Why Even Black People Should Stop Saying The N-Word

Maybe It's Time For Even Black People To Stop Saying The 'N-Word'

There's no time nor place to use the word, whether it connotes to something negative or positive.

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I've been thinking about this topic for a while now. I recently went to a party with a couple of my friends, and usually, at a PWI like Rutgers, I'll always aware when I'm one of the few black people in the room. And since I'm one of the few black people in the room, I'm always hyper-sensitive of any racial tensions that may arise within the party scene. I think it was Meek Mill's "Dreams and Nightmares" that came on and I was dancing with these two white girls, and I couldn't tell if they were singing along or not because it was too dark, but I swore I heard them say the n-word. It just made me so angry, and I hate that as one of the few black people in the room, I felt obliged to tell them that the word isn't something for them to say.

And that had been my entire mindset about the word for a while now, that only black people can say the word because we're the only ones who can truly understand the context of the word. But my boyfriend and I got into a discussion a few nights ago about Halsey, who is a popular biracial — with one black parent and one white parent — singer, though she is white passing.

iamhalsey / Instagram

We got into a discussion of whether or not she should be able to say the 'n-word,' and my boyfriend said that she shouldn't be able to because if her fanbase is mostly non-black, they would think they are justified in saying the word if their favorite white-passing celebrity can. Because yes, although she is half black, to an average onlooker who doesn't know her, they would think that she's white. The black social justice warrior wanted to say that she could say it because despite her other half, at the end of the day she is a black woman, and to strip her of her right to say a word that we've reclaimed is almost like stripping her of half of her identity.

But then I really thought about it. The usage of the "n-word' has so many nuances. Like, what if someone is a quarter black, like Cardi B, are they allowed to use the word? Because we can use the same justification for them as we can use for Halsey. Furthermore, can Africans use the word, even if the word was only used against African Americans? Is there a particular percentage of black that you can be to really use the word? And what if you're fully black, yet still white passing... are you still allowed to use the word even if other people wouldn't see you as black?

That's when I told him, "Maybe no one should say the 'n-word.'" And I know that kind of struck him by surprise, but the more I started to think about it, the more it made sense to me. If it's a word that no one but black people can use, and if it's so offensive, why are us black people even using it?

Honestly, it's just my opinion, but I think you can't reclaim a word with so much history. I feel like it's different with women, who reinvented the meaning of and became empowered by "bitch" or members of the LGBTQ+ community reclaiming the word "queer." Because although yes, those words have been used to oppress and discriminate against certain groups, I feel like the 'n-word' has terrible connotations that span across centuries. The 'n-word' has been used to systematically, institutionally, and personally degrade, enslave, and inhibit black people from reaching their full potential in society. The word itself has been used to dehumanize blacks and make them believe that they are "less than" any other race.

It's a word with so much history, hurt, and torment behind it, and I feel like it's not something we can reclaim and make into something positive. And I thought what the arguments that can be used against my opinion... like maybe, this is the one thing people have, so why try and take it away from us? or black people have been using it to talk to other black people for a while now, saying it is no different than slaves calling each other that.

And I think those arguments are completely valid. But back then, black people used it to refer to other black people because they legitimately saw each other as less than because that's what the slave masters wanted them to think. And while yes, black people have had a lot of things taken away from us, I think that we as a people can't thrive while still calling each other something that was used to dehumanize us (and still used in some places) for so long.

Again, it's just my opinion, but it's something that I've given a lot of thought to. There's no time nor place to use the word, whether it connotes to something negative or positive. Maybe we should all just agree that this is a particular word that can't be reclaimed and can't be rebranded. As long as racism and prejudice exist, we won't really ever get away from the true context or meaning of the word. You can't take out an "-er" and slap an "-a" at the end and believe the word is OK to use now.

Maybe it's time to leave the word in the past, where it rightfully belongs.

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13 Signs You Grew Up In The 2000s

Get ready to feel nostalgic
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The 2000s, generally referred to as the decade falling between 2000 and 2009. However, these 10 years were so much more dear to our hearts and definitely cannot be limited to this simplified definition. From hopes that you had the best kooky pen collection, to dreaming about making it to see the year 3000, there was never a dull moment. So, put on those terry cloth sweatpants, charge up that nano iPod, and read about the signs that prove you grew up in the best decade:

1. You might have jammed out to “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne on your nano IPod

Yes you had one, and your playlists consisted of the best songs the 2000s had to offer; All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, The Killers and of course Avril Lavigne.

2. You treated your tamagotchi as if it were your child

This hand held digital pet probably occupied a little too much of your time. You spent your days feeding it scones and watching them reach a new life cycle.

3. Your wardrobe consisted of every color Juicy sweatsuit and Ed hardy tees...

Thank god these terrycloth outfits made a comeback!... Right?

4. ... Oh, and gauchos, you LOVED gauchos

These pants took over your wardrobe before yoga pants came into your life. Gauchos flooded the playground in pink, blue and tie-dye. I miss you gauchos.

5. You had the debate with your friends over whether Webkinz or Club Penguin was better, but you begged your parents for a membership to both

As soon as you logged onto your account your afternoon was booked up. While on your Webkinz you visited the curio shop, got a checkup with Dr. Quack, made a hamburger in the employment office and played cash cow in the arcade.

6. Your friends always had these in their pantry

At the end of a long, hard day of multiplication, going to your friends house for a playdate and indulging in a cosmic brownie was a necessity.

7. This was your first experience with makeup, and a cell phone

This accessory gave the lyrics "my lipgloss is cool my lipgloss be poppin" a whole new meaning. Pretending to answer the phone while smearing your lips in every color imaginable; this was the perfect mix of feeling like you were a teenager while also staying true to your child like self.

8. Lizzie Mcguire was the first ever Bitmoji

You watched her on Disney Channel as Lizzie McGuire, admired her fashion sense, and sang to "Hey Now" an endless amount of times. Hillary Duff was the definition of goals.

9. The auctioning off of silly bandz in elementary school was basically Wallstreet

The must have accessory of the 2000s.

10. You would beg your mom to buy you lunchables when you walked down the frozen food isle

Looking back on it now, eating these was probably not the best idea.

11. You had a favorite Jonas Brother

And it was NEVER Kevin.

12. You dreamed of riding around in a JetX just like the kids in PCA

You put getting a JetX on your To-Do list right under making a key necklace.

13. Instead of homework, your after school activities consisted of watching THE BEST Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows

Disney Channel and Nickelodeon will sadly never be the same. Classics include: Hannah Montana, Ned's Declassified, Suite Life of Zack and Cody and That's so Raven.

Don't you want to just go back in time and bask in the simple days where all you cared about was how good your blue eyeshadow looked and when the next Disney Channel Original movie would come on?

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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All People Should Be Aware Of The Social Injustice Regarding Difference In Skin Color

How having a different skin color means that society looks at you different.

hannahd
hannahd
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Do you ever sit in class and just kind of look out into the distance, and sooner or later you find yourself not paying attention and then whoops you're on your phone? Well, I did in class (don't tell my mom) but I was scrolling on Twitter and came across this tweet. It read:

"My best friend has to work TWICE as hard as I do to receive the SAME opportunities I get just because of the differences in the color of our skin. That is an issue. And shame on me for not using my voice sooner. Shame on me for not bringing attention to the subject. This isn't for clout this isn't for likes this based of the fact that I'm so PISSED OFF at the way I have seen society treat my best friend. If I call you my brother I will fight this fight with you until I am blue in the face. Don't add to the problem be apart of the solution. Skin is just skin at the end of the day people who look different than me have helped me through some of my toughest times. Open your heart to love and acceptance this is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave… let's try and act like it."

In our society, today, if you truly think that people with a different skin complexion, take a step back and really look at our world today. This guy noticed one of his very best friends, same age, has to work just as hard even harder then he does to obtain the respect and things that he deserves. In one of my classes, we talked about the "public opinion after" blacks and whites see differently.

People of color see the world in a completely different light then white people do. A white parent tells there kid to go have fun and be safe and a person of color parent says the same thing but might add be home before the street lights come on, be home before sundown something like that. I am not saying that white parents might not say that but black kids have to be more cautious about staying out in the dark after certain times. People say that a person of color is less likely to finish high school and if they do they are more likely to drop out of college, and I have heard people say that about their peers.

Now, what gives YOU the right to determine someone else's future other than your own?

The point is that people of color have to be more cautious and work twice as hard as a white person. People are held to a different standard, there is more expected out of them. They have harsher punishments than a white person. A white person can do something far worse than a person of color and the white man gets the slap on the wrist and six months and the person of color gets at least ten years. Or a person of color can do nothing at all and a white person can feel "threatened" and completely kill the person of color and never see time behind bars.

Society needs to change. People need to change and open up their eyes and see what type of world we are living in. Is it really changing or are you just picking and choosing what you want to see?

hannahd
hannahd

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