CAn wE uSE iT to0?


Emroyana Caesar, Reporter

The N word has developed over time, and the history behind it is quite interesting. Prior to the creation, or even thought of Nigger Negus, was the N word, not a bad one, but the N word nonetheless. Negus means king, and was typically used as a title for the sovereign of Ethiopia. Then it was altered into something that represented unspeakable hatred, and distaste for African- Americans.

As of now, N****r may be used by some who wish to hold onto old feelings of hatred that are deeply embedded in our society. However, a collective use is very limited. Nigga on the other hand, has been substituted, and used by people of all ethnic groups as brother, friend, etc. The issue arises with the use of the word, the context in which it’s used, and who uses it.

At this point in time, it will be nearly impossible to just say, “okay stop using the word.” Nigga is used in hip-hop culture and every day usage. It would take a lot of drilling to remove it from the vocabularies of many. Word usage, context, and who uses it are the first things that have to be looked at before attacking or trying to shame the user. If it’s substituted for every other word in a sentence, then no don’t use it. It’s supposed to be uplifting for persons of color to “reclaim” the word, so to just throw it around all carelessly, is not only showing stupidity, but ignorance. Ignorance is bliss, the less known about a subject can be better, because if judged or accused of being a downright jerk, the response can be, “well I didn’t know.” That’s great and all, but it is not an acceptable response today. If there is any lack of knowledge on the history of N****r, the hatred and evil it was rooted in which led to the current usage of Nigga, here it goes.

White slave masters, white supremacist, racist in general have used n****r as a word to dehumanize, put down, shame, and remind African -Americans of their inferiority, whether as a free people or a slave. It has mentally crippled and damaged a people. If they choose to use an innovated form of the word, nigga, that’s their choice- it’s their word now. There has been many articles on the debate of the N word, and majority of them say if all people can’t use it, no people can use it. Some have also said only allowing a select group of people to use it is racist. The reality is the word has history, and shouldn’t be used frequently in anyone’s speech.

Furthermore, what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander, or what’s okay for one group of people, is not okay for another. Who created the word as a form of oppression? White people who were racist. It’s not fair, or correct, to say every white person is racist. That’s just not true. It’s also not true that every white person owned slaves. Only a portion, a slim slim portion of those in the United States during the time of slavery owned slaves (about 25% of southern whites). Slaves were expensive, and only people of a certain status owned an abundant amount of slaves.

On a personal standpoint, there is an internal battle with the use of it, because I have used it as an African American female. N***r is a word that uproots pain in the heart of many African Americans.  Beware of the usage, because it can result in consequences. Whether physical or verbal, there will be consequences.