By Tammie Lang Campbell
Dear President Obama,
My question to you is – when did you decide to be a ni**a?
Ignorance in the name of comedy is no excuse for proliferating racial disrespect no matter who the perpetrator is! While you, our first African American President, appreciate the sentiments in which comedian Larry Wilmore called you, “my ni**a”, I’m confident that the civil rights fighters and martyrs whose sacrifices paved the way for your position don’t. And I, Tammie Lang Campbell, an anti-n-word advocate for over 20 years and founder and executive director of the Honey Brown Hope Foundation who buried this racial slur on CNN in 2007, don’t appreciate it either.
By accepting the black comedian labeling you as “my ni**a,” you not only gave him and others the right to call your wife and children “my ni**a,” you also gave the world permission to devalue, demean and disrespect blacks’ and our efforts to be treated with dignity and respect.
I am appalled that you, Mr. President, have not only impeded my 20 plus years effort to promote racial respect among all, but you, Mr. President, also have dishonored our foreparents’ efforts to have their children treated with the same dignity and respect as all other citizens of humanity. Your lack of respect for your family, our race and your position as the Commander and Chief Officer of the United States sends an eerie message to the world that black people are second-class citizens.
To be clear, nobody, including you, Mr. President, have the authority to give citizens of the world permission to use this racial slur as a term of endearment to label dark-skinned people as a ni**er.
For the record, I went to Washington, DC to confront and object to Congressman Doug Lamborn referring to you as a tar baby. I have worked with members of Hawaii State Legislature, members of Texas State Legislature and a New York City Councilmember to denounce use of the n-word. In addition, I objected to the educational system not respecting you as the President of the United States, when some schools made the racially driven decision to not allow students to hear your back-to-school message at the time that you delivered it.
Mr. President, if we are to succeed as a nation, we must all bear some responsibility for healing the wounds of racism and promoting unification among Americans by denouncing the divisive tactics of those who are not serving in the best interest of America’s diversity. You, Mr. President, have the greatest responsibility to promote racial respect as the first black President of the United States. When you accepted Wilmore calling you “my ni**a” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, you failed America and all its diversity. Being black does not give Wilmore the right to insult all those who have fought and are still fighting for dignity, respect and equality for all. Nor does being a black president give you the authority to disrespect our race by accepting this racial slur as a term of endearment.
On behalf of humanity, I’m requesting you to please meet with me to address this very distressing matter and discuss why you owe an apology to Americans who feel violated and unprotected by your acceptance of this racial slur. Thanks for your consideration.
Tammie Lang Campbell is the Founder and Executive Director of the Honey Brown Hope Foundation. She has been an anti-n-word advocate for over 20 years, and she buried this racial slur on CNN in 2007. For more details, visit www.honeybrownhope.org