I'm so repulsed by the word "nigger" I vowed to never use it years ago, and to check anyone who uses it in my presence.
So, of course I was disappointed that the Rev. and state Sen. James T. Meeks publicly used the word-again.
Today, i called up Meeks and asked why.

Last week, Meeks compared some elected officials with "house niggers" in a sermon critical of the Chicago Public School System.

"House nigger" is a derogatory description of slaves who worked in the slave owner's house and benefitted from the close relationship. Today, it is still a derogatory term commonly used by blacks to denounce other blacks.

Meeks also used the controversial slur publicly while protesting alleged racial profiling on the South Side. In an interview, Meeks accused police officers of stopping drivers in cars they deemed to be "niggermobiles."

Wednesday afternoon, Meeks told me he was putting the word to rest.

"I am not using the word at all anymore," he said. "I'm going to officially retire my use of it.

But Meeks also told me that he expects something from White America, too.

"My appeal to White America is this: I will stop using that word, and it will never come out of my mouth again," he said. "But I am expecting them to be as equally passionate about ridding society of the achievement gap as they are passionate about ridding society of this word. I want them to be equally passionate about redlining. I want them to be passionate about the resource gap.

How can they be comfortable knowing that white children get more money per pupil for education than black kids? How can they sleep at night?" he asked.

Meeks also believes white people are the driving force behind efforts to bury this racial slur.

"White people don't like the word because it's a symbol of white racism," he said. "They recognize that it was an error on the part of their forefathers.

I disagree.

As noted by Ferris State University sociology Professor David Pilgrim and his colleague, languages and literature Professor Phillip Middleton, white supremacists have spread their anti-black views on sites with names such as "Niggers Must Die," "Hang A Nigger for America" and "Nigger Jokes Central."

The people behind these sites couldn't care less about African-Americans using the slur. They probably find it funny.

But whites who avoid using this racial slur are getting ticked off.

As long as they can be hounded out of their careers for publicly calling a black person the N-word, they are going to be outraged when blacks use the word with immunity.


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One question for you......Is Meeks a State Senator or a Preacher. According to our constitution, Isn't there supposed to be a seperation of church and state? It appears to me that Meeks is in violation of the Constitution..


Meeks is a state Senator and an ordained minister. Given that there have been several ordained ministers in Congress, Meeks' dual role does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

I have always hated the word. My husband & I don't use it. We remember when Richard Pryor said in one of his stand up that he was not going to use it again. I wish all Black Americans will stop using the N word and don't buy any music with the N word. I'm with you all the way.

I posted this on a message group:

Is Meeks smokin'????
Posted on August 3, 2006 at 01:21:32 PM by Spedy

It seems that Meeks want to take the light off of himself and point it at white racism. It amazes me how well he is adapting to the life of a politician. He made a ridiculous statement, and he could "REALLY" include himself within that statement. Based on how he phrased it because he has supported some folks who have not had the best interests of blacks. Namely - Gov. Blago.

I have the link to Mary Mitchell's column, which Meeks seems to be back peddling and states he will never use that word, the n-word, again. The article is interesting, but the most interesting was this:

"How can we watch 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' and see whites going to better schools with books and computers, qualified teachers and no peeling paint and watch black kids go to school with no books, no computers and few qualified teachers?" he asked.

"But we are appalled by the use of this word. I think that is straining a gnat and swallowing a camel."

He keeps talking about the quality of teachers. I wonder how many of the teachers in the failed schools are actually those who have not passed the basic skills test. Maybe the Aldermen, Senators, and Congressmen should be "REQUIRED" to have a degree, do some type of service project, and then be tested. I wonder how many so-called public servants could pass that "Basic Skills" exam. It's easy to talk about the teachers failing the test. That doesn't mean they a terrible teachers. If we used progress for the Chicago Aldermen, all of the poor neighborhoods would get failing grades.

I have a request. Since Rev. Sen. Meeks has over 20,000 members, he should task his church members to become the NEW HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS that will be willing to work in the CPS bureaucracy and bring these schools out of the dark ages. Sound bites are wonderful, but I doubt there is a real solution behind the words.

