1. usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a black person
2. usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a member of any dark-skinned race
3. a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons <it’s time for somebody to lead all of America’s niggers … all the people who feel left out of the political process — Ron Dellums>
So everybody…I’m back…And while I took time off because I didn’t want to be the one always writing about issues of race, it feels like they just won’t let up. I have to write this…not only because of all the craziness and hyper-sensitivity to the subject; but because I believe I may have possibly ignored it for far too long. Lately with all that has been going on with the world, I’ve been thinking: Why is this word so taboo? Why is it used when a person can’t think of any other intelligent insult for someone, who just so happens to be black? I think you know the word I’m speaking about. If not, I’ll just say it. The word is nigger, Yes with the ‘-er’.
When it comes to the subject of race, I guess I would say I tend to have mixed feelings. On one hand, I think it definitely exists and is prevalent in today’s society. On the other hand, I don’t think every time some police officer kills someone that it’s all about race. Could be that the person was a criminal? Or that they ran because they owed child support that they didn’t want to pay? Who knows why. I will say though, that I believe there are times when we, as blacks, tend to allow how we feel in general to get in the way of what is actually going on or an individual situation. It leads us to judge at times without knowing all the facts. Some will go as far as to say that they do not need to know what happened because of the precedent set by white folks. Maybe, but it doesn’t mean that the incident in question was racist or had bigoted intentions.
Take Cam Newton for instance (My favorite player and Superbowl Quarterback for the Carolina Panthers). Players in the NFL, and ex-players alike have been very condemning when it comes to him over the span of his short five year NFL career. He’s been called arrogant, and selfish. Also immature and too emotional to play this game. Hmmm… What’s interesting is that no one ever says that about Tom Brady, or a Rob Gronkowski, or Aaron Rogers for that matter. They don’t even speak this ill of Johnny Manziel, who is on video out partying nightly these days, so much so that he can’t even get on the football field. Concerning Cam, things have gone so far as to fans writing petitions attempting to ban him from playing in certain stadiums because of his Touchdown celebrations. Doesn’t that sound absolutely ridiculous? I think so. While it could be a matter of him just rubbing it in the faces of other players that he’s just that much better than they are, I think that part of it is rooted in some subtle form of racism. Is it possible that you don’t like him, because he’s just better than your team. Or that he can dress and dances with crazy swag?
I know what you’re thinking: Jason, you just said that some of those players were black. Yep, I did. And black people can be 1. Haters, and 2. Racists as well. That’s the honest truth. So how can blacks be racist against other blacks? Easy. It could be a hate of their lighter or darker skin tone. Or it could be the innate psyche given to us by whites in the days of slavery that says the only way you can survive as a black man, is to be the only one to succeed. Don’t allow someone to be better than you. Whoever is left standing, will be the one to have the most success. That reminds me of a part in the movie ‘Django’. Leonard DiCaprio’s character had two slaves fighting one another to see which was the strongest. When one slave clearly received the upper hand, our dear Leo urged the fighter to kill the other in order to live another day. That’s where we get it from. We’ve carried that generational curse on for more than a century.
But I digress…
Now let’s get to you white folks…
When I first saw the picture above, I just laughed it off. Then as a few minutes past, I seemed to grow more and more angry.
I thought, “They’re never gonna let up off of us. They’re never gonna stop making fun of us, or calling us that word. In fact, they will always think of us that way, no matter who are president is, no matter how far we advance our culture or society.”
To sum up how I felt, I was hurt. Not because of the word so much, but because it felt like a never-ending battle that generations before me fought, and that now I have to. Not for me, because you can think what you want of me. But for my children. For them to have a life without worrying about whether or not someone will be hiring for diversity or affirmative action. Or whether or not the next person in school or at the office has their best interests at heart. That’s so disappointing to me.
Back to the picture…The word pictured above is racist…No question about it. If you say the word often, you just might be racist…Even if it’s out of anger. The funny thing is society has already told you it’s wrong. Just like they’ve told you that calling someone that is homosexual a faggot is offensive. Funny how a lot of you seem to be able to remove that word from your category, but have no qualms saying the N-Word. I hear people say things all the time like, I don’t really like this word, but I felt it applied to that person, and then proceed to calling them a nigger.
Oh, and then there’s the situation that happened in Arizona, with the young ladies that got suspended for spelling out the Nl**ER with their T-shirts. Now the social media reaction was mixed, with most people of a different race other than black reacting as if they were trying to spell something else. Com’on. If you think that, you’re most likely racist…Yeah, you can quote me on that. Also those girls honestly got off too easy. Listen here…I don’t honestly care if a black person convinced them to line up this way or what. They knew what they were doing. They knew the implications that came with the act. They knew that it was wrong and they despite what they said, meant to offend people. And lastly, they thought doing so would be funny. Looks who’s laughing now seniors. Those type of acts hurt people.
Let’s put it this way: What if you had a child, and they went to school, did everything right, and didn’t cause trouble? At the same time, what if they walked around always feeling suspicious about whether or not people were being authentic about how they felt about them? What kind of way is that to live? Always having to watch their back, or be careful. Never believing that they could make a mistake, because the one time they do something wrong, they are called every insult in the book from darkie to monkey, and etc. Worst of all they are called the most terrible insult historically. An insult that is attached to pain, and long suffering. Attached to slavery, and hate. Attached to being counted as 3/5 of a person, or a lack of voting rights. To water hoses being sprayed and dogs being sicked on them. Not even a whole person. Lower than a dog. A word that is related to poverty, and the socially disadvantaged. That’s how the dictionary that is out there in the world published refers to them (black people).
This is why blacks are so sensitive to the word. And yes, there is room for the argument: well they use it on themselves. They make it seem like it’s okay to use it. Well here’s the truth, and you might not like it. They can say it, and you can’t. Tough break. Whites on media outlets are always calling for blacks to be proactive and stop saying the word, which would ultimately help whites not think that way. That’s absolutely bull#$#%. How about this for suggestion to white folks concerning this word: You stop using it, and teaching it, and preaching it in your homes, then maybe then, we can get to a point where we feel it to be irrelevant. After all, you used the word first. So it’s only fitting that it end where it all started. With you!!!