The “N” Word – My stance on the debate
Before I begin, I must clearly and explicitly express that I do not wish for this blog post to be the spark of harsh words or another debate that lacks a vast amount of intelligence. This is an issue of social acceptability, not a 1st Amendment debate. I must ask that you (the reader) should heavily consider this issue with the maximum amount of maturity and intelligence possible. If it’s evident that your reply lacks either, then I must, not just as an obligation but by principle, delete your reply. Since these guidelines for replies have been established, let’s continue with what I think.
And in ahead of time, I would like to apologize for the multiple uses of the word in this essay. I realize that in the coming paragraphs where I explain my stance that I run the risk of hypocrisy to an extent, and I accept this consequence because this opinion does not seriously undermine my opinion’s fundamentals. However it’s my belief that there is not one person who reads this that can righteously claim he or she isn’t a hypocrite him or herself.
My stance in this debate argues that the use of “nigga” to address friends is not acceptable, even by those of African descent.
Coming from a high school that can boast an ethnically diverse student population, yes, I realize there are other schools of thought. These schools dispute over the contexts the word may be used in. Many claim that the word’s use may only be used by those of African-American descent, invoking a sense of familiarity and becoming a term of endearment. Others, even by those not of African descent, will argue “niggas” has joined the ranks of “friends,” “bros,” “buddies,” or “dudes.” In this particular context, the use may sound like “That party was so awesome, nigga!”
I do not believe that there is a rational reason for “nigga” to become a term of endearment nor a term for self-depreciation. As a Chinese-American who has been living in the United States for nearly all eighteen years of his life, I can proudly say have never walked up to another Chinese and remark, “What up, my chink?” Do homosexuals walk up to other homosexuals and pose the question, “What up, queer?” I don’t even believe it’s acceptable to behave this way towards people of other ethnicity. I don’t understand how this is “cool” at all! Just because everyone has the ability to vomit doesn’t make the act and its discharge less repulsive! If this sort of behavior is encouraged between people, how often should I expect to be called nigger, spick, cracker, or queer the next time I step out of my home? How incorrect would the derogative terms will be! You can’t call an Irish person a nigger! It’d be like calling the color red blue!
How can you call your friends a “nigga?” “Nigga,” which derives itself from “nigger?” “Nigger,” the word that carries and symbolizes the worst of the racial prejudice in American history? Racial prejudice, which divides each and every one of our cultures to prevent a common understanding where we may communicate for a better life? Surely you do not consider the importance of the word until you witness it coming from the mouths of tyranny. Do you not shiver when the word is muttered by a white guard to a black prison inmate on the silver screen? Do you not wince when you come across that very same word in reading “To Kill A Mockingbird?”
You want more reason to abstain from the use of the word? Here’s a historical one. The Civil Rights Movement was not just a movement to fight for the rights of just blacks. If my history class taught me anything that was true, the movement was for COLORED people to get the civil rights whites had. Although historically, this meant mostly African-Americans, I’ve come to understand that COLORED people includes the blacks, the browns, and the yellows. It’s my belief that we minorities should at the very least honor the memory of those who died fighting for our rights- Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X- by NOT using the very word that has helped kept their people, my people, and probably your people on their knees for generations.
If it wasn’t for them, I’d be typing Chinese. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be typing on this computer.
“Nigga,” a word symbolic of two and a half centuries of racial prejudice. A word symbolic of two and a half centuries of abuse. Two and a half centuries of hatred. Of terror. Of fear. Should we allow this word to become synonymous with terms of endearment? To become synonymous with “buddy?” With “friend?” Should we continue the use of “nigga” to dishonor those who have fought the tides of fear, the tides of terror, hatred, abuse, and racial prejudice to grant us all equal and civil liberties?
I dare you to try it now. I dare you.