Dispatches from DC – February Excerpt | Raheem Kassam

This article is an excerpt from Raheem Kassam’s column, ‘Dispatches from DC’, originally published in the eleventh issue of the Mallard magazine, ‘Any Spirit Free’.

You can purchase a copy here.

America is obsessed with “the n word”. Totally and utterly obsessed. Here we sit at the tail end of a pandemic that has harmed millions as a result of overzealous “public health measures”, flawed or faulty science, and an obesity crisis that would make peak Johnny Vegas blush, and all we can seem to talk about is “the n word.” It’s exhausting, especially because while “current year” or “the future” is routinely invoked as a means by which to drive a wedge between conservatives and traditional values, we also get browbeaten over a past that literally almost every single person on this continent has already decried as unacceptable and worthy of personal and national reflection. But what is happening today goes beyond national reflection. It’s national flagellation.

Americans and Brits alike are exposed to “the n word” hundreds of times a day: in movies, in music, and yes, from African-Americans across the country. But to quote it? To sing along with a song? To be able to refer to it in an academic sense without using the intellectually dishonest, weaselly, and almost more offensive phrase “the n word”? To the gulag with you. 

No, this isn’t “The Conservative Case for Using The N Word”. I wish it would disappear entirely. But let’s be honest: it’s not Joe Rogan (nor is it the KKK) keeping this nasty epithet in the Western lexicon. If anything, it’s corporate America. Like corn syrups and seed oils, the movie, music, and media industries keep shoving “the n word” down the throats of ordinary Americans. You must hear it hundreds of times a day, but you will be damned if you say it. Nowhere else in the world exercises such aggressive dissonance over a word. The dirtiest little truth about it all is the control mechanism is presents for African-Americans. 

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