Friday, August 13, 2010

The N-Word: Part One

The N-word is something that is very sensitive to my conscious as it should be to all of us, and this week was a great example of why NO ONE should use it, including Black folk.
Sometime this week, this white Dr., Dr. Laura Schlessinger, took a five minute phone call during her radio show.  This phone call was from a Black woman who was calling about her White husband's friends making racist comments.  So Dr. Laura wonders why she is even in an interracial relationship when she is so "hypersensitive" to race, and she went on to tell her about how often she hears the N-Word on HBO or from Black comedians as if the woman is suppose to be use to it.  Then she decides to use the N-Word several times during the phone call, and when she realized that she messed up, she took herself off the air and issued an apology to the Black community.  In that apology letter, she says that since she heard so many Black guys use [the N-Word] it, she thought it was all right for her to use [the N-Word] it!  Come on!

The word "Nigga", derives from the word Nigger or Negro and I'd be a Negro before I'd be a "Nigga".  I can't stand to hear that word, and I don't even use the word myself because how can anyone take a bad word and try to flip it around to become a good word?!  I mean, you don't hear White people calling each other "cracker" or "hunkie" in their music.  Actually, I've never seen that in public, unless their making a racial joke about themselves.  But I hear the N-Word everyday, whether it be in the music, or someone is bleeping it out from a TV show, or just on the street while I'm riding in the car or sitting outside.  Why?  Why do we use it?  I understand that we have a lot more pride than we did back in the early 20th century, but calling each other a racial slur?  I don't get it!  I really don't!  In my opinion, those stereotypical pictures they drew of Black folks back then is what a "Nigga" is.  Yup, a dumb, poor, ill-mannered, sloppy, clumsy Black person is a "Nigga", and to call each other that is just plain unprincipled!  But when I do use the word, I separate the N-Words from Black people just like Chris Rock.  It's innovative how he separates us saying that Black people do what they gotta do, and N-Words just mess everything up.  So true.
Still, I don't condone the use of the word because of the blood shed by so many African Americans when they refused to be called that very word, and the struggle that was needed to get to where it was illegal.  Now here we are putting all those marches and lynches in vain because WE chose to call each other that.  One of my favorite stories about a Man that stopped using the N-Word was Richard Pryor, and we all know that he used it probably more than anybody we know.  Then he took a trip to Africa and realized that the word was wrong to use all along.  And this I learned in English last year because we were about to start the book "Huckleberry Finn" and the word "Nigger" was used frequently because it was the 1800s,  and thats what we were back then.  Our teacher, that I give a lot of props to, made sure that we talked about the power of words before we started the book, and we talked about the word "Bitch" along with the N-Word.  He showed use a badly put together video about people's opinion on the word, but it had a great message in the end.  And my classmates, notorious for using the word, fell silent knowing that they were indeed wrong, but after they left the classroom, they started using the word again as if it wasn't anything; as if they didn't hear the story about the man's uncle who was killed when he talked back to a white man that called him the N-Word!
This story above with Dr. Laura is another reason why we shouldn't use the word: other races will begin to use it too because they think it's okay!   You just don't know how many times I heard the White people at my school with Black friends, use the word!  Hispanics too!  See, what kind of message are we sending to the masses?!  What kind of message are we sending to future generations?!  To me, this word holds a lot of disrespect to older generations that fought during the Civil Rights Movement, and we need to BURY THIS WORD FOR GOOD for the sake of our morality, because to me, every time this word is used people forget what morality is.

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