According to attorney Marjorie M. Sharpe
: "It's the most offensive word in the English language". What is? You know, the one that begins with N and ends in R, or maybe it ends in A depending less on the literacy of the user than on its context. If used by one of us crackers, then it ends in R and is a definite no-no. (Can he say Cracker, Mr Wise
?) If however it is used especially by a black American, then it may be construed as a term of affection, in which case it ends in A. At least that used to be the case; last week it was reported that a jury in New York had awarded Brandi Johnson a total of $280,000 damages against STRIVE. If you haven't heard of this organisation, check out its website
. The man in the video currently displayed on its homepage is Robert Carmona, the same man who was ordered to pay the tearful Miss Johnson $25,000. Listen to him talking, does he or does he sound like the type of guy who dispenses tough love as he said in court?
What is amazing about this case apart from the size of the award is, well, are, actually:
1) Miss Johnson claims to have cried for 45 minutes after Mr Carmona's rant.
2) Somehow she had the presence of mind to record it on her phone.
3) Miss Johnson is a convicted felon, and no small one, having been ordered to pay $100,000 restitution. Surely such information should have been relevant with regard to the quantum of damages?
As for this being "the most offensive word in the English language", is this really the case? What about mother (fill in the rest) to begin with?
In March 2009, Babar Ahmad was awarded £60,000 damages
against the Metropolitan Police for a serious assault by 4 thugs with warrant cards. Granted there are cultural differences between the US and the UK, but can a rant by a well-meaning motivator really be so much more terrible than a physical going over by those who are charged with protecting the public?