Dropping The N-Bomb
you complain about being black,
when they mad cuz they can't be black no mo'
so many black men out here trying to be niggers
keeping it real to the point that they dying to be niggers
when in actuality the fact is you ain't a nigger because you black
you a nigger cause of how you act
but, you don't want me to tell you the truth, so I'ma lie to you
make it sound fly to you huh, huh,
you don't wanna hear the truth, so I'ma lie to you
make it sound fly to you, shit
The nigger experience
- Goodie Mob "The Experience"
We (African -Americans) have gone from white folks calling us niggers in a derogatory fashion to calling each other niggas in a homeboy mentality. Every rap song, every comedian, walking down the street, or even in our homes, we hear the word nigger used in some way each and every day. Nigga please, What up my nigga ... these are common expressions in 2006. Lets turn the clock back forty years, what would the freedom fighters of that age think of us using this word so freely?
So why the change? Have we merely taken possession of the word and made it our own? OR are we justifying its use? I have heard two very different sides of this debate. One side saying that we must erase this word from our vocabulary. Banish it. It is and always will be a racial slur. The other argument being the n-word is only negative if we let it be. If other races can see we are not affected by it, then it has no impact. These are the persons who have taken ownership of the word for black culture. This is who uses it to be synonymous with "guy" or "man". A term of endearment.
Personally, I would like to let it go. It doesn't bother me to hear it; however, I would prefer to be called lady or woman, shit even black... I must say, I am guilty of saying it on a casual basis every now and then. When I use it, I use it in the Chris Rock sense of the word. You know what I mean. He says "Love my black people, hate my niggas". Meaning, black people are fine, but the ghetto folks that make us look bad have got to go! I am sure white people and hispanics have similar issues within their own races, we just don't hear them discuss it as openly as we do. I have never seen a white person call another white person a cracker or a honky, never seen a mexican call another one a spic. Why is that? I will tell you that I have heard a white person call another white guy a wigger on more than one occasion. Is this supposed to be an insult? I think so.
Another question I have for you guys is this... is it okay for your close white friends to say it? (You know like Kelisha, we love her!) It is so funny how so much depends on who says it. When Fat Joe says it, we turn our heads and keep rocking to the song, but when J-Lo says it, we are ready to boycott. They are both Puerto Rican, they were both referring to their "homeboys". Where is the difference?
So weigh in...what does the "N-word" mean to you? Are you disturbed by it? Does it not faze you? If you are one of my three caucasians readers, what are your thoughts on the use of the n-word?