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The article, “N-Word ‘slipped out’, ex-board chief says”, appeared today in the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper (Tuesday, July 17).  Let me mention a couple a things about Ralph Papitto’s slip of the tongue.  First, I like a creative illustration I heard in March of this year.  The speaker who was lecturing on domestic abuse said something like this:  “We are all like cups that are filled with ‘something’; when our cups are bumped.  What’s inside will inevitably spill out.”  Similarly, while Papitto had a slip of the tongue and said the N-word; this was something inside him all along.  We all have deep seated ugly stuff in our ‘cups’ or hearts and under the right cirumstances, what’s in, will come out (and oftentimes in contexts that are not ideal).  Second, in a weird sort of way, I appreciate Papitto’s indiscretion.  I need to explain this one lest I be accused of condoning Papitto’s comment or betraying other African Americans.  I appreciate it because we know where he stands.  What I abhor most are people pretending to be something they are not.  Again, we know what was lurking in Papitto’s heart.

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One Comment

  1. Yes! I heard the same lecture, and had forgotten her illustration, but I think it is exactly right. It may have just “slipped out,” but that means it was sitting in that cup all along, huh.

    I hate getting my cup bumped.

    (Oh, and hello. Don’t know how I first ran across your blog, but I know of you through the CTS community. My husband Clay is working on his M.Div.)


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