Louisville man starts new initiative targeting racial slur - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville businessman starts new initiative targeting racial slur

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Celebrity chef Paula Deen remains under fire for a racial slur she admitted to using in the past.

"The woman of her vocabulary and her mentality and business, I was very disappointed that would lie in the back of her mind," says Lois Morris.

"I just can't believe she lost everything -- sponsorship and everything she had," says Matthew Hofmann.

On Thursday, Target announced it would end its relationship with Deen.  It's the latest company to cut ties with the cook.

Louisville businessman Mark Gunn says it's the catalyst for a new marketing campaign that he says is much-needed.  Mark Gunn says many times, African Americans call each other the same word that cost Deen her television show.

"The campaign is called the "My N***a?- No!" Initiative. It is to get African Americans to take a look at this double-standard that seems to be here about the use of that word," says Mark Gunn.

He says there is sometimes a double-standard when it comes to this word, and he wants to raise awareness about the way it's being used.  The racial slur can be heard in movies and music videos.

Mark Gunn says the word is especially controversial within the African American community.  "There's a segment of us that are trying to take that word and change that definition and have been using it as a term of endearment, but I think the majority of us who actually know the history of the word and the baggage that comes along with it think that's wrong-headed and see the damage that word has caused," says Mark Gunn.

He's now hoping others will take a stand with him in this new campaign that's he's taken to social media, where he's calling on people to think about the words they are using.

"Part of that problem is that we are not looking at the problems in our own community. This is one of those problems and is why we are taking a look at it", says Mark Gunn.

Gunn says this new campaign is not about banning the word.  He says it has an important historical significance, and should be used in the proper context.

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