Forbes.com’s Roger Friedman spoke exclusively to Paula Smith of Hinesville, Georgia, whose website, Stickatude.com, has had the bumper sticker in stock since June 2010. But just in the last few days it’s started selling – at $3 a pop.
Asked about the N-word, for which “nig” is the shortened version, Smith said, “According to the dictionary it does not mean black. It means a low down, lazy, sorry, low down person. That’s what the N word means.”
Friedman points out in his column that Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines the word as “member of any dark skinned race. Taken to be offensive.” Dictionary.com says the word “is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. Definitions 1a, 1b, and 2 represent meanings that are deeply disparaging and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense.”
Smith said she thought her website was “dead” and up until recently none of her bumper stickers was selling at all.
Where did Ms. Smith find the sticker in the first place? “We just found it on the internet, and thought it was cute. It’s been up there since he’s been president.”
The Smiths own a well-known paint ball field in Hinesville — a town near Savannah. Mrs. Smith said customers come from all over the world. Ms. Smith said she is not racist, she just wants Obama out of office. She tells me she doesn’t have a preferred replacement candidate. “And besides Obama is not even black. He’s got a mixture of race. It’s his choice of what his nationality is. I’m a mixed breed. I call myself a Heinz 57,” she says, referring to an ancestry that’s part of French, Scottish, and German.
“I just want someone that’s going to help the United States and not give it other countries all the time. And stop giving the immigrants the benefits that most Americans inside their own states can’t even get because they’re giving it to others who don’t even live here as an American.
“I do find it amazing and entertaining that one of our stickers has become a racist thing,” Ms. Smith told me. I asked her if she thought the “N” Word was a bad word? “No,” she said, “because I don’t use it. I have kids here around me that are black kids. I call them my own kids. I’ve helped black families…to guide them in the right direction. Paintball is one of these things. We like to laugh and have a good time. That’s our way of life.”