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Non-Blacks Can Never Use N-Word

by Todd A. Smith

 

No Ifs, Ands Or Buts

          Dictionary.com states, “The term nigger is now probably the most offensive word in English…The senses labeled extremely disparaging and offensive represent meanings that are deeply insulting and are used when the speaker wishes to cause harm.  It is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed, as in court or in a newspaper editorial: ‘the N-word.’”

Despite the vile history of the N-word, blurred lines still exit on who can and cannot use this racial slur. 

Recently, James Lincoln Collier, a columnist for the WestView News shocked the world with a column entitled, “The Nigger in the White House.”

Collier, 86, used the N-word in his editorial to show how prevalent racism still is in America and the fact that elections could be lost if candidates like Eric Cantor align themselves in any way with President Barack Obama.

Furthermore, Australian rap sensation Iggy Azalea, 24, also set off a firestorm online for posting a picture in a tweet with fellow rappers T.I., Drake and B.o.B with the words “my nigga’s” (sic).

Rappers have consistently mispronounced the word, falsely believing that taking out the “E” and the “R” would somehow take away the hurt as well. 

This false belief has caused many White people to think that they too can use the mispronounced word because they think it has a totally different meaning than the “real” word.

          This line of thinking makes no sense whatsoever, no matter what race, gender creed or color one is because the word still is the same word, mispronounced or not, which will always make it a racial slur.

          In the 1990s, a controversy ensued on whether Ebonics or Black English, was in fact a part of our lexicon. 

While there is no such thing as Black English, only Standard English, African Americans have their own slang, which sometimes consists of mispronounced words, but the words still represent the same things that they do when they are pronounced or spelled correctly.

          Even if we pronounce the number after three as “foe” as opposed to four, it still represents the number before five.

          If we pronounce the object that shields our house from the elements as a “doe” instead of a door, it still is the same thing and requires a key to unlock it.

          Likewise, pronouncing the supermarket as a grocery “stow” instead of store does not mean one sells produce and the other does not.

          All non-Black people from Whites to Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and in between need to realize that calling us a “nigga” instead of a nigger is still saying we are inferior, less than, contemptible, ignorant and any other definitions that Dictionary.com gives it.

          And last time that I checked, the definitions to the aforementioned adjectives were not endearing to me.

They were extremely insulting and do not properly reflect my intelligence, good looks, sophistication, class and grace as a deep thinking, successful, educated African American man.

          We all know that institutionalized racism still exists and President Obama has been subjected to it since taking office, so calling him the N-word is not bringing more attention to the problem.  It is possibly just bringing more traffic to the WestView News’ website.

          In addition, we all know that Black rappers refer to one another as the N-word.

          I also know my fraternity brothers call each other certain nicknames, but if you are not a part of that noble clan referring to members by those terms of affection might lead to consequences and repercussions.

          It may not be right, but as a member of that fraternity I do not have to explain that to a non-member.

          Although I do not like “brothers” calling each other the N-word, it is their prerogative, but it’s not the prerogative of others to use the slur if they choose to.

          Therefore, calling me the N-word will never be OK for you to do, no ifs, ands, buts about it.

This article was published on Friday 11 July, 2014.
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