The N-word has been extremely controversial, from white celebrities using it, to debates on whether non-black people can say it when singing a song.
First, let's get a couple things straight. It's a racial slur that slave masters used to dehumanize their slaves. There is history and context behind the word. Even today, there are some people that use the word as a means to oppress black people. Nowadays though, the black community has taken ownership of the word and uses it as empowerment.
That's the black community though. They're the ones that can use that word, because they are the ones that have a long history with the N-word, and they are the ones that are actively affected by it.
It has been made very clear in society that white people cannot say the N-word. But for some reason, the South Asian community feels they have a right to say it. But - newsflash - we don't. I can't even count how many times I have heard a South Asian person call someone else the N-word. I understand it's not meant in a derogatory manner, but no matter what, using that word is not okay.
And I get it, a lot of times, growing up, we feel like we have to choose between the two main cultures in America: white culture or black culture. We are grouped with black people when referred to as 'people of color' so it's easy to choose black culture. We quickly pick up on the slang, music, etc.
The thing is, we don't have to face the same struggles as black people. Instead, we're allies. I'm not saying we don't face our own struggles, because we definitely have a specially tailored type of racism to face, but it's just not the same.
While you might feel cool saying it, at the end of the day, it's offensive. We have no right to the n-word, even if we're alone or just singing it in a song. It's not appropriate even if your black friend approves of you using it.
As allies of the black community and as people who respect black people and culture, it's time we actively find fault with this issue. We need to stop using it and we need to call out people who do. And if that's too hard, grow up.