/2006

    I agree; it is an ugly word, and though it's overuse has rendered it meaningless to people, say, under 25, I still blink like a crazy person when I hear it thrown my way, and I'm not that much older (really). I've never felt comfortable using it, even though I tried it in college briefly.
    I think its failure (besides the negative history) and the reason it will never be completely accepted is that there's still a double standard over who can use it and who can't, and when it's appropriate. Case in point: this guy.
    I suppose we black people need to spread the wealth; allow all people to use it, white and black, yellow and red. Let us not be niggardly with our slang, or let us not use it at all.

  7. Lucifer2/16/2006

    >>I suppose we black people need to spread the wealth; allow all people to use it, white and black, yellow and red.

    Nigga please.

    I have to admit, i dont really like the N word, but whenever it pops up (no homo) i try to shrug it off. The one thing i cant stand though is when ignorant white people use the word, a la the guy in this video.

    I suppose black people will just have to bear with this word untill after the revolution, but no white person should ever say the N word. And yes Paul Wall, that means you too.

  8. Anonymous2/16/2006

    Wait. Which revolution are you talking about?
    And why is it that he's ignorant and black people who use it aren't? Honestly, if the user is over 18, black or white-- and in my city all the variations in between-- I'm calling them ignorant. Depending on their size and/or number, I might even say it out loud.
    It's ridiculous regardless of who uses it, but I'm for equal usage or no usage. I mean...
    To me there's nothing more awkward than watching a white fan of hip hop rap along and then mouth the words or clam up when "nigga" is dropped. Why shouldn't he bark the word? Between his screwface (often) and attire I'm already thinking Al Jolsen, so complete the fantasy/offense already.
    Oh, I could talk all day on this one, Ninja.

  9. "know you've reached the delicious creamy filling in the middle."
    You are officially labeled as demented:)

  10. Anonymous2/16/2006

    **Spoiler alert, yes, I'm white, Spoiler alert**

    After watching the video--and please start hating me now--it seems that old white male English teacher had had it up to here with his black or African American students saying the n-word (and maybe even some of the cooler non-blacks being allowed to say it), and saying it often, and so he just threw up his arms and said, "You can say it, I can say it; I've told everybody in class repeatedly that that's a disrespectful term, and still its usage continues; I give up."

    And so old white male teacher figures he can't beat 'em, so he joins 'em.

    But he's not allowed to play any of those reindeer games. So he gets suspended. Without pay.

    I think English teacher let his own emotions pull him around by his nosering. I mean big deal: these people over here are allowed to say certain words and these other people over there aren't. Big deal. Move on. We all have bigger fish to fry, don't we? the herb certainly does, hehe.

  11. I think the dynamic of the word completely changes when a white person uses it versus when a black person uses it. Since I'm white, I don't use it, but I don't flip out when a black person uses it. Nor do I find myself pining for the "right" to use it.

    However, there's clearly a debate among black folks about using the word (and I'll leave that debate to's really not my debate, and I don't really have anything to add to the debate).

    But it bothers me that the teacher wasn't able to recognize that division of opinion among his own students after so many years of teaching. I wasn't present, so I don't know for a fact whether the student said the word first or not as the teacher claims.

    But based on my read of it, I believe the student and not the teacher on that point. I think the teacher is doing CYA pretty clearly, and I think the student is a serious guy who takes these sorts of matters seriously. Plus, nobody else heard him say it.

    The point is this: even if 99.99% of the students are in the habit of throwing the word around as if it were a form of punctuation, the other 0.01% (and obviously I'm exaggerating these numbers wildly to make my point) of the students matter just as much, and any teacher who is a teacher at all should understand that, let alone the obvious difference in connotation that occurs when a white person says it versus when a black person says it.

    The teacher was a hoot to watch, however, especially with that ridiculous visual aid he kept waving in front of the camera. I'm sure he's working on the PowerPoint version even as we speak.

    And although I understand why they do it, I always get a kick out of watching television reporters and anchors dance around "the N word." I honestly believe they would sooner drop the "F-bomb" than use the "N-word," even in the interests of journalism, and notwithstanding the FCC implications.

    (Somewhere in TV-land: "Mommy, what's an N-word?"

    "Not now, dear. I'll tell you when you're older.")

  12. Or perhaps more correctly:

    "Oh, f%@k. Not now, dear. I'll tell you when you're older."

  13. Model --

    I think TAN won the "demented" honor when he posted the "open letter." But we can always stick another gold seal on the certificate he already has, which he is rumored to keep taped to the back of his laptop.

    TAN --

    Keep the good stuff coming. We've got plenty of gold seals, and we can always order more if we run out.

