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