You win a sing-along contest. The moment comes and you’re ready. Nervous, but excited, you’re on stage when prompted. You sing one lyric. Everyone turns against you. What the heck?
N-Word, A No-No
Actually, this has little to do with race or lyrics or even the performer who I have no idea their name. Instead, let’s discuss the value of standing on solid ground. But to give you some context, a woman won a contest in Alabama, and was invited to join her favorite rapper on stage to belt out her favorite song.
Seems everyone was into the rhythm and rhyme until the n-word became part of their groove.
The artist had written the song, performed the song, and sold the song for public consumption, so she sang the song as he wrote the song and dropped the n-word just like she’d heard him do in the song countless times.
The singer abruptly stopped the show, and ripped into her. As expected, the audience followed suit, and she was hurried out of the arena. Doesn’t seem like a contest where anybody actually won.
Was she right or wrong for using that lyric as she sang along with him? Of course, there are many arguments when riding the tide of society’s shifting sands. Without an anchor, it’s tough to know what to do and not to do. Blindly following someone else’s opinion and appearance has never benefited anyone in the long run.
Standing your ground based on a moral, ethical, and spiritual compass is more important than aiming for popularity within an unstable horde. If everyone is adrift, then everyone is a target.
This is where social pariah feed. Because, just as the crowd did to the contest’s winner; people without foundation will applaud you before they feast upon you.
Where To Stand
The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians about standing firm. Holding your ground based on truth is similar to a military action. Without the proper equipment, tactics and training, the enemy of society’s shifting standards can easily overcome you.
14 Stand firm then! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 Strap up your feet in readiness with the Good News of shalom. 16 Above all, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Reading this single, but powerful verse gives an actual perspective of what occurred on stage at that concert. The woman wasn’t a contest winner who’d gained the privilege of singing along with one of her favorite singers. She was placed on the battlefield. Her enemy wasn’t the rapper. Her adversary was society’s shifting sentiment of opinion and preference.
Unprepared for the oncoming onslaught, she basked in the bright lights meant for someone else. She wasn’t a part of that music’s creation, yet she wandered into the arena without knowing the rules, expectations or the performer’s tolerance. Simply knowing the lyrics was a lure into a society’s environment waiting to devour this unarmed combatant.
While she should’ve used better judgment than to proudly have belted out the n-word during the song, she was merely following the lead set by the singer and society. Shifting sands only allow practices deemed offensive to be used by select groups without repercussion, retaliation or explanation to others outside of the group.
Honestly, who cares? If groups want to monopolize words, customs and practices to identify themselves as separate from society, then have at it. I remember when non-Italians used the term WOP. It was so highly offensive to us, yet it was used without regard between Italian-Americans.
Do you even know what WOP stands for?
No? Then why would you care? The contestant dropped the n-word with an expectation of inclusion, when in reality; she was as much an outcast before she even possessed a ticket to the concert. One word wasn’t going to make her “cool” in the clique, but it certainly bought her a one-way ticket out of the show.
Had she, just like so many of us when faced with behavior or decisions extending outside of our core boundaries, stood on the solid rock of Christ, and rejected behavior she thought was going to bring her favor, there would have been security instead of social discord.
Sure, it’s hard to ride the undulating tides of societal mores when they’re based on emotional responses. The better course for avoiding misdirection is to stand firm in your beliefs and no matter how good the rhythm or the rhyme, stay the course. Your course.
What Do You Think
What are your thoughts about this? Was anyone right or wrong in this scenario?
Would you have sang or skipped the n-word?
Should she have expected blow back, or acceptance?
What’s the difference between standing your ground and being grounded?
Any other thoughts about this?
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