Daily Archives: June 2, 2024

Sunday Blog: My grandfather’s response to a racial slur shaped my world

Commentary by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — I was about 5, maybe 6. My mother and I were visiting my grandfather, which we did often. I don’t remember the context or why, but I once said the N-word in his presence. My grandfather was a mild-mannered and kind man. But at that moment, his face turned bright red and a look of anger engulfed him. I had never seen this face before.

James Jordan

He quickly grabbed my arm, squeezed it hard, and spanked me with his hand hard for what seemed like a long time.

He then grabbed me and pointed his finger in my face.

“Don’t you ever say that word again,” he said, his anger not yet receding.

He paced around the room momentarily and then told my mom to take me home. He kicked us out, though it was just for that day. He got over his anger at me and never mentioned it again. But I knew there was a hard boundary that I had better not cross.

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