To properly tell this story, the listener or reader needs to understand the culture, customs and moré’s adhered to by modern youth, specifically that subset which comprises “The HipHop Counterculture.”

Let me set the scene for you. A 24-year old upstate NY caucasian woman, probably “one of the girls” in high school and college. A fan of HipHop culture (as evidenced by her twitter account) who thought she was “included” in or a member of that subset of young society. She likely adored Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian, and when she saw a particular tweet appear on her feed, she didn’t give a second thought about re-tweeting it, the same way thousands of other young people did. It was one of those “viral” tweets. It proved to be her undoing.

Coincidentally, the discipline this young woman received, being stripped of her duties as an assistant sports coach and substitute teacher came on the heels of that NBA racist owner incident, which touched a collective raw nerve .  Some concerns have been raised. Another young woman commented on facebook “This is ridiculous I know the Naylor’s and they are some of the kindest most tolerant people I know. I’m black & regardless of what the re-tweet was I know it was not coming from a racist place. Social media and political correctness is ruining or society. This is out of control. Doesn’t her character and employment history hold any weight?”

The answer is YES – unfortunately in the eyes of current mainstream culture,  her character has been defined by her twitter account. I’ve known Albany activist Marlon Anderson for a long time. We first met in what I can describe as different phases of our lives and careers. As I became a broadcaster and he a community activist, we’ve kept in touch. I asked Marlon what he thought of this incident. He clearly stated “No white person should ever think of , speak of, or even consider a black person as a ‘ni–a!!!’ Period.” There you have it. And I do agree.

There is an important lesson here for all. First and foremost, America’s racial divide remains troubling. It may be “cool” or “hip” or OK to be a fan of or an adherent to a subcultural movement, but you still have to keep your public expressions of such involvement within (for lack of a better descriptor) “G-Rated” borders. No cussin’ and no labeling. Be liberal with respect. Be kind to all.

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