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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ETHNICITY, Maywood manager in N-word controversy [M]

Maywood Herald (David Pollard) describes the origin of the controversy over Maywood Village Manager Robert Nelis using the word "N-word".
At an Aug. 30 Maywood staff meeting about the upcoming Maywood Fest, held the weekend of Sept. 1, Maywood Village Manager Robert Nelis, who is white, confirmed he used the word to quote a performer, as well as recorded music using the word at Aztec Fest the weekend of Aug. 25. "I was quoting what a musician said, and I said this is wrong and I asked the staff: What can we do to stop this?" he said. "We shouldn't allow this. How can we stop this in the future?"

He said he did not want this kind of language during music performances at Maywood Fest or any other family event. He said there were some references to sex and violence during performances at Maywood Fest, which were quickly stopped. But Gloria Clay, a former village trustee, said she wondered why Nelis felt it necessary to use the word.

I'm not sure I understand the situation.

Nelis used the word to object to using the word and now he's being attacked for using the word.

Is this an accurate summary?

What are Nelis' critics hoping to achieve? Do they agree with Nelis that the word shouldn't have been used by the musician?

[UPDATE: Chicago Tribune (Joseph Ruzich) has an article title, "Mayor orders sensitivity class". What does Nelis need to learn from this incident?]


  • If he was QUOTING someone, then HE did not use the word! I agree with his opinion that language such as that should not be a part of family fests, and in order to get the point across, he referenced what came out of someone else's mouth. Maybe he could have used the popular phrase in the headline of this article, but he obviously does not condone such language. His critics should look at the context of what he was trying to say rather than nitpick how he said it. Quoting someone is very different than using a term yourself.

    By Blogger 1Corinthians13:13, at 3:05 PM, September 13, 2006  

  • What did not make the Maywood Herald article was Sheryl Washington's demand that Richard Lopez resign from the Board because he must be racist since he was in charge of the Azteca Fest where the n_____ word was blaring on a tape or a live performer, I do not know which. This is pure crap and is typical of the depths to which Ms. Washington will stoop to win a seat back next April. Disagree or agree with Rich but do not lie about him!! He is honorable and, in no way is he a racist nor does he condone it. Ms. Washington should research her issues more and address the Board directly rather than facing the TV cameras. She should, if she really cared, try to get the facts. First of all, Rich does not run the Azteca Fest (Sheryl, in your nutty way of thinking, could it be that Rich is a trustee, and is Hispanic, ergo, he must run the fest?) He was there when the terribly offending music was being played, as was Manager Rob Nelis. They both went to demand it be turned off or stopped and that's all there is to it. It is a constant problem at these fests, especially with SOME rappers to fight hard to keep it family oriented. When I was at one part of Azteca Fest, I saw four rappers NOT use any bad language but, start to pretend to grab themselves in an inappropiate way for such a venue (or any venue?). By the time I went to vociferously complain, their one number was over. Both Ms. Washington and some of those who followed her to the mike at the Village Board meeting should have made their major aim of criticism, those who "perform" this degrading, to ALL of us, form of so-called music. Incidentally, for anyone who cares and doesn't just want to try and score miniscule political points, 97% of the music at Azteca Fest and the following weeks Maywood Family met the higher standards of being acceptable to a family-type audience. Closing I would say that the whole controversy for Rich and Rob is "much ado about nothing."

    By Anonymous garywoll, at 11:40 PM, September 13, 2006  

  • What is and isn't racism? How do you tell if someone is or isnt' a racist?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 10:37 AM, September 14, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 AM, September 15, 2006  

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