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The Other ‘N’ Word

I know I’ve hurt some people that I care about, and I have looked inside to my own intolerance.

We’re all justifiably intolerant of those who pepper their daily ravings with the "N" word.

I remember growing up, how that word would never be spoken in my San Fernando Valley liberal Jewish home. Years later, driving car pool in post apocalyptic Woodland Hills, I would reach back across the carseat almost daily to thrash any young friend of my son’s who would greet those we pass on the street with a, "Yo, my N-word!" — thinking it to be an innocent MTVism endorsed by Snoop or Dr. Dre.

The errant use by a few famous flash-in-the-pans does not justify the years of oppression, ignorance and hate that was dished out under that flag. My parents would not tolerate it, and I found its popular use by society to be distasteful.

I’ve also been guilty of using the "N" word — in my case as a way to spice up my rhetoric, damning those who are ruining health care.

But I’m talking about a different "N" word — one that is as hateful as the classic version mentioned above, but used far less in society.

This horrific word is not attributed to those that are hated as much as it describes those that are capable of hate at its most insidious. It’s a scurrilous word that is as powerful today as it was 65 years ago. Thankfully, it has not entered our popular lexicon.

The word is Nazi — with all of its forms, metaphors and allusions it still strikes fear in the hearts of mortal men.

Lately, I’ve been sensitive to my use of the ideal of Nazi-esque narratives when it came to the situation at the Motion Picture Home. The word is galvanizing, and I used it like a club meant more for bludgeoning seals than a scalpel which would peel away the veneer of the deceit and mismanagement that I feel is evident at the Motion Picture Home.

I’ve described in lurid detail the horror, confusion and dismay of the residents and attributed it to what would seem like a Wagnerian opera gone horribly wrong.

I know I’ve hurt some people that I care about, and I have looked inside to my own intolerance. This virtual Tshuvah that occurs between the lines of this blog is my resolve to spare the Nazi-esque rhetoric in the future, and man up to those who I may have hurt, who may have a role in helping all of us to keep the Long Term Care unit open.

I realize that Stephen Spielberg has been a monumental champion of those who are oppressed and have faced oppression. The fact that he has remained mute on the issue of the Long Term Care unit’s demise creates a huge void of understanding in even the most stalwart fan. Michael Douglas has issued a statement where he is donating the proceeds to his upcoming film Before I Forget to the Motion Picture Home.

This could go toward saving the LTC, but don’t count on a nickel of it being earmarked for that purpose. I’m always stymied when great people are capable of an apathetic response to human tragedy.

I’ve looked inward, and if the rhetoric is turned down, then the heat will be turned up. I’m hoping that those who can make a difference on the other side looks within as well. You know who you are. We’ve been in touch.

We all are capable of change. We all are capable of working together to find a solution.

To those I’ve hurt — you have my apologies. Let there be heroes on both sides of this issue.

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Winner of the Los Angeles Press Club's best blog award and a Southern California Journalism Award for his HollyBlogs, as well as an award for the Facebook group that helped to muscle the salvation of long-term care for the motion picture and television industry, Stellar's "vituperative blog on TheWrap" (Vanity Fair) focuses on issues related to the motion picture and entertainment industry. Stellar is founder of The Man/Kind Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to fight religious and cultural intolerance through the arts while building bridges of tolerance for all people. Stellar lives in Woodland Hills, California, with his wife of over 30 years, Nuala, and much too much Beatles memorabilia.