Jeff Pearlman

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A letter from today’s Nashville Tennessean …

My daughter, son and I were on West End Avenue recently. The kids noticed the bumper sticker before I did. They asked me what it meant. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.On the back of a very nice, red truck was a bumper sticker displaying the famous Obama campaign logo, crossed out, with the statement, “Don’t Re-Nig,” next to the picture.

What does it mean? It means that regardless of the president’s intelligence, his insight and his attempt to work for a country that is desperately broken, he will always be the “n..” in the White House.

I was angry. I first responded by calling the non-emergency line of the Police Department. The very nice officer explained that, albeit offensive, the bumper sticker is not a crime and didn’t warrant police intervention, but perhaps it may be a violation of my civil liberties. Civil liberties include my right to safety.

Am I safe, as an African-American, where someone can freely express bigotry and hate with no consequences?

My second response was to call my son in Washington, who happens to work for President Obama. He understood my need to have the person reprimanded, but reminded me that their civil liberties give them the right to freedom of expression.

He said to prepare for more to come as we get closer to 2012.

He encouraged me to channel my anger and frustration into energy to help get the president re-elected. I will work, and I will tell others of this experience.

As for the driver of the red pickup truck, I’m praying for him.

Kristy Sinkfield

Nashville 37203

** Writer’s note: I would never call the police over this, obviously. But it’s sad.

  • http://friarsoncardboard.blogspot.com Joseph Lanek

    JMFC, this is so ridiculous and sad.

  • Bobby Fetter

    Are these stickers only available in the south or can I get one up here?

  • Nik

    Yes, pray for him… that will really help. Ugh.

  • Kevin

    Disgusting for sure, but calling the police over it?

  • jmw

    Would love it if Cain got the GOP nomination – what would they (red truck types) do.

  • Michael Bluth

    Like the writer’s son says, it’s the First Amendment. You can open a restaurant in downtown Manhattan, call it, “I hate N-words,” and there is little the police can do about it.

    The writer says this: “Am I safe, as an African-American, where someone can freely express bigotry and hate with no consequences?”

    I would counter that I would not feel safe in a country, as an AMERICAN, in a country where someone could NOT freely express bigotry and hate. One of our core principles is that, exposed to air, those beliefs are exposed for what they are. We fight not with suppression, but with knowledge and truth.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life