Friday, September 25, 2009


Standards have been lowered


The disconnect between the words Tyshawn Taylor used on his Facebook page and the ones he had used when speaking in public sent my constant companion — a headache that beats down from the top — to new levels of discomfort, so I just had to talk to him to see which was the real Tyshawn Taylor.

A day later than he should have been and a lifetime better than never, Taylor finally was made available Thursday to discuss his dislocated thumb, an injury incurred in a basketball vs. football fracas, and more importantly, his offensive Internet language that made him sound like he never had sounded or acted like in the past.

I had to know, did he find the word offensive and by the word I mean the N-word (in this case the hip-hop spelling)?

“Do I find it offensive?” Taylor repeated.

Sherron Collins interjected with candor: “I mean, it’s just like second-nature to us.”

Taylor: “It’s a word we use on a regular basis. We probably shouldn’t, but when I’m talking to Sherron, I might say it to him. I might not say it to you, but I might say it to him. It’s accepted when we’re talking to each other. Me putting it on Facebook made it out to be a huge thing. When it’s just me and my friends, it’s not really.”

It was nice to see Taylor blame himself for putting it on Facebook, not others for misconstruing its meaning.

Hearing Taylor and Collins talk about the word was, to borrow a phrase President Obama likes to use, a teachable moment. And a sad one for me. I was raised by parents at home and nuns at school in such a way as to consider it the most offensive word in the language. Now it’s trivialized, which from the viewpoint of this 50-year-old, square white guy, represents an unfortunate lowering of standards, no matter who uses it or what they mean by it.

I asked Collins for his opinion: Is it a bad thing that the word has become accepted?

“I mean, Jay-Z uses it, Lil Wayne uses it,” he said. “I mean, these rappers, we actually look up to and listen to the music. ... But like coach said, we shouldn’t use the word, especially with all the history that’s been brought with it.”

When I saw the word all over Taylor’s Facebook page, I flipped out, thinking he had duped us, hidden his true personality. Armed with knowledge learned Tuesday night at the Lawrence Public Library, where speaker Mark Bouton, an FBI agent shopping a book entitled, “How to Spot Lies Like the FBI,” shared his secrets, I studied Taylor closely. Not a single sign of insincerity.

We might never know his role in the fight with teammates against members of the football team — the fact he was the only one known to be treated at the hospital not-entirely fairly made him the face of it — but I’d be surprised if this is a kid who ever turns the wrong way in life. He’s no thug, which is why he should reconsider using a word thugs use.

It’d be nice if the younger generation — starting with every KU athlete involved in the football-basketball skirmish — challenged itself never again to utter the N-word. To test the degree of difficulty on that, I’m challenging myself never to drop an F-bomb again, not even on the golf course. It won’t be any easier than golf itself, but don’t bet against me.


Waylon Cook 12 years, 10 months ago

o lord Keegan just get over the A S S kicking we laid on Marquette in the Final Four back in 03.

KEITHMILES05 12 years, 10 months ago

TT and SC were being honest with you and the rest of the media and the world. They do use the word as they described. It is an uncomfortable situation, even those who are of the same race as these 2 guys. I know because I have numerous friends who subscribe and who do not subscribe to this sort of talking.

However, I am of the firm belief TT and SC are not the "bad" type of element some fans are worried about. HCBS is in charge. He'll make sure these young men understand life and lifes lessons.

I admire TT for manning up and speaking from the heart. This indeed has been a teachable moment for many people.

not_important 12 years, 10 months ago

The words I always remember when the use of that ugly word comes up is Richard Pryor during a more solemn moment during one of his stand-up routines (it might have been his "Sunset Strip" routine). But he mentioned taking a trip to Africa and seeing where his ancestors came from and whoever he was with asked him if he had even thought of the "n" word while there. Pryor realized that he hadn't even thought of the word even though it was rather prevalent in his everyday life back here in the US. Sure wish other, younger individuals could enjoy an epiphany like this.

100 12 years, 10 months ago

Nice job Sherron & TT.

It's time to take the next step -- for all of you players & fans who haven't seen Jo Jo White's speech or Wilt Chamberlain's speech during their jersey retirements at KU, if there ever was a time, it is now.

These are two of my favorite Jayhawks of all time. Yes they did some great things on the court -- but what they did on the court had nothing to do with why they are my favorite Jayhawks...

Watch the videos of Wilt & Jo Jo on YouTube...

It's the way they spoke to us all, with such sincerity, humility, intelligence & eloquence that will forever be etched in my mind -- these two, using language better than they ever played basketball, moved an entire Jayhawk nation (world) to their feet for an eternity...

jayhawkjoe98 12 years, 10 months ago

No offense Keegan, but this column has been written before many times. I am not condoning the usage of the word or the double-standard that accompanies it, but maybe it is time to just accept the fact that it will always be a part of hip-hop and the quasi-culture which it spawns. Or, at least until the word is not used in pop media.

You don't have to use it and you certainly don't have to like the word. But these crusaders who are out to abolish the word from the English language are asking for too much.

Christopher Johnson 12 years, 10 months ago

jayhawkjoe98 - nobody is asking for the word to be abolished from the English language. We're just asking for some more class from our beloved teams. Sure, it's a part of culture. Will it go away? Probably not. Is it wrong? I think so, but it's not my business to tell the average joe how to talk. However, as paying fans, investing time and money in the great organization that is KU athletics, it can be our business to ask our coaches to hold players to a respectable image in the public's eye. Will the word go away? Will these players stop using the word the rest of their lives if confronted by the coaches? Definitely not. THAT'S not our business, but it is the business of jayhawk fans to ask the players to think a little harder about how their words and actions make the University of Kansas look. It's not only about the "N" word. Any public use of profanity, no matter how trivial it seems, sheds a bad light on the program. Taylor knows it upsets the public now. It might be good of him to think about it in the future . . . . Hey Taylor, you can use it in your personal life, but can you keep it out of your extremely public facebook profile and around busy areas of campus? It is offensive.

Keegan, great article. Yes it's been written before, but many are afraid to say it.

Talor, Collins, other players. I still love your guys' play. Can't wait for the season. Hope all of this stuff is over.

leonard 12 years, 10 months ago

Keegan writes, "the part about calling the statement from the teams’ leaders “strong.” Lame would have been a better word".

Lame? That would be a more proper description of Keegan's coverage of this incident.

From the very beginning his reporting was more of a whine about his treatment in not being allowed into the inner circle of a "family" squabble. Typical of many of the reporters today...shameless rubberneckers gawking at the scene of a highway accident...trying to be the first with a by-line with the salacious details.

As the university officials worked their way through the situation, Keegan sanctimoniously squealed, "A request for an interview of Tyshawn Taylor was not granted. The basketball players were shielded from interviews...Nobody from the KU athletic department stepped in front of a TV camera to apologize...Nobody stepped in front of a TV camera to share his or her revulsion over the words Taylor used...".

Knowing few of the facts he organizes a vigilante committee to go after Taylor, "as he passed a few media members, he glared at them, hardly looking contrite."....deciding that a "look" is all he needs to pronounce judgment. What a load of horse chestnuts.

Continuing to flail about he impugns the integrity of Coach Self "if Taylor doesn’t get suspended."...with his best David Koresh/Jim Jones impersonation as the final arbiter in the matter.

Then the absurdity continues with this bit of self-righteous drivel, "I was raised by parents at home and nuns at school in such a way as to consider it the most offensive word in the language.".

It's pretty apparent that he missed a lot of lessons during the course of his education if the N-word is the one word that most offends his tender sensibilities as he wanders down the course of his life.

Lame? Yep, that's a good word to describe his attempt at covering this incident.

rhino11 12 years, 10 months ago

Do you have any grasp of the cultural differences between 20 something african americans and 50 something middle/upper-class Caucasian males?

I am sorry, but this column is just ignorant and should have died with your editor.

Go have a frank a conversation with any teacher in the KCK or KC MO school district and learn some perspective before your broadcast this garbage.

Clarence Haynes 12 years, 10 months ago

Further to making this a mountain out of a mole hill...........These guys are fundamentally good people and my sense is that while at KU they (some more than others) need guidance regarding their public image, particularly how they publicly convey thier thoughts. Nonetheless, let the University, not Keegan or the Journal World, resolve this and perhaps, Keegan should take a Greyhound back to the New York tabloids or wherever he came from!

hellx 12 years, 10 months ago

For his next column, I think Keegan should examine whether it's bad that the LGBT community has co-opted the word "queer." That's the sort of discussion that I read sports pages for...

Ron_Kellogg 12 years, 10 months ago

You totally missed the real story, Keegan. There's nothing newsworthy about the use of the N-word in this case. What warrants some investigatory journalism is the phrase "point plankn."

rhino11 12 years, 10 months ago


My statement was a sweeping generalization, I apologize for that.

My larger point is that Keegan is out of touch. Too far out of touch to dive into this subject without first doing some research..IMO.

jhawkshocker 12 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Keegan, I read your articles with interest, agreeing with some things you write, but of course not all that you write. You write that you are 50 and white. I am 51 and white. I also was raised by parents at home, and taught by educators in the Wichita Public Schools and adults at my baptist church. I was also taught the "n" word was offensive. But that wasn't the only thing these people taught me, as I'm sure is the same case with you. My mentors taught me to not be judgemental of others and to respect all cultures. They also taught me that my thoughts on any subject might not be the correct way to see things. They also taught me to question their authority if I did not agree with their teachings, but to always use respect. They always stressed that if I encountered what I viewed as disrespect to still always respond with respect. I won't judge Mr. Taylor, besides, I don't, and won't ever, know all of the facts, but I don't need to know, I already know that any judgement I have on this situation will be kept private. I won't judge you either, but will make a suggestion........... When you are finished with an article you write, read it over again, and ask yourself...... "Is this how my parents at home and nuns at school taught me to act?"

BDub 12 years, 10 months ago

This article is right on target. Well said, Mr. Keegan.

rawkhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

If nothing else, an interesting discussion. I do not think the article is completely off-base. There is a disconnect between modern popular media and social decency. Somewhat similar to disconnect between professional language and that used on the golf course.

Topcitykid10 12 years, 10 months ago

Keagan you can leave now. You have blown up this issue WAY to much. Get over it, it was just a fight. No guns or worse injuries happened so let it go. Stop bringing bad attention to the university.

jayhawkdandy 12 years, 10 months ago

Keegan, you are not black so you have no right to judge what a black person says to another about race.

Just like a straight person shouldn't use the word queer, a homosexual should be able to.

