Are You Truly Surprised at Racist Rant From Singer Morgan Wallen
I am originally from Meridian, Mississippi. I come from the state where the N word seemed to be thrown around rampantly amongst my peers, but also from those who looked nothing like me. This does not mean that I am immune or have become numb to it. It simply means that hearing about a white celebrity using the N word is not a surprise at all.
Over the weekend, Country singer Morgan Wallen was recorded using the N word by a neighbor. Now I have to admit I have seen his name more for apologizing than I have from actually hearing his music. Backtrack to last year when he was going to be a guest on SNL. For any person new or established, it is truly an honor to grace the stage of SNL and host or perform on the show. However, days leading up to his performance he was out and about maskless with many around him, which could have not only placed himself in jeopardy, but also many he would have come in contact with on the show. He apologized for his actions and was rescheduled to appear on the show.
Fast-forward to now, and he is in the news again for a negligent act, and he is once again apologizing. But this time I am curious as to whether he is apologizing because of the hurt and disrespect of what he said or could it be because his world is literally crumbling around him? His music has been dropped from Country radio playlists, he lost his eligibility of potentially winning a Country music award, and his label has suspended him indefinitely.
When I watched the video, the context in which he used the word showed me this is surely not his first time using it. It also showed he was comfortable with saying it without remorse. If they could ban The Dixie Chicks years ago for statements used again then President George Bush, Morgan needs to join the club. There are too many times that celebrities are accepted into our lives and tend to prey upon our desire and sometimes lust for them or their lifestyles. I don't know what the future holds for him, but we live in a world where even though he seems to be on the losing end now, many are forgiving and after going on a repeated apology tour, he'll be embraced back into the same folks who are denouncing him now.
We are tired, and while some will say he made a mistake, I can't accept that. You can mistakenly put on the wrong pair of socks, drop a glass, or call the wrong number. When it comes to yelling this word at someone you are angry with, I cannot accept that as a mistake. We are in the year 2021, and racism is just as prevalent now as it has been during my mother's young life.