A friend (let’s call her “Friend”) went to her off-site office party last week and had quite the tale to tell the next day. I’m not talking about the usual story of executive staff getting frisky with their subordinates after downing too many free Mojitos. We can all tell that story. I’m talking about something a lot more, well, racist.

The wack music was pumping, the wine was flowing out of bowl-sized glasses faster than it was being poured into them, and people were too relaxed. Friend noted early on that the minority representation at the shindig was comparable to that of the the U.S. Senate’s. (To further build upon the the analogy she was Barak Obama and the colleague she was hanging out with that night was Robert Menedez.) As she scanned the crowded floor searching for familiar faces she came to the realization that she did not know as many of her co-workers as she had thought she did. At some point Black Eyed Peas came through the sound system sparking a rush of younger staff to the dance floor. This is the short, stupid conversation she overheard:

“That’s my song!” Shouted White Girl 1 loud enough to get Friend’s attention.

“Yeah that’s that gangsta shit, my nigga,” responded White Girl 2, dancing like a lame-ass version of Fergie.

When White Girl 3 joined them, White Girl 2 greeted her, “What’s up nigga?” To this Friend turned around, not hiding the fact that she was considering jumping on her, and asked “exuse me, what did you just say?” White Girl 2 flushed to a shade of peony and pretty much shrieked “Oh my god she heard me!” then ran off. Her friends trailed after her flashing guilty smiles of apology before vanishing into the crowd.

Yes, black people should stop using the N-word. If you need to be reminded as to why just click on the link in my blogroll titled Abolish the “N” Word. That being said, I understand why black people do, and I’ll be honest enough to admit that the word slips from my lips when certain emotions overtake me. Nevertheless it’s never ok for white people to say it. Not at an office party and not when they think nobody’s listening. If it was ok to say it the girl would have never run off probably fearing for her career, and also mortified by the prospect of being labeled a racist. And no, Black Eyed Peas is not that gangsta shit.