Stop Using This 'Ugly' 4-Letter Word

Danielle Cadet argues that the word 'rant' invalidates important arguments
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2014 11:01 AM CST
Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman celebrates after the NFL football NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – There's an "ugly" four-letter word that's repeatedly used in reference to black men, and it's about time we drop it. No, it's not thug. It's rant, writes Danielle Cadet for the Huffington Post. Why R-A-N-T? Simply put, it labels an argument "as unimportant before you even read what the person had to say"—even when the so-called "rants" in question are "relevant arguments we should, in fact, be spending more time discussing." And when used to describe the arguments of black men like Spike Lee or Richard Sherman, it's as though "we write off their ideas as unimportant, mundane, and imply that they're somewhat mentally unstable."

You might as well say, "These men are on a tirade. They are loud and uncontrollable, and they have stepped outside the limits of what society deems acceptable behavior for black men—and we all know what happens when white folks get nervous about black men acting out," Cadet continues. Of course, that doesn't mean everything Kanye West says is a logical argument, "but I bet you've missed a few great points he has made because you've written it off as 'just another rant.'" As for those who say race has nothing to do with it, "that's the thing about modern-day racism, it's usually a psychological and subconscious perpetration of pejorative language and ideas," Cadet writes, though she acknowledges the word is used against white people, too. Click for her full column. (Read more Richard Sherman stories.)

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