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focus on the present

ON SMALL PLEASURES

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WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP REMINDING YOU NOT TO USE THE N-WORD?

I am sitting at work amidst a hum of employee chatter, my attention trained on my computer screen, when a single word slices through the cacophony—“nigga.” From mumbled Chance the Rapper lyrics, two white guys let it slip: “If one more label try to stop me/It's ‘gon be some dreadhead niggas in ya lobby…”

I stiffen, look around. No one else seems to notice.

My face flushes.

I am the only black person on my team and, consequently, I am the only one who has acknowledged the slur...

 
 
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