The precious, the profane and the ignorant

Let’s start with something good. This morning I went in and poked at Sara until she stirred to life, then helped her down from the top bed of the bunk beds she shares with Amanda. I have to check Amanda every morning. If she’s awake I have to ask her if she wants to get up. Not doing so will result in crying and hurt feelings. Today she was still asleep. If you’ve never watched a young child sleep, you should do it sometime. There is nothing more precious than the sight of a sleeping child. The unspoiled innocence is truly amazing.

Okay. Now, what’s the difference between a baby and a piece of Oklahoma state legislation? As an abortion clinic in Tulsa, backed by a New York pro-infanticide group learned yesterday, you can’t do a partial-birth abortion on legislation. The two groups filed suit yesterday saying a bill that bars minors from getting abortions without parental consent is unconstitutional. But, the suit was thrown out because Gov. Brad Henry had not yet signed it into law. Oops. Henry is expected to sign the bill today, at which point the two groups will refile their lawsuit.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Brad Henry isn’t a bad governor, for a Democrat. He’s made a habit of being an Oklahoman first and a party man second. I admire that and may well vote for him in his second term, depending who the Republicans offer up.

Now for the fun part. I got some hate mail yesterday and I’d like to share it with you. The subject line for the e-mail is: i just read ur story  The unsigned message from then goes on to say:

I just read your story called skn-3. What do you mean by this “and a huge Negro from the passenger” if your rasict go type that in a kkk site

fucken kracker

The italics are mine, but the rest is just a cut and paste, minus a few extra returns above the “fucken kracker” remark. Where do I begin to comment? First, some context. The story “SKN-3” can be read here. I’m not happy about that; I gave Halloween Ghost Stories permission to post the story (and a few others, all reprints) years ago and have been trying for over a year to get them taken down, but all the e-mail links on the site bounce. The story is about a doctor who skins a man alive after injecting him with speed. The man in question is a minor character who helps deliver the victim to the doc.

Obviously, it is the word “Negro” that is riling up QueensSlim360. Well honey, look it up. I used that word because it conjures the image of a certain type of black person — very dark skinned with Africanized features undiluted by racial intermingling. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) warns that the term is sometimes offensive, then defines it as, “a member of the black race distinguished from members of other races by usu. inherited physical and physiological characteristics without regard to language or culture…” I could have said he was a black man, but that didn’t convey the nuance I wanted. I could have said African-American, but this guy doesn’t have dual citizenship on two continents, so that would have been inaccurate. There’s a multitude of racial slurs I could have used, but it was not my intent to slur the man based on his race. “Negro” is the word I wanted. It was the right word.

Should I go into the sad state of affairs our educational system is in? First, this person doesn’t know the definition of the word she’s complaining about. But look at the spelling and punctuation. I don’t know if I’m “rasict” or not. What does it mean? But wait! She used the possessive “your” so I guess a “rasict” is something I own. Is it animal, mineral or vegetable? And what’s a “fucken kracker,” anyway?

Well, I haven’t responded to her and I suppose I shouldn’t. Ignorance is bliss, so I just hope she’s happier than her e-mail leads me to believe.

10 responses to “The precious, the profane and the ignorant”

  1. first… yes, they’re precious when sleeping, but then they wake up! hehehehe
    secondly… don’t EVER make excuses for your writing! especially against an illiterate smegma [i love that word!] – if it was good enough for mark twain, it’s good enough for you =)) i’m surprised someone with such educational standards as QueensSlim could read your material, with you using those big two syllable words and such =))

    1. Yeah, that waking up thing can kinda suck sometimes.
      Don’t send me after the dictionary again. No apology … but this is the second complaint about the use of that word in that story. The first one was rational and simply asked why I chose an outdated word.

      1. don’t respond… part of the power of words is that some have different meanings for different people, let them figure it out – means they have to think about your book after they’re done reading it =))
        and hey, wanna talk about fun emails? i got one from a serial killer last week *gulp* little creepy!!

        1. A real seriel killer? Convicted, or someone who says he’s one?

          1. someone who will be… i’m positive… i’ll forward you the email!!

            1. I’ll read it at home. I’m outta here for the day. Woohoo!

  2. Funny, it also seems to be a word that works well for, are they rasict as well?

  3. I think you mean the is an Aboriginal organization. The only thing the word “Negro” is guilty of is being archaic. You just don’t hear it too often anymore.

    1. Yes, I guess it is archaic. I’ll change it when the new version of Darkscapes is published with that story in it. But unfortunately I can’t seem to do anything about this version on the Web.

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