Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 071404
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File Number: 071404 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-636-07 Control: County Commission
File Name: MORATORIUM ON USE OF ''N'' WORD IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY Introduced: 5/3/2007
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 5/22/2007
Agenda Date: 5/22/2007 Agenda Item Number: 14A2
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION DECLARING A SYMBOLIC MORATORIUM ON THE USE OF THE ''N-WORD'' IN UNINCORPORATED MIAMI-DADE COUNTY AND URGING MUNICIPALITIES TO APPROVE SIMILAR RESOLUTIONS
Indexes: NONE
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 5/22/2007 14A2 Adopted P

County Manager 5/18/2007 Additions 5/22/2007

Economic Development and Human Services Committee 5/16/2007 2A Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Jordan explained the intent of the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Sorenson noted this proposed resolution was an attempt in setting the tone for this community. Commissioner Moss asked to be listed as a co-sponsor on the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Souto spoke in support of the foregoing proposed resolution and noted Miami-Dade County was a multi-cultural community. Commissioner Jordan stated she would accept an amendment to represent other ethnic groups. Following Chairwoman Edmonson’s request for an amendment to the foregoing proposed resolution, Assistant County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams read a proposed amendment to include language encouraging Miami-Dade County residents to also refrain from using any offense language to degrade any ethnic groups in Miami-Dade County. Commissioner Sorenson offered an amendment to address hate speeches made towards people based on their sexual orientation. Following further discussion on the amendments offered by Committee members, Chairwoman Edmonson asked Commissioner Sorenson to sponsor the appropriate legislation to broaden the subject matter in this resolution to address hate speeches targeting sexual orientation and to encourage residents of Miami-Dade County to also refrain from using any offensive language degrading to any ethnic groups in Miami-Dade County. In addition, she asked to be listed as a cosponsor of the forthcoming legislation and the foregoing proposed resolution before the Committee today. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution as presented.

County Attorney 5/3/2007 Referred Economic Development and Human Services Committee 5/16/2007

County Attorney 5/3/2007 Assigned Abigail Price-Williams

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DECLARING A SYMBOLIC MORATORIUM ON THE USE OF THE “N-WORD” IN UNINCORPORATED MIAMI-DADE COUNTY AND URGING MUNICIPALITIES TO APPROVE SIMILAR RESOLUTIONS

BODY
WHEREAS, the first documented written use of the “N-word” was in 1786 when the “N-word” was used by slave masters to label African slaves and has its origins in the contempt and hatred that slave masters had for African slaves; and
WHEREAS, the late 1960’s produced a surge of racial pride when the terms “Black” and “Black is Beautiful” were taken on by the African American community as positive and affirming and participants of the Black Power Movement denounced use of the “N-word”; and
WHEREAS, although the term remained extremely degrading in the Black Community, some African Americans started using the “N-word” to refer to themselves during the 1970’s cultural era known as Black Exploitation and also during the beginning of the 1990’s cultural era known as Hip Hop; and
WHEREAS, in 2003, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) successfully influenced Merriam-Webster lexicographers to change the dictionary definition of the “N-word” to no longer mean African Americans; at the same time, the term “N- word” began being used in popular culture and in media reports in an effort to avoid publicly using the controversial and disparaging word’s full spelling or pronunciation; and
WHEREAS, the “N-word” remains a symbol of racism and prejudice against African Americans and numerous high profile incidents involving use of the “N-word” have elicited outrage and condemnation from the African American community, as well as from the community at-large; and
WHEREAS, this Board encourages the residents of unincorporated Miami-Dade County to cease from using the “N-word” and to encourage others with whom they may encounter to do the same; and
WHEREAS, this Board further urges municipalities to approve similar resolutions encouraging its residents not to use the “N-word”,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Declares a symbolic moratorium on the use of the “N-word” in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and urges the residents of the County to refrain from using this offensive word and to encourage others to cease using the word.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of this resolution to the League of Cities and to each municipality within Miami-Dade County.



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