    -- Rumormongeringly,

  14. Another white teacher weighs in:

    Dude, didn't that guy see the Boston Public when the blonde curly haired guy (who has some new stuuuuupid sitcom) says the n-word and gets in trouble? I am uncomfortable with all sorts of crap like that. Used to be that my kids called stuff "retarded" and now it is "gay" and I hate both of those as much as "nigga". Three points: 1 - As a teacher, you should teach...and that includes teaching them how to be good humans. It is called modeling - you show them how to act via your own actions. 2- Yes, even teachers fuck up and all people are allowed to do so...but I wish the school system would step in quicker. Clearly he has a record of ignorance (as I read in the story) and I am sure the other teachers/administrators knew it. I know which of my co-workers sleep in class and send kids for fastfood during class and leave the room to smoke during class. I hate tenure - wish we could make these people more accountable early on. Yes, the school system HAS in fact trained him to act this way by showing apathy in soooo many other areas. 3 - If we are going to hold teachers to such high standards (fired for using the n-word as this kid suggests) perhaps they should pay them more. I know, we all know that - but I'm just saying.

  15. I have to take exception to 4:43 PM anonymous's comments. It matters completely who is using it. Context is everything and history makes the use of the "n-word" in a white person's mouth fraught with all manner of fucked up shit. Especially an older person speaking to a younger person, a teacher to a student. I found the clip as a whole funny, but the kid's shock and rightful dismay was serious.

    The most surprising thing to me about Paul Dawson is that he's too fucking dumb to just say. "I was wrong. I am sorry. I am so so sorry." That's the only reasonable response. He's human, he made a stupid move, but if he can't just own up and apologize to his student and the community in no uncertain terms, there's a big problem. Put down the visual aid, Paul, and just admit you fucked up.

  16. Anonymous2/17/2006

    e, I'm not 4:43 anon, but I take exception to your exception. I won't defend his/her argument, but don't you think it's kind of fucked up that there's a set of words some people utilize and others cannot?
    Regardless of what the teacher does or doesn't get, don't you think the principle at the heart of the matter is fucked?
    I'm all for proper word choice, but I really prefer my dictionary to be open to all. T'ain't fair otherwise, and as unfair as the world is, shouldn't we at least shoot for fairness?

  17. Anonymous2/24/2006

    It's an offensive word. I think students should start getting suspended for using it in school. It's foul language, and other words are not tolerated in such a place, why accept the n word?

  18. Im not saying racism is ok. But I truley think that that that student used his race as an advantage for media attention and sympathy. The teacher was obviously not in the wrong, would anyone have been there they would feel the same way. But no. We have a african american kid agaisnt a caucasian teacher. And america is so scared that they have to make the decision that the child is RIGHT! and I DISSAGREE!

  19. mr. thomas3/01/2006

    I have read all of your comments....and i believe #1. E is right about the apology and admittance-be a man and own it. But reality is that this kid did use the word in a higher learning honors class. The teacher let his emotions slip and handed him back the same crap he dealt. Not saying its right but i believe he wanted to show the student how stupid he sounded. The teachers today let the students act out in class from fear of reprisal from parents and school board. This guy is my hero! Whatever race, teachers need to put discipline back in their classrooms and students in check.

  20. Anonymous3/18/2006

    I don't know how you can reach the conclusion, as some people have, that the teacher was using "nigga" out of frustration, or to teach his students a lesson, or even to "discipline" them. It seems clear to me that he wasn't trying to scold them, but to realte to them. He sounds like one of those teachers who thinks that his job isn't complete unless he achieves peer status with his students. If you ask me, that's really naive. Not only do teachers not need to become peers, but the whole set-up of public schools kinda makes that goal impossible.

    Teenagers are programmed to form groups based on a million little identifiers - style, interests, money, age, and, not least of all, race. Teachers should recognize that they won't be able to con their way in. Their job isn't to join groups, or even to erase groups, but to teach their students how to deal with ideas and people from any group.

    (I realize this conversation has been over for a month, but I just read it today and couldn't resist chiming in. Sorry.)

  21. Anonymous4/13/2006

    I think that everyone (and I do mean everyone) is to overly concerned and put too much gravity in "words". There is nothing anyone has ever said to me that has made me feel bad about myself. Words are someones opinion. That is it! Opinions are like as*hol*s. Everybody has one and they all stink! (Even mine). If someone calls you a "Stick" or a "Door", it wouldn't offend you. So why should it offend you if someone calls you anything else?!?!
    GET OVER IT!!!

