America has been consumed with issues of its racist past and is currently struggling with racial attitudes and how those they have serious consequences in everyday life.
In January 2017, we focused on Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, then February was Black History Month, then in March we celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the Selma marches for voting rights. Race, race, race. What is a poor racist to do? Enough all ready?
Some bigots are probably saying, “The niggers are taking over!”
Racists point to hip-hop music as a double standard. Blacks use the (N-Word) all the time. So what’s the big deal? Why can’t whites use the word?
Well, I want to go on record as saying, “I don’t think anyone should use it.” ( I use it here, sparingly, in this essay to make a point.)
Black America has a problem. Why do young black men shoot each other with such frequency? I believe it is partially due to a culturally ingrained self-hate. No other American demographic willfully, without hesitation, exerts such levels of violence on its own community. The root of this violence stems from the historical devaluing of black bodies. The N-word was designed to dehumanize individuals that were enslaved. The violence we see on our streets among black young men is the result of accepting that devaluation as fact.
Some will argue that it is okay for black people to say the N-word. Others say that its use causes further separation. Popular comedians and rappers defend its use. The separations are real. Unfortunately, some people refuse to acknowledge the cultural, social, economic racial separations that still exist today. To heal we must first identify and recognize the injury.
Instead, we have young white men appropriating the negative aspects of black culture by mimicking gansta rap. This is crazy. That is like wanting share a poisoned drink.
Black culture is often oppositional to white mainstream culture. Young black students that speak well in class have been accused of being a sell out and “speaking white”. To be hip, to be cool is to use profanity as a kind of currency among low income blacks. That is my background. I learned to speak two dialects. One black, one white. I had to. It was a matter of survival.
The use of the (N-word) has been around a long, long time. In the black community, black people has used the word as a pejorative and as a term of endearment interchangeably for generations. but should white people use it?
Noted author and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates gives a brilliant explanation is this short video:
Also check out Jabari Asim, author of the book, The N-word: