In high school, my friends and I would create absurd scenarios of situations in college and how we would respond.
One situation was if a white person said the N-word, which at the time was this past Saturday. Since I’ve gotten to college, I’ve been to parties where everyone is singing and you know deep down that the white kids said it. But in these subtle situations, it is easy to brush off. Plus, honestly, you don't feel like fighting everybody there, or anybody at all.
This past Saturday, I was minding my own business when I heard a group of white girls outside my door singing,“1,2,3,4 how many n***ers are in my store? I know you're stealing!” My initial reaction was to jump out of my bed and check them, reenact everything that we planned.
I couldn’t decide if I should go confront them or tell my RA, so guess what I did?
My reflection displays the shift in my thought patterns since I’ve arrived at college. I went from thinking that I would yell at any white kid who said the N word to wondering if I can really even be upset with them for reciting a song they heard. I wondered if saying the N-word makes them racist, and if there is a huge difference from just saying it and the intent behind it.
When a white person says the word, regardless of the context, it hurts like a stab in the back. 3 months ago, I would have been on defense; however, since entering college, my viewpoints on a lot of things have changed. I used to be against anyone outside of the black community using the term, but the fact of the matter is that we all have the right to freedom of speech.
We can either hope they do not intend to attach the history and racism behind the word, imitate them until they do not say it, or report them as soon as they say it.
My biggest issue with white people saying it is their intent. Us black people use it universally; it can be a reference to a friend, or the person who cut in front of us on the highway. In my opinion, we use the word in context.
White people do not say “n***a bring your ass downstairs”, and I have never met someone that uses it daily or uses it to address someone they know. So I question, why do you want permission to say it around us black people? To me, that is what makes it a racially charged term. If you claim that you never use the word, why do you want permission to say it to ME?
If a white person says it out of my presence, it does not bother me because they are out of my presence. If you are black, my tip to you is to pick your battle. If by chance you are white and are reading this, my opinion is that you can do what you want in regards to the word, but accept all outcomes that comes with the usage.