I wouldn’t even try to act holier than thou, I have been just as guilty as Lil Wayne rhyming Nigga with Nigga when it comes to using the N-word. In fact if a child died every time I uttered the N-word with my friends (black friends) the world would be free from population problems. But does this mean that there is nothing wrong with throwing this word about? No! I have heard and read all sorts of arguments surrounding the use of this word and I will try to run through some of the common arguments to normalize the use of it in this post.
1. You guys use it all the time with each other and n rap music so why can’t we?
I often do wonder if I would miss saying the N-word that much if I wasn’t black. I mean is it that sweet a word that just because blacks say it then everyone else has to say it? All words are context sensitive in their use, and context can change meaning. Rappers refer to females as ‘bitches’ in every song but you don’t see people arguing that we should be able to freely refer to women as bitches. If it is okay in your circle of friends then by all means brand your girlfriend your ‘main bitch’, but that doesn’t mean other women will not take offense to it. Eminem is undoubtedly on most people’s top ten list of best rappers ever but he has managed to not use the N-word in any of his songs.
2. This generation and the upcoming one has been desensitized to the word therefore should be allowed to say it?
This has got to be the laziest excuse for it. Every human being is ultimately responsible for the quality of their understanding of the world and society. We may try to blame pop culture, family, friends, school systems..etc, but ultimately personal responsibility dictates that we are all the gatekeepers of our own minds. Current Western society has been desensitized to religion, it is okay to share private religious jokes but that doesn’t make it okay to ridicule someone else’s beliefs to their attention (it is more wrong to kill someone over this though).
3. If we want to make the stigma go away we all have to start using it?
Ermm…we should all also refer to Chinese people as Chinks and Pakistanis as Pakis to remove the stigma…right…If all of a sudden Chinese people decided to refer to themselves as Chinks, are we all itching to join in on this?
P.S Some white people have been so brave to ask me why don’t white people get so offended when called crackers. Go look up the history of that word and compare it to other derogatory racial slurs…and who says cracker anyways? I have some of my white friend that jokingly call me ‘their nigga’, but like I said earlier it is context sensitive and we must be aware of this.