Let's put this way. By your dribble the past couple days it is very obvious that you are an idiot. You can call yourself or others like you idiots.

5DecadeHawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Tom Keegan has obviously never spent any significant time in an African American neighborhood in his lifetime. What little time he has spent was probably with his windows rolled up, his doors locked, and cowering in fear.

Not that anybody ever did anything to him in those neighborhoods.

His lack of understanding is so obvious that it would be comical if he weren't writing about it publicly and embarrasing himself so much.

Joel Hood 12 years, 10 months ago

No Keegan, standards have not been lowered. As someone already mentioned, Richard Pryor used the N word in his comedy routine a long time ago. And guess what, guys like Redd Foxx also used N word well before Pryor to get laughs. I don’t think this “lowering of standards” is anything new.

Get off your high horse before you break the poor animals back. You are only sensationalizing this issue now to create a buzz. If you are so upset about the cultural acceptability of this word, why did you wait until now to express your dismay? Could it be that you are pimping this story for your own benefit while sanctimoniously portraying yourself as indignant about the use of a word by a cultural subset.

At least we got to see Tyshawn apologize for his errors in judgment. Are you going to apologize for sanctimoniously pimping this story? No. Your penitence is not using the F-bomb when no one cares. Tyshawn was more sincere than you.

Steve Tramba 12 years, 10 months ago

I miss Chuck Woodling being the main man - to the best of my knowledge, he didn't get as petty as Mr. Keegan. Doubters can say we are just the "haters", but consistently his articles mix personal vendetta (lack of better word) when he is snubbed.

From my experience, I too hung out w/ many African Americans at KU, including Downtown Terry Brown / Chris Lindley (RIP Big Man) to name a few. They way the N-word was tossed around from 1 AA to another in the group I "ran" with would probably give Keegan's nuns heart attacks. But the Caucasians among us didn't reciprocate, we knew the proper use the term had among the AA's, and man.... we ALL got along!!! Sure a woman was involved here/there & caused issues, but in time things healed, adults acted like adults, and life went on.

Now boys, as the Beasties once said "Gotta get it together, and see what's happenin'". Let's bring home TWO national championships this year!!! Go KU!!

klineisanazi 12 years, 10 months ago

So now the Jayhawks are responsible for the entire hip-hop subculture? Give me a break! How did this go from a controversy about fighting to a discussion of offensive language on a now non-existent social networking page? I am not a fan of the hip-hop genre and I wish Taylor would not have posted what he did on his Facebook page. But it is not Self's or Keegan's job to force their sensibilities on Taylor, or anyone else. I don't care what Taylor thinks is offensive as long as he keeps his nose clean as long as he is at KU. It is not Self, or KU's, job to remake the world to the aesthetic standards of a midwest sports writer, or of anyone else. As long as Taylor doesn't break the law, violate university or team rules, and stays academically eligible, Self has done his job.

DrPepper 12 years, 10 months ago

Keegan, go have your nuns beat up Taylor's nuns as apparently you think the nuns have lowered their standards.

This is poorly written opinion. A waste of my time.

In your next bit, please explain why turnover is so high in your dept and give 3 Hail Mary's to Bedore (the savior of your dept).

ObiWan 12 years, 10 months ago

Tyshawn apologized for his role in the fight, whatever that may have been. As for his Facebook, this is a country where a person can say whatever they want. If he wants to put lyrics from the songs he likes on his own personal webpage, that's his right. Likewise, if Keegan wants to bash the athletes that provide him with a living, that's his right too.

On an unrelated note: Chris Lindley! Haven't heard that name in a long time. Very sad story of unrealized potential. May he rest in peace.

Joe Baker 12 years, 10 months ago

Ok you need a story and your milking it. Let's move-on and find a better story.'s over! I'm sure there are other negative stories you can exploit for your career. What are you doing for the next deadline?

Play ball!!

cobweb 12 years, 10 months ago

How sad that with a chance to admire a guy like Obama, these kids use these thug rappers as role models. The culture dictates that if you speak jive and have a gun you're cool. It just guarantees that they will never be taken seriously.

Beak 12 years, 10 months ago

Sherron is an African Studies major. What the heck is he learning at KU? Am I off point here?

Andy Hess 12 years, 10 months ago

Keegan, just go away already. no one needs your sanctimonious bullcrap.

John Boyle 12 years, 10 months ago

klineisanazi, Actually it is Self's job to force sensibilities on Taylor. It is part of teaching and helping young men become better adults and citizens. Wrong is wrong no matter where you are from. I don't agree that it is okay for a black person to call another black person a Nword but it is not acceptible for any other race to call them the same. The same can be said of the use of the word queer. It is either okay to use those terms or it isn't. You can't change the rules based on your race, color or creed. That is where the bias and disconnects are created between races. All races, asian, white, black, hispanic, etc should be treated equally. The only way the white 50 year old males are going to accept the other races without some degree of tension is if they don't have to see all the special treatment given to the other races at their expense. As black men we must work hard to get ahead much like the settlers moving west in pioneer days. Don't look for handouts, don't look to blame everyone else for our problems. Hard work and education will help all people better themselves (and it doesn't matter what your race is). Sorry to get on a bandwagon but I'm sick of the race card being played on every matter or concern that comes up in society.