  22. Anonymous10/12/2006

    Ive always liked this video but its so stupid.. you know the dumb black kid said nigga you just know it.. and he denies it. honestly there hasnt been a day at school where i havent seen a stupid black kid say nigga.. its rediculous

  23. See, you can't say that only black people are allowed to use that word. If so then you'd have to make a big hissy fit when black/mexican/asian/ect. people use the word honky, or mexicans have to make a big deal when everyone else calls them beaners. Why is it that black people use honky and beaner so much yet no one but black people can say nigga. It isn't ok when anyone uses any of those words but thats just how society is today. Only when white people do it then wow, its pandemonium, he's part of the KKK, he's racist. Huh..

    I don't care if he said it because people do make mistakes. Why should he apologize? If he did people would still be hounding him instead of saying "Oh that was the right thing to do, good job." No matter how this was handled he still would've been wrong. He said it, people say it, people say a lot of things. Deal with it because no one is going to change how anyone speaks and you cant limit what people say to what race they are.

  24. I read these posts and see some people saying that we i.e. black people should allow the whites to use this term, (nig*a, nig**r), ok, my first opinion is that this is a free country, with the country of freedom of speech no matter what you say or who says it. Secondly, these terms are by no means racist, because if they where, then each and every black person that uses them in any sense, i.e. talking with friends, general conversation or even in fighting is a racist against there own race. Each and everyone should have the same punishment or haterid towards a black person that uses it as much as a white person that uses. I by no means am racist in any form or way and I felt comfortable enough to ask this question to many of my black friends so that I may better understand why blacks think it's ok between there own race and not for a white, most didn't even know the full meaning behind it all, some just thought of it as a statement, a word to use, but, they did know that it's supposed to be a racist remark. Personally, there is no racist involved. Just another word in the ENGLISH dictionary that EVERYONE has the freedom of speech to use.

  25. Anonymous1/10/2007

    Truly a hoot. Black folks walk around acting as ignorant as they possbily can and no one bats an eye. As soon as some goofy white guy uses Nigga everyone is all up in arms like he lynched somebody. And that idiot kid's attitude is priceless - "Ooh I was so, sniff, stunned."

    And this guys shows up everyday in a war zone (racially diverse environment for you liberals) to teach these kids to better themselves? With teacher shortages they should be giving the guy a parade for sticking it out. He could claim hostile environment and the state would pay his retirement.

    White's don't have to keep blacks down. They're doing just fine on their own.

  26. Anonymous3/24/2007

    I am a teacher in the Chicago public school system, and all of my classes are filled with niggers. I can understand why this guy said what he said. Of course, I would never do that for fear of losing my job. My boss is a nigger, too. So I just flunk the really flamboyant niggers, and I take what small comfort I can in that.

  27. Nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger...

  28. Mo Fo Nigger's...

  29. Anonymous12/19/2007

    this is obviously an isolated event, taken out of context, and then used as a tool by some beaurocrats and newsmakers to make their point.

    i think everyone should be equally pissed off that the powers that be have taken advantage of a student's problems with their teacher to sell advertisements...that's pretty disrespectful if you ask me!

  30. Great Ninjaman1/16/2008

    I'm with Dawson. Black people hate it when "the man" calls them a nigger/nigga, but they instigate the problem by calling each other nigga.

    "Whassup my nigga?" - Jackie Chan


  31. Motown490011/22/2008

    "This guy Paul Dawson is clearly trying to reach out to black middle class folk all over the land with his Cosby-worthy sweater"
    this dude is probably another black bill cosby hater. what you people forgot is that before bill cosby wore those damn sweaters he was from the projects!

  32. Anonymous4/07/2009

    Well to tell you the truth if that was my teacher and he called me the n word i'd just be cool with it.I'm black but when white people say it without the er on the end it means the same thing as when black people use it.

  33. Anonymous5/31/2009

    I think that the professor should be punished coz he done said a corrupt word against my peoples. I'm allowed to say that there word cause I be exempt but whitey aint go the props to say it cause he just a nigger.

    My name is DeBrain'shaw# Ferguson and I be approving this message. Nigger!!

  34. Anonymous9/19/2009

    ok DeBrain'shaw,

    If your going to exclude anyone from saying any word in this country, go to fucking mexico because your not welcome in the united states. According to the FIRST ammendement, not the 3rd, not the fourth, THE FIRST. All citizens of the united states of america have certain freedoms that include FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This means that i can say whatever the fuck i want. I can understand if its being directed as racist or a threat but what harm is being done by saying the word"nigga" when every other fucking black male/female is saying it.If the teacher is being punished, why dont you punish every other black person thats flaunting the word around like its a fucking daisy. If a white person cant say it then it shouldnt be spoken at all but thats the point! If it shouldnt be spoken at all, someones doing a shitty job at useing their rights from the fucking bill of rights. Im white and i can use the term "nigga" whenever the fuck i want to and if i get beat because of that by someone thats african american and dissagrees then thats called assault and you'll go to jail asshole.

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