Posts Tagged ‘The “N” word’

Dr. Phil did a whole show on the controversial term late last week and quite honestly, I am tired of the “let’s talk about it and make it all better” approach to the eradication of this word. Although bringing certain issues to the forefront and making problems known, in order to drum up a solution for said problem, works sometimes, this is one of those times that talking isn’t going to cut it. To get rid of a word, or stop people from using it, is something extremely personal. The individual must take it upon themselves to remove it from their vocabulary. On Nas’s latest album, Untitled, a member of ‘The Last Poets’ makes a bold and undoubtedly spot-on statement during the song, Project Roach. He says…

“It is absolutely silly and unproductive to have a funeral for the word NIGGER when the actions continue. We need to have a movement to resurrect brothers and sisters, not a funeral for NIGGERS, cause NIGGERS don’t die.”

The quote is referencing the recent attempt of the NAACP to bury the derogatory word and ban it’s use with a mock funeral. Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were both at the forefront of this movement, being the most prominent “leaders” of our people, these days, and they put a challenge forth to the record industry and the people in general to stop using the “N” word.  Just a short while after the racial slur was six feet under, Rev. Jesse “Hypocrite” Jackson resurrected the dead in the same interview where he spoke of Barack Obama saying he wanted to “cut his nuts off”. He didn’t call Barack the “N” word but he used it, nonetheless. Great example your setting REVEREND. 

Anyway, during the Dr. Phil show, Hill Harper, who was a guest on the show along with comedians, Sheryl Underwood, and Paul Mooney and Radio Host Michael Graham, said something that made sense to me. He said that history has shown us that African Americans have turned a lot of negatives into positives and gave the example of soul food. Hog Maws, (the stomach of a pig) Chitterlings, yes that is how you spell it (the intestine of a pig), and pig’s feet are the scraps that were thrown to slaves after their owners consumed the actual meat. These items are still enjoyed today by many black families, and as we all know, food brings a lot of black families together, for many reasons. He uses this fact to suggest that blacks are trying to turn the extremely offensive word into something less toxic, but then goes on to say that there is no way to change the poisonousness of the word, which I agree with. It’s hard for me to accept the whole “term of endearment” excuse because a term of endearment holds absolutely no negative connotation. The “N” word originated from hate, forced superiority, degradation and oppression among many other negative means. I don’t see how anyone can see the “N” word as a loving, affectionate word.  

Within the hour of the show, Dr. Phil asked, ‘is it a double standard when it comes to who can and who cannot use the word.’ A white woman in the audience said, ‘if I can say that word and not have any racism in my heart, it should be alright.’ Uhhmmm, Not so much, lady. Regardless of how any white person may utter the word, or in what context, it will NEVER be acceptable. Personally, I don’t like it when it’s used by blacks either, but I have no control over neither. Oh yeah, who told certain members of the Latin community that they could throw the word around? I’m just as offended when they use it. 

All-in-all, absolutely nothing was solved by the discussion, as usual, and I don’t think it brought us any closer to a solution. Nor do I believe that the controversy will ever come to an end. Few things in this world are constant and I strongly think that racism is one of them.