Joel Hood 12 years, 10 months ago


African Studies is a liberal arts program. Sort of like majoring in history, philosophy, or psychology. Hopefully, he will earn a BA in 2010. Here is more info -

KUbsee69 12 years, 10 months ago

Words are just letters or phonemes strung together. Often they are issued to elicit some specific response. Many on here, including both journalists and posters, are letting them do just that.

Many words have evolved through the political correctness era to mean something less acceptable than they meant 50 plus years ago. Gay, for example. The title of the classic 1942 book "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay" by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough could be totally reinterpreted by some today.

Words are only offensive if we let them be so. Why look for the negatives?

Oh, yeah, on another issue, how did we let incorrect terms like African American, Native American, Asian American, etc come about. These imply dual citizenship. The people labeled by these terms are simply AMERICANS. If they need modified, they should be American of African decent, American of Asian decent, etc. As long as Americans are categorized, there will be rivalry and discontent.

Eliott Reeder 12 years, 10 months ago

Quick! Somebody get Keegan a copy of Blueprint 3. I had no idea he was this out of touch...

Joel Hood 12 years, 10 months ago


Seriously? Is this something that occurs regularly to you?

hummmm, I wonder... If I had married an African American woman and she calls me an animal (wink wink) would that make me an animal cracker?

gongs4ku 12 years, 10 months ago

Young black kids call each other N----. This isn't new. It's not really all that shocking either. These kids aren't great intellects or leaders of men, they're impressionable young people who use the language of popular rap music.

To be honest, I found the part of the facebook comment where TT said he would handle things like a G, or gansta, more troubling. Using the N word, to my mind, is not incompatible with being a respectable student-athlete in 2009. Behaving like a g is.

Michael Leiker 12 years, 10 months ago

I honestly can't believe anybody gives a damm about this whole deal. It amazes me. Big Game Saturday. One that will get KU much national respect going into BIG XII play. Much more fun to talk about.

IBRONNIEB 12 years, 10 months ago

The only standards that have been lowered, are by the people who actually read and agree, with this BS you are feeding them. Lets just move on, please! No more moralistic crap from you, again please! Stick to writing what you know about, sports-- oh well maybe thats not a good idea either.

okiedave 12 years, 10 months ago


You have no right, as a white guy, to judge how one black wishes to address another black. For you to use the "N" word it is a racial slur due to the traditional use of the "N" word by non-black individuals and how it is perceived by the black community for you, a white guy, to use the word. However, for a black to use the word toward another black indivdual may not be a racial slur. It may be a means of connection. It may also be a means of defusing the racially demeaning concept that the "N" word has had on the black population and lessen the inner pain that the black community feels by the use of the word. Think of it like this... If a white dude comes up to you and says, "how are you doing cracker?' Do you feel discriminated against? You would probably grin and feel an immediate racial connection. For Blacks to use the "N" word when communicating with each other may be more socially healthy than you realize. If Collins tells you that it's okay...just take his word for it...its okay. Quit telling blacks what they can or cannot do when interacting with each other.

KUFan90 12 years, 10 months ago

okiedave - outstanding response. This is exactly what Keegan is missing and can't relate to, and why it makes his article sound so sanctimonious, holier than thou, and so far off base.

If this was Keegan's way of apologizing to TT after the way he unfairly roasted him yesterday, mission failed.

Kent Wells 12 years, 10 months ago

One of the most amusing stories I have (although not at the time)...

So lets hop in the time machine and jump back to 1988. I lived in Oklahoma and just thoroughly enjoyed a national championship game. I had a couple of close friends, JJ played basketball for Jack Hartman at KSU and JP played for Billy Tubbs at Oklahoma. I was invited over one night for copious quantities of ferminted beverages and dominoes. I didn't know how to play dominoes, but I did know how to drink (I learned that on the hill between 1982 and 1986) so it was game on.

After lots of gin and tonics, I noticed something. You all know how we get smarter when we have been drinking. I noticed there were 6 black gentlemen (I use that term intentionally because several black friends tell me that is what the prefer) and 1 white guy. I noticed one other thing. It was N this and N that. N its your turn. N you cant make that play. After about 2 hours and even more gin kuwells got a little cocky.

Now several of you just had your butts pucker up to the size of an atom. I'll pause and let everyone catch up. I think you know where this is headed.

Yes. Even before I could think, "N - pay attention, its your turn to move" came out of my mouth. Care to guess how long it took me to sober up? I learned something that night. I've never had gin again for one.

After the smoke cleared, me and my 6 friends had talked for a good hour, but I still didn't exactly understand. However, I learned exactly what okiedave just posted. It was cool when they did it among themselves. Hell, yes, I wish that word didn't exist (I also wish I didn't use it that night). But if Tyshawn and Sherron are cool (just like JJ and JP were cool) with it. Who was I to judge? Just don't post it out there on the internet for all to see. Jesus, that was dumb... I just got off the phone with my friend JJ, and he reminded me yet again how this cracker is lucky to be alive.

RockChalkFan4 12 years, 10 months ago


I am not black, however, if a white guy comes up to me and calls me "Cracker" I take it as an insult. There is no "immediate racial connection." I immediately believe the person is ignorant. Is that true, not sure but it is my first impression. This is how I feel when I hear blacks calling each other the N-word. Not based on the word, because I know the real meaning of the word, but on how blacks view the use of the word against them. Equality can never be accomplished as long as the field is not equal. Why would you say it's an endearing term between one race, and an insult when used by a different race.... nonsense. My personal feeling is that if a black person wants to use that term, they should not be angry when someone else, whomever that should be, uses it.

