11-Year-Old Tries to Abolish the N-Word

Two days a week, 11-year-old Jonathan McCoy is at the gym with his mother.

But when this sixth grader is not working out, he is exercising another muscle of sorts, speaking truth to power.

"According to the definition of the n-word, an n-word will never be a lawyer, a doctor or a teacher," said McCoy.

CBS News Chief National correspondent Byron Pitts reports McCoy is on a mission to abolish the n-word.

"It is implausible that 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that we still use this word that holds no worth in our lives and our future." McCoy said.

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In March, he gave a powerful speech about eliminating the n-word. More than 1,500 congregants at the Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Md., heard his message.

McCoy's Speech on YouTube
Burying the N-Word
Dave Chappelle on the N-Word
End of the N-Word in Entertainment

"You gave your speech the adults were applauding," Pitts asked McCoy. "What did you think about that?"

McCoy replied, "I think that I am getting to them. I am getting people who are ready for a change."

McCoy is not a childhood preacher, nor is he an activist in the making. But last February, when he couldn't think of anything else to talk about for a speech competition - McCoy came up with the idea to write about the n-word. He won the competition.

Pitts asked, "why the n-word? Why write about that?"

McCoy said, "When it was used, we were beaten - we were put in slavery. And now people just don't even think about that they are like 'what's up n-word?'"

"And you think that's wrong?"

"Yes I think it's wrong."

The speech has gone viral. More than a million people have watched it on YouTube and more than 2600 people have signed his on-line petitionpromising never to use the n-word again.

Morehouse College in Atlanta was so impressed they invited this eleven year old to speak to their freshman class.

But he has met some resistance.

"I say 'don't use the n-word,'" said McCoy. "And some people just said, 'shut up.'"

"Discouraged when people say be quiet," Pitts asked.

"No, because that encourages me more to give a positive message."

Of all the attention he's getting now, McCoy said, "it's pretty cool but I don't let it get all to my head."

Gifted and talented, McCoy plans on taking his message all across the country until the n-word is gone.
  • Byron Pitts

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