Covering Louisiana

Jul 5, 2013 1:16 PM

Louisiana woman writes about being called the n-word on July 4th

An assistant professor of Women's Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University wrote about the offensive way she was referred to on a plane ride home to Louisiana for the July 4th holiday. Brittney Cooper is from Ruston, LA, according to her biography on the university's website.

She says this holiday is a time her family comes together to enjoy each other's presence and grill outside in the hot, summer weather away from her new home in New Jersey.

She writes: "As we boarded, I noticed that this mom and I would be sitting in the same row, I in the window seat, she in the center. As we sat awaiting takeoff, I finished a text conversation and signaled to the flight attendant for a seat-belt extender, a fat passenger's best friend. Then just as the call came to shut our phones off, I glanced over at her, and she was still texting, rapidly. I caught a few words of the end of her text that made me look more intently: 'on the plane, sitting thigh to thigh with a big fat nigger. Lucky me'."

Cooper said she was humiliated, embarrassed and angry. She says she remembered the first time she was called the n-word, and the pain her mother felt telling her what it meant, her first experience with racism.

Cooper said she felt the need to tell the woman her words hurt, sharing with her the Facebook status she posted on her phone shortly after. She said, in a low voice, "I just want to let you know that your words were hurtful. And I hope you don't pass that kind of ignorance down to your beautiful boys." The woman replied that she didn't, and the rest of the ride remained quiet and uneventful.

Read her entire posting HERE.



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