Over the last 12 months I've heard the adjective "thug" used more and more. I hadn't really heard the word much since college or maybe even high school (more than 20 years ago).
The word re-entered my life when I heard people using this word to describe Trayvon Martin, which angered me. I found myself drawn into an argument with a stranger on a mutual friend's Facebook post. We battled over this. I finally asked him to define "thug." After receiving his definition, I bidded him farewell.
This man shared that Trayvon was a thug because he, a 17-year-old boy, had videos of fighting on his phone, referenced pot on his social page, and had been suspended from school. WOW! That makes him a thug? I shook my head literally. I was wasting my time. There is no way for me to win this argument if that's the basis of his perspective.
So I went to Dictionary.com to see a somewhat official definition.
"Thug: a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer."
The World English Dictionary defines it as
"a tough, violent man esp a criminal."
At its origin, it was used to describe a person who was part of a gang that robbed or murdered people.
So Zimmerman, the person with a gun who followed, chased, confronted, shot and killed the boy, was a good person, but the boy was the thug. I give up.
Now, months later, there's a new Thug in town, or so they say.
Enter Mr. Richard Sherman. This one really, really has me scratching my head.
This time we have a grown, educated man being called a thug because his adrenaline was at 100% after making a game winning play in one of the most physical, professional games in our country. The argument this time... he yelled at the camera when a reporter stuck a microphone in his face seconds after the play. An otherwise very articulate guy raised his voice about the opponent that he had just defeated one-on-one. WOW!
Here's my sarcasm... to ensure that you don't miss it... Who cares how articulate he is; who cares that he graduated at the top of his high school class; who cares that he earned two degrees from one of the top colleges in the country with an A average; the fact remains that he raised his voice and yelled... HE IS A THUG. End sarcasm.
What in the world is going on here? Why are people all of a sudden obsessed with using this word? I don't like it. I don't like it at all! Surely I'm not the only person with access to the definition.
Maybe there is some truth to what Mr. Sherman stated in his response. Maybe the word "thug" is a replacement for another word that we are not supposed to use... in public, out loud. I mean really, Mr. Martin and Mr. Sherman really only have one thing in common. Hmmm.
As much as this would be a great opportunity to play that "card" I refuse. But I will say, STOP IT!