Besides, we need to put some of the blame where it belongs - the parents. I know all children do not have wonderful 2 parent homes, but that is not an excuse for the homes to not insure that the child will, at least, have a chance.

Meeks claims he is 'outraged' by the condition of black schools. Well, I (and I'm sure countless others) are outraged when the black community has an out of wedlock birth rate of nearly 80%, when black males proudly impregnate females and leave them to fend for themselves, when black mothers expect and demand that society take care of their children.

Meeks (and other black ministers and self-appointed leaders) has a pulpit to use to preach morality to his congregation. I suggest he start using it first before demanding that others come to the rescue of this self-inflicting black problem.

The use of the word Nigger has power only when Blacks allow it to have power in the sense of it being degrading and disrespectful. The term nigga not (Nigger) is and has been a term commonly used in many social circles between Black Americans. It will and should never be eradicated from our conversations in social circles and communities around the World. So people advocating for the non-use of the word is fighting a lost cause. We need to re-direct our focus and advocacy for other important issues relating to the degredation and disrespect of Black folks and thier communities here in Chicago and other cities around the World. But, I'm sure that would be too much like right-to really happen. And that's My two cents.
Keanya Toran

I agree with you, there is no place for the use of that word today by anyone. But, I also agree with Reverend Meeks. It seems that whites are upset simply because they cannot use the word to injure blacks with the intent that the word has historically carried with it. Some want to call a black person a Nigger soooo bad that it kills them that they can't do it without ramifications. Yes there is a double standard when it comes to the word. I propose an even better deal with white people, you can call me Nigger all you want, but I want the double standard you receive in pay for the same work, mortgage rates, insurance rates, criminal sentencing, racial profiling, and any other benefit of whiteness they are privy to. Chris Rock said it best - "there's not a white person in here who will switch places with my black ass...and I'm RICH!!!"

I am surprised the Rev. State Senator Meeks could not find a more appropriate word to express his disappointed with black politicians. Meeks calling a black politician a ‘house nigger’ doesn’t insult the politician, but shows how ignorant Meeks is. Does he really think White America cares if he used the insults black people?

What Meeks should have done was to take everyone (politicians, teachers, principals, parents and students) to task for the terrible state of Chicago Public Schools. If he had done that then the discussion would be about the schools and not about him.

I find it amazing that the term “nigger” is used so freely by African-Americans with each other. It is a hurtful word that should evoke bad memories of a past generation. In a time when opportunities exist for all people (despite Rev. Meeks feelings); African Americans should be building each other up through encouragement and support, rather then denigrating themselves through slurs. Calling each other “nigger” and glorifying the gangster lifestyle will only help future generations feel they can do no better than sit on the corner, drink and curse while the world passes them by. It is time to stop the self loathing and finger pointing and realize that if you want something in life, you need to work hard and not worry about what other people think or say. I know it’s easier said than done, but it can be accomplished!!

What amazes me is the fact that Meeks, (no 'Mister' for him) scolds the white race for the poor performance of the black race.
Where are the standards for the blacks? Where is 'black' pride? Why are blacks so defensive that they blame everyone else for their problems?
Why aren't you, as an influential writer, who espouses the good traits of the blacks, demanding that blacks provide the support system for other blacks?
Providing an analogy:
As a woman, I totally support women's rights, BUT, I strongly object to women making false statements to misleadingly achieve their gains.

I have known so many strong good blacks in my lifetime, you're making them look like fools.

Grow up and assume responsibility!!!


I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say "Where are the standards for the blacks?" Are there standards for the whites? Surely, you don't think every black person is immoral and engaging in criminal activity.
What makes you think all blacks are sensitive? And what is your definition of "strong good blacks?"

