“All that’s changed in last 25 years is the calendar.” Ice Cube
Our first entry has been posted, and words have begun marching across the page with the intent to advance the cause of civil rights, not only for black people, but for all people disenfranchised by institutional discrimination and abuse, which of course includes people of all races and ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation, etc.
Because we are asking for authenticity, it is conceivable, even likely, that the “N” word is going to appear in some entries. Even given the context of this contest, the word will offend some people, and rightly so.
I wrote a book review of Fire in a Canebrake: the Last Mass Lynching in America for the San Diego Union Tribune, in which I quoted passages directly from the book that used the “N” word, and my editor there, Arthur Salm, was required by the paper’s policy to edit those words out. I do not have a policy manifest to conform to, only my sense of what is right or wrong, and dignified. As the Editor-in-Chief, I can’t rule out that it won’t appear in the entries I post, but I will approach use of the word on a case-by-case basis, considering the author’s intent.
Bill Maher used the word in a careless manner, apparently oblivious of the word’s power to continue to inflict pain. Here is a response worth sharing: