March 05, 2004


I was kinda bored with the blogosphere today, just loafing at work and avoiding my German homework, when I stumbled on a post at RWN about Gut Rumbles' vitriolic rant.

Seems Rob dropped the n-bomb.

So I read lots of posts and comments from people who were de-linking Gut Rumbles because they no longer want to be associated with him, and then curiosity got the better of me and I went to the horse's mouth itself. I read all his posts and all the comments and have started to think.

My first thought: Rob actually said more than he was quoted as saying. His actual post is much longer than the expurgated versions I saw on other appalled people's blogs. It also has more "substance" than just repeating the n-word over and over. And he wrote a follow-up post as well.

So what do I think? I don't really know. Gut Rumbles has never been a place for sunshine and kitty cats, so I'm not surprised that this rant came out. And like other commenters, I think that Rob's below-the-surface message includes some valid points that just aren't considered acceptable for anyone to talk about. Do I like the way he expressed his message? I'm not as horrified as others, but I can certainly see how this would put him on the outs with other bloggers. I don't particularly like the n-word, but as a person who listens to a fair amount of rap music, I'm sorta numb to it now.

But it's still just a word. Someone in the comments section asked how it's different from using words like "Islamopuke" to describe Muslims. Another commenter said he hates the words "honkey" and "redneck", but no one gets upset when they're used. Personally I felt quite offended when people from the UK pejoratively called me a Yankee, but we've named a stinkin' baseball team after that word so I guess most people don't mind it. What happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me"?

I guess I don't have a definitive answer as to whether Rob is a racist. In my life I've met very few people who were true racists, and that included both people who were white and black. But I have met many people who get upset at the way we walk on eggshells in our country to avoid talking about race at any cost, and maybe those feelings came to a head for Rob this week.

I won't say Rob was wrong to say what he said, but I also won't say sites like RWN were wrong to de-link him. I'll just say you all can judge for yourselves.

Posted by Sarah at March 5, 2004 02:53 PM

Yet people like Chris Rock get paid thousands for saying "cracker" on a regular basis.

Posted by: Leif at March 5, 2004 06:13 PM

I'm not sure about the "things people don't talk about part", because I can and do have conversations with friends and coworkers of all colors about things like that. It wasn't just the n-bomb either, IMO. It was the whole tone, the venom and rancor. He's mean-spirited on his best day (that's why I seldom read him), but that went way over the line into hateful.

Posted by: Ted at March 5, 2004 09:09 PM

When I was an Assistant District Attorney right out of law school, I worked in Statesboro. Effingham County, where Gut Rumbles lives, was one of my counties. I keep looking at his picture. It just isn't that big, I have to know him! I just can't remember. But I enjoy his blog very much, it takes me back to that corner of Georgia.

Posted by: Oda Mae at March 5, 2004 10:16 PM

Well, I felt that the constant repeating of the "n-word" was a bit much. But I don't think he's racist. I just think he's really, really pissed off. And who can blame him? Call me racist, I don't really care, but most of what he said was true. The "african-americans" are a bit crazy. I have no beef with the "blacks," but the "african-americans" really get on my nerves.

And since when has the n-word been worse than the f-word? No-one says a word when the f-word comes up, but say "nigger," and you have half the population on your back.

So basically, I don't think he's racist, I even agree with him. He might tone it down just a tad, though.

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