For goodness sakes why does anyone give that man presstime he's a carnival act extrodinaire schools are here to provide you with an education but its up to your parents or parent to educate you as for the lottery its funny black people will give their last dime to support it and then they wonder where the money goes......DUH. Meeks is far from to the manor born for only someone of his ilk can't make up his mind whether they're a senator reverend or a used car salesman (that's probably one of his credentials too)

I wish the local population could get this excited and vocal about upgrading the schools, getting rid of payday loan stores, liquor stores, gun shops, dollar stores,poor housing, no housing,the working poor, joblessness, incompetent politicians,and incompetent teachers & administrators in the Black & Hispanic community.

My daughter is one of maybe thirty white children who attend school here in predominately black Park Forest and I know she has received the same treatment and educational opportunities as the black children and other so-called minorities. Since she will now be entering 7th grade she has attended three different schools here in S.D.163 and the most well funded one is Beacon Hill School in Chicago Heights which is in a poor neighborhood with the same problems that occur in the poorer areas of Chicago. This school has the best teachers, a refurbished library, a newer computer lab and air conditioned rooms so please stop with the "poor me attitude " that the Rev. Meeks seems to throw around more often than a collection plate!The schools here in Park Forest pale in comparison as far as appearance and equipment go and it is MY tax dollars that pay for these schools ,not the people on welfare and living in section 8 homes in Chicago Heights.I'm sorry, but I just don't get this whole "failing schools" thing-the only thing I see failing are black parents! My daughter doesn't get free breakfast or lunch, free gym suits or free anything for that matter and we wouldn't take it if she could.Maybe it's time for blacks to choose new civic leaders like Bill Cosby and get away from the finger pointing made famous by the Revs. Jackson , Meeks and Sharpton . I would be embarassed to have these people speaking on my behalf !

This tradeoff Meeks is talking about is very confusing. He says he vows passionately to never say the word nigger again, but in return he wants white people to be just as passionate in fixing an unequal school system. It sounds like he thinks he is doing whites a favor by not saying the word nigger, and we should reward him for that? That is hilarious! Whites don't care if he or anyone else says the word nigger. He or anyone else can say it all he wants because that word is an insult to blacks, not whites. He is however, forbidden from saying honky, cracker, or white boy because he is not white. Only whites are allowed to say those words, although the only white person I have ever heard use those words are some GWL's(Guilty White Liberals). As for school funding, I am not an expert on this subject so please enlighten me. Do white schools get more money from the state than black schools do? If so, that is unfair. Meeks says white pupils get more money per pupil than blacks, is this true? I thought white pupils get more money per pupil because of the real estate taxes that are paid from the residents who live in their suburb? I thought the state doles out the money evenly? If this is so, then it sounds like Meeks is asking for some real estate tax revenue from residents in Naperville, Winnetka, Barrington, Orland Park etc. to be shifted over to black students in black areas? If he is asking for that he has completely lost his mind.

The liberal use of word among black people has removed a great deal of the sting, but does not make it acceptable. I am so tired of this perpetuation of ignorance by a small population of people constantly being the main focus of the media. News has value when it shocks and is negative. If there is a "feel good" side then it may be featured almost as a sidebar. So Meeks knew his comments would make it to the press and now that gives him a platform to continue to launch his greater political ambitions, and this will bring greater in-roads into a conservative white base that wants to avoid the label of being racist. Because of the paradox posed by Meek's argument, it appeals to two different constituencies. Therefore, the N-word was used for somebody's advantage---again. Years ago racist white used to humiliate blacks and today many blacks use it as culture identity in music and slang. This only shows that when the word can be used advantageously, you can bet it will remain in use.

I was thinking about Rev. Meeks last week before I knew of his comments on black politicians. I happened to catch the Tribune editorial on the Cook County Juvenile Home and was wondering why the Tribune is the only loud voice calling for action. This place is the last stop for inner city children in trouble before they hit real jail.
Surely with a 12000 member innercity church Rev. Meeks (or at least staff ministers at his church), have had the occasion to visit the center and witness first hand the state it is in, yet there has been little public discussion of any value. Jane Adams is rolling over in her grave.
Reverend Meeks is one of the most powerful figures in Illinois right now. How about a bit of attention for some of the weakest?
On a side note, thank you President Steele!

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