Probably the most controversial word in the entire English language. Depending on how you say it and where, it supposedly can carry a variety of different meanings AND apparently only certain people are even allowed to say it! There are certain neighborhoods (usually in the ghetto) where you won’t just find African Americans using the word, but also Hispanics, Native Americans, heck any race of color and it isn’t necessarily said in a negative spirit. It may sound crazy but I have even seen Caucasians call EACH OTHER the word in rough neighborhoods and to me it seemed like it was an attempt for them to “fit in” to some type of culture that they felt locked out of.
To most Caucasians though, the N word is confusing as hell. On one hand, most members of the race previously said the word without thinking twice about it, and for decades upon decades along with that word came a slew of hate crimes. Thousands upon thousands of people died and were treated in ways unimaginable and were repeatedly called that word. So fast forward to 2008 and the after effects of this are staggering. Although the word has been unquestionably determined to be negative, at some point African Americans began calling themselves this casually. Perhaps it’s comparable to the scene in “Roots” where the slave master forced Kunta Kente’ to become Tobe, or maybe comparable to that “fast” girl who is repeatedly called a “hoe” or a “bitch” and eventually she accepts the mantra as her own. We have all seen these types. Was that a stretch? Perhaps, but you get my point. Let’s move on.
The point is, in today’s day and age African Americans have adopted the N word as a term of endearment. The word is used in a positive nature: “That’s my N***a” being the equivalent of “That’s my boy” or “That’s my best friend.” In their eyes it means the same thing, but let a Caucasian person say anything remotely close to that and it’s time to brawl! Many Caucasians ponder and probably laugh over this whole ordeal. In my opinion, the word is a sign of ignorance and I believe that’s what it actually translates to. Because of the extremely common use of (which doesn’t make it alright by any means) this word in society by comedians, musicians, etc. you will find people of all walks of life using the word. I’ve heard people of the highest success (professors, doctors, businessmen) using the word, as well as the lowest of the low and you know what the difference is? NOTHING. No matter how great you are, in my opinion when you use this word you are on the same level of ignorance as everyone who started it’s usage in the first place. I don’t know at what point the word supposedly became cool, but I think the time has come for it to be forever retired. I know some people in the streets growing up may not know any better, but at a certain point in your life when you consider yourself grown and you’ve got your career, education and everything going for you, you need to let go of this word and find some alternative nouns to utilize in your self expression. A wise man once told me that the frequent need to curse is the sign of a lack of a vocabulary. In my opinion, using the N word is a sign of ignorance and shows a lack of class. If that doesn’t describe who you are, then you need to stop using it as well.