News Column

N-word Bad No Matter Who Says It, Jury Decides

September 3, 2013

A jury in New York decided the n-word is objectionable no matter who utters it, rejecting the argument its use among African-Americans is culturally acceptable.

Federal jurors in New York last week awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to Brandi Johnson, 38, a black employment agency worker who was the target of the word in a rant by her black supervisor in 2012.

She was the victim of what her attorney, Marjorie Sharpe, called a "four-minute (expletive) tirade" by Rob Carmona, 61, a black man of Puerto Rican descent and founder of the employment agency STRIVE East Harlem, CBS News reported.

Carmona's lawyer, Diane Krebs, contended the word has multiple contexts in black and Latino communities, sometimes expressing anger and sometimes love.

In testimony, Carmona said he could put his arm around a longtime friend and say, "This is my (expletive) for 30 years. That means my boy, I love him."

When asked if he meant to indicate love when directing the word to Johnson, Carmona said, "Yes, I did."

Punitive damages have yet to be decided, CBS News said.





Source: Copyright UPI 2013


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