Now on to the real reason I signed up to post...


The only standard I have seen lowered is what shred of journalistic integrity you have. Give it a rest, write about pink elephants or something if you don't have a real story and are inept at finding one. I know I would be more proud of you for the elephant story than any of the &*%$ I have been reading lately. Is it a story, yes, but if you are going to report it, do a better job and quit harping on it.

klineisanazi 12 years, 10 months ago

Jayhawk John: I am not trying to play the race card. No culture or lifestyle is beyond criticism. My take on this was based on what one can reasonably expect of a basketball coach. By all means, if Coach Self could influence anyone against destructive behavior, and instill a sense of empathy and responsibility, of course I am for it. I agree with a lot of the thoughts you have expressed. Keegan seems to be moving the target in this whole affair, however. The first and most important issue is the use of violence, which Self must not tolerate. Same would go with any threats made, including those made on a Facebook page. The use of the "n" word, however distasteful I might find it, does not rise to the same level, and that seemed to be the focus of Keegan's rant.

kertupnorth 12 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

RockChalkGuy 12 years, 10 months ago

Words are merely words. If these supposed 'evil' words were stated with the malicious intent that Keegan is spinning it into, then sure TT screwed up. I certainly don't think this is the case. People, teenagers in particular, tend to live vicariously through the music they listen to and often times the music is used a theme song to what's going on in one's life. I truly believe that TT was using the lyrics as a general expression of his current emotions and not as a direct and literal description of what he wanted to say.

Am I the only one that thinks this doesn't really qualify as an article, but rather an editorial or a blog post? Seriously, there's a noticeable lack of news in this rambling self-righteous offering.

We, the season ticket holders and donors, are NOT the bosses of this program. We make charitable contributions to what is being offered because we WANT to. If you don't like what KU, Bill Self, Mark Mangino, Lew Perkins, etc. have to offer ---> quit giving them your money. You are not entitled to tell them how to run the program. You are not entitled to tell them how to run the program. (Stated twice because many of you didn't get it the first time) I have no doubts that this program is on the right track and is capable of rivaling any other program in the country for top honors. It will take a lot more than a facebook post or a tiff over a chick to convince me otherwise.

Get over it. This is not as big of a deal as Keegan is portraying it to be.

Joel Hood 12 years, 10 months ago

okiedave, kuwells & kertupnorth, Great thoughts and insights.

As a white guy (as my 6” vertical can attest to) I would never call another white guy, “cracker.” Why? Because doing so could easily be misinterpreted as me mocking black guys for using the N word when they are joking around. One white guy calling another white guy cracker isn’t a natural expression within our culture. My intent for using that expression would be questioned.

Language and culture is a funny thing. If I’m playing pickup ball with some guys, I will very likely drop the F-bomb when I do something stupid. No one will care. But, I’d never use the F-bomb if I were playing ball in a church league. To me, Tyshawn made the mistake of using the N word on Facebook, which was the wrong context. And, how we use language is always governed by context and culture.

Keegan was wrong to put Tyshawn and Sherron on the spot for using the term within the acceptable context. This entire discussion is much more complex and they are not bad kids for using the word in a context for which it is acceptable. Now, if Obama, Sharpton, Cosby, Bernadette Gray-Little, or other prominent black leaders want to question the appropriateness of that context, then by all means do so. Keegan doesn’t have the appropriate moral gravitas to do so.

Kent Wells 12 years, 10 months ago

jayhawkerjoel: 6" - show off!

I dropped the F bomb in a church league one time. They called a time out, team huddled up and prayed for me. Point plankn.

kvskubball 12 years, 10 months ago

Intra-racial use of a derogatory term could lead to non-members of that race saying..."They use it amongst themselves, why do they get upset when we use the term?"

The fact is that the n* word is often used among African-americans, in what is usually a non-offensive way, but the context is important, and it is not always used in a non-offensive way even among them. Bigots of other races probably understand that it is thought to be ok in intra-racial talk, and they also understand that it isn't accepted in inter-racial talk, but they will gladly use it to stir the animosity they wish to promote.

Take the following scenario, a 3 year old white kid is in the park and there are two adult African American males sitting on the park bench throwing the n word back and forth, in a friendly manner. The next day, the little white kid is playing with a couple of black kids and their mothers who weren't around the day before. The little white kid innocently starts using the n word with the little black kids, and the mother's get outraged. "I can't believe that he is being taught to use that kind of language at home, his parents must be really racist". Innocent usage can thus promote racial tension where there should be none...

My point is that by using a term that they find offensive when members of other races use it, promotes the use of the word. So, if it is offensive, it would be best not to use it, period. IMO. Find another word to use in bonhomie verbal bonding rituals.

JayCeph 12 years, 10 months ago

Most of these posts come off as insulting drivel.

Keegan, your points are quite valid and on the mark. Anyone to suggest otherwise, based on the color of your skin, your age or socio-economic standing is exhibiting the very type of behavior that they purport to abhor.

Okiedave - I couldn't disagree with you more. Let me explain. (please see diagram below)


Do you see it? It is an 'equal' sign. It goes both ways. Parallel. At no points are the two lines truncated nor do they intersect. This implicitly suggests that there are no 'equitable' scenarios that would provide one path an opportunity to usurp the other path.

Ergo, if it isn't appropriate for one 'line' to use a term or phrase, then it is equally inappropriate for the other 'line' to use that term/phrase.

Equality isn't contextual.

Right now, I am embarrassed, disgusted, and most of all, disheartened by the level of regression I have witnessed (not only on this board but in our general society as a whole).

justanotherfan 12 years, 10 months ago

Forums are everything. Tyshawn just learned (if he wasn't already aware) that Facebook is a VERY public forum.

As I said in a post on one of the articles, I myself rethought every single word on my Facebook profile as I came upon graduation. Funny quotes that had been staples on my page since I got on Facebook were removed, lest they give off the wrong impression of me. Even today, I scour my Facebook wall regularly to make sure nothing gets posted that may get misinterpreted. If I have an inside joke for a friend, I send them a text or call them up. I don't just post it on their wall for the world to see... but I didn't really think about all of that until I was about a year from graduation.

Something everyone should know by now, but many often forget - NOTHING on the internet is PRIVATE! So if you post it on the internet, someone that you didn't intend it for may find it and use it for their own purposes - good, bad or otherwise.

TrueBlue92 12 years, 10 months ago

JayhawkDandy, do you favor different social "rules" for different people based on skin color?

I say if the N-word is OK again, let's all use it. Then we'll be hip like 20-somethings and rappers, who are excellent roll models for everyone.

HAWKTOPIA 12 years, 10 months ago

Colonel Keegan, you are trying so hard to string together some symbolic curtain to hide behind. I guess having a daily article to write has gifted you with the right to condemn others. Oh how powerful you are.

There are reasons this country has turned the page on old white men making the rules. Thanks for the reminder. Sensitivity begins with understanding other's have different views, and acceptance of all our differences.

Don't drop the F bomp on the golf course, you have come so far today. Please take a day off

(Hey Tyshawn, the difference between the good old days, and the way it is today, is guys like keegan, who will throw you under the bus, and then want an interview to ask you how you let that happen, and then trash you in an article for letting it go public. All in good intentions, i'm sure.)

JayCeph 12 years, 10 months ago

Hawktopia - such a sad commentary coming from the mind of a 'contemporary.'

"There are reasons this country has turned the page on old white men making the rules."

I guess we really haven't learned any lessons at all, have we?

I, too have a dream, that one day, my son will grow up in a land and be judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I have come to acknowledge that this is merely a pipe-dream.

People who scream for tolerance and equality want nothing of the sort (or so it seems). What I keep hearing on the airwaves and reading on the message boards is, "My turn."

I weep for this land.

Rock_Chalk_NYC 12 years, 10 months ago

Good article Keegan... Keep it up.

Some of these dopes say you are old and don't get the young people... well, I'm young enough and tell ya what, take that as a compliment.

When being a jacka$$, using terribly racist language and constantly blaming race everytime something doesn't go your way are what make you "victimized" or cool, then its just fine to call these people out for their stupidity.

And note, I'm talking about the moron's on this thread.

I'll continue to read the articles on, but I'm going back to the paysites like jayhawkslant to have true intelligent dialogue with Jayhawk fans that get what it means to be a great fan, but also a better citizen.

BrianR 12 years, 10 months ago

If you having golf problems I feel bad for you son...

Kent Wells 12 years, 10 months ago

Tom: I'm sure reading this caused a few more F bombs. So, another thing for you to give up.

So, I really have to know... Why didn't you ask Tyshawn: "who's face got in the way of your thumb?".

Kent Kossoy 12 years, 10 months ago

I am one of those 50 something y o white guys. I am also racist because I disagree with the Prez. However, it is okay to use the F word in golf. On the other hand, if it okay for Tyshawn to use the N word, then I can too. These are lame excuses for poor behavior. Let us go back to slavery and then see how nice the word sounds. So much for the argument for reparations!

Kent Wells 12 years, 10 months ago

Dynomite. Amen. Glad you serioused up...

lee3022 12 years, 10 months ago

This discussion has predictably landed like a hand grenade in our midst. There are a couple of points being completely missed here.

The purpose of the university is to educate and prepare people for careers and raise the awareness of the populace in diverse subjects.

These young men come to KU to study and play basketball and football etc. Yes they come from cultures somewhat different than Me Keegan came from. But many if not most hope to obtain future employment in the NBA or NFL or otherwise just as we hoped to obtain employment when we graduated. I have been thankful that I was sufficiently prepared to acquire such opportunity.

The employment in the NBA, to narrow it down to one sport, is to be one player of fifteen in a city/area of 2-10 million people. Many of these people follow the sport. So their employment conduct will be scrutinized far closer than mine, than goodness. To use words in private is not a problem. But the trouble is words used frequently tend to slip out in public. That is when it appears on YouTube and in the local newspaper. An example:

A few years ago Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets was discovered to have appeared in a video entitled Stop Snitching which warned that residents of Baltimore who collaborated with the police would face violence ( When that discovery was made public the NBA, the Denver Nuggets and Mr Anthony received intense criticism and public outcry. Whether you agree that the statement was unfairly criticized or not it violated his employment contract. It cost him and his team much community disapproval. He later distanced himself from the video.

So my point is holding standards that meet the larger community standards is wise preparation for such employment. The student-athletes who come to KU can rightly expect that those standards are encouraged and required. It is not much different at North Carolina or UCLA. When NBA teams prepare for the annual draft every incident such as this will be intensely scrutinized and the players will be asked about it in their interviews. Just being a great basketball player is not enough. The athletes are expected to represent the community just as here they are expected to represent the university.

Being violent as some have pointed out is far worse than the words we use. But people do judge based on what they hear or see or read about, both words and actions. The 50ish white guys are actually the very guys paying for the new practice facilities and improvements and paying for the tickets that help the university pay for all athletic and some academic programs. For Mr Taylor and Mr Collins, I can only suggest as part of their education at KU that they find more acceptable role model to look up as well as rappers - acceptable that is, to their future employers.

Lance Hobson 12 years, 10 months ago

The standards are most certainly lower, but the use of the N-word is not really the big issue here. Disappointing maybe, but it was normal when I went to high school 20 years ago and is still prevalent and not really very shocking anymore, if it ever was.

The problem is the violence and thug behavior and the term "teachable" moment that has been used over and over again with little actual teaching going on. Like the Brits say, we have "lessons identified" vice "lessons learned" because we never learn anything. This episode is the latest of a rash of events of the hip-hop generation run amok the past few years: TO, Vick, Chris Brown, Chad Johnson, Pacman, D. Rose, Kanye West, the Bengals, McNair, the Pacers, Plaxico, etc, etc. However, KU is better than all of those people and teams. This shouldn't have happened in Lawrence.

okiedave 12 years, 10 months ago


= is a mathematical concept. life is never = and never has been = and never will be =. All we can do is make it ~.

betterbelieveit 12 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

yates33333 12 years, 10 months ago

Do you believe this B.S. that Keegan is laying on us? I don't. He feels that somehow he is guilty since he has used the word he now finds most reprehensible. How about M.... WOP? WOG? Spic? Honky? Ginny? Horse S..t? This article.

Steve Gantz 12 years, 10 months ago

Time to get back to winning that National Championship instead of debating whether a kid should use the N word on his facebook page.

rgh 12 years, 10 months ago

I tend to think the facebook comments revealed the true person. It's easy to apologize in public when you've had your scholarship threatened! Kick him off, we don't need that crap on our campus!

bpjhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

"Standards have been lowered."

Yeah, at the Lawrence Journal-World.

Confrontation 12 years, 10 months ago

I agree with bpjhawk. Standards have been lowered. Look at who wrote this article. He's pathetic.

rhino11 12 years, 10 months ago

How long till this trash comes down? It has already had a day and a half of run...someone update this space with an actual SPORTS story.

Michael Bratisax 12 years, 10 months ago

Yes...journalism standards have hit new lows.

JayCeph 12 years, 10 months ago

ralster, you miss the point.

When speaking dialectically, nuance and tone are relevant and contextual.

When speaking of equality (not in the sense of genetics but in the sense of social liberties), equality isn't contextual. It either IS equal, or it isn't.

If people want to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, religion or creed, then behave as such and quit asking for special dispensation as a result of those characteristics.

If it isn't okay for one person to use a derogatory and pejorative term, it isn't okay for anyone.

An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.

Quit making excuses for poor behavior and bad ideology.

jayhawkintx73 12 years, 10 months ago

I'll bet that Keegan does drop an F-Bomb, on the golf course or else where, and never admits it. He isn't in the public spotlight like those he criticizes when he is on his private time. Keegan sank himself to a new level, pretending like he has never done anything wrong, and fully protected by the 1st amendment. Oh wait a second, so is Tyshawn Taylor. Keegan, you're a hyprocrite, and I lost all respect for you over you carrying this thing on that only an immature, blabbering, loud mouthed, irresponsible journalist would do. Its over. Now, you can keep it going, or you can accept the apologies. Its up to you. You can grow up and say, hey, its over, and stop reporting on it causing a distraction, or you can keep trying wedge a division into the two programs. You sound just like a typical member of the media that wishes to pretend you're better than others because you are writing in a newspaper, instead of on facebook. Tyshawn knows what he did was wrong, he doesn't need a 50 year old fat white guy to tell him that, repeatedly.

Charles Shirley 12 years, 10 months ago

I don't know how the fact that I am a old guy fits into this discussion or not. I don't think my age (or Keegan or Taylor's age) is relevant, but my two cents is simple. Taylor and Collins are young men who now, whether they like it or not, whether they asked for it or not, are people that young people (mostly young KU fans) are following because of their abilities in sports. We all follow what the Jayhawk players are doing both on the basketball court and in their private lives. That is just part of being in a big-time basketball program. Yeah, Keegan is probably a hypocrite and I know that I am a hypocrite all the time--though I try not to be. But whether we are hypocrites does not diminish in anyway the situation that Taylor and Collins are now in. If you play for the KU basketball program you will get watched and not just on the court. So it ain't fair, what in life is? No amount of crying about it on the KU Sports page is going to change that. I don't know about Keegan, but I would just wish that Taylor and Collins both learn from this situation and attempt to put an end to their use of the word. Also, it is pointless to argue that neither Keegan (or me for that matter) can stop the use of the word throughout our culture. But that is also irrelevant. Of course, there are going to be people that continue to use the word. So? Taylor and Collins are great young men (not just because they play great basketball) and they ARE better than that. Just because there are soft-headed folks that will choose never to stop using the word is just not excuse to let Taylor and Collins off the hook. They are both great guys that made some bad decisions. Let's hope they learn from this and focus on school and basketball going forward.

JayCeph 12 years, 10 months ago

ralster, thanks for the clarification. I still see a significant difference between slang and intolerable racial epithets. 'Cool' and 'bad' and 'down' and 'fresh' and 'gnarley' and 'awesome' have all been misconstrued to some degree or another for the sake of slang. I get it.

The 'word' (and related contrivances) should not be an acceptable 'cultural' difference when there is no benchmark for differing meanings. It is always the same meaning. It is not acceptable for the vast majority of our population to use it and therefore, we shouldn't shrug our collective shoulders and say 'aw-shucks... them's just kids bein' kids." It doesn't play out that way.

I can't stress this enough and I doubt that I can convince a strong contingent of a myopic minorty to change their ways or attitudes. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. That's the euphemism, right?

I think we have stumbled upon one of the key ingredients to the lack of development along this front... a firm adherence to a misconception that there is a 'cultural' foundation that must somehow be revered or respected. To that, I say, bull-schnikeys.

We can not continue to look the other way when one person does something which is reprehensible and then somehow expect society to tow the proverbial line when others step over it. This is an absolute equation. Nothing more... but especially, nothing less.

Chad Hallack 12 years, 10 months ago

What a horrific thing it is to create drama out of nothing at all. Keegan, get out of your conjuring mindset and try doing some real and relevant journalism.

jaybate 12 years, 10 months ago

I believe in letting persons call themselves what ever they wish.

I believe in calling persons what ever they wish to be called.

Once you grant them these minor concessions, you are then at liberty to focus entirely on what they say and do.

What could be more in one's own self interest, as all human beings, regardless of color, gender, or religious preference, are so enormously flawed and prone to act with such gratuitous stupidity that one is then bound to win one's fair share of arguments. :-)

ku_foaf 12 years, 10 months ago

I think the concern over Tyshawn using that word on Facebook is very overblown. He was saying it to his friends, not the public. He is finding out how much of a celebrity he is as a KU basketball player.

There is a double standard on the "N-word with an h." Black people using it among themselves are saying "do as I say, not as I do" when they call each other that. Black Americans are not the only group that does this, by far. I have heard Mexican Americans call each other "mojado" (wetback) lots of times, but they would be very offended if a non-Latino did. The same is true for Italian Americans, Irish Americans ... lot s of groups. In all cases, it is an expression of camaraderie and familiarity.

Then again, by black people using it among themselves, the word is maybe losing the negative connotation. It may become like a lot of other names. A person from Louisiana is a "coonass" and a person from Georgia is a "cracker." These sound offensive, but they are not to the people from that state. The LA term is probably a corruption of a not too nice French word, and the GA term likely came from "whipcracker" - another bad connotation to slavery. Both are used with pride in their states.

OK, let's get back to sports ...

strongbadia 12 years, 10 months ago

What is extremely ironic about this uproar about the N-Word, is that virtually ZERO young black men (me included) are speaking out against this usage. Why? BECAUSE WE LARGELY DON'T VIEW IT AS OFFENSIVE. I use the N-Word with many of my friends, and the context is clearly positive. Many black people have heard the term used negatively (almost exclusively) by whites, as it's been around for a long long period of time, however in black culture, it has been converted into a term to be used amongst black people in the positive sense. In hip hop culture, the term is used frequently, HOWEVER, most people who have an issue with hip hop in the black community, take issue with just about everything else but the usage of that term.

In my opinion this article shows either ignorance or latent racism by Keegan. The reality is that Keegan is not comfortable with black people who do not think, dress or present themselves similar to most white people. I mean seriously. Keegan, a WHITE MAN is OFFENDED by the N-Word, while I, a BLACK MAN take no issue with it? Does that seem wrong to anyone? I cant help but chuckle to myself. Keegan is offended. Really. KEEGAN!

Let's break down the rest of some of these THUG issues that have been presented here.

-Dressing like a thug

How does one dress like a thug? I am not aware of any THUG wear at all. There is urban styled clothing, but you cannot seriously associate all people who dress in that manner with thuggery, unless you are uncomfortable with people who do not dress like you.

-Hip Hop Lyrics (Acting like a G)

If Tyshawn was really going to act like a G, and really was affected by Always Strapped, he'd have pulled a gun on one of the FB players. Additionally, Lil Wayne is not "always strapped". Most people who follow hip hop know that Weezy doesn't enter into every club he parties at with guns, looking to pop the first person who looks at him wrong. You can't take these lyrics literally, and people who follow hip hop know this. What went on here was Tyshawn using these lyrics to express himself. To show his masculinity. Watch a freestyle battle sometime. Rappers battle each other lyrically and say things to each other that they likely would never, ever do to them (Hello!!! This is entertainment). The point is, feel how you want to about hip hop, but don't label Tyshawn and Sherron as bad people when you clearly know nothing about Hip Hop.

Finally, the biggest mistake Taylor made was to post these lyrics publicly, when he is now in an environment filled with white people who have no idea how to look at hip hop, and don't understand hip hop. (I was born and raised in Lawrence, this is definitely true) He should have been cognizant of his audience. That is where he went wrong. That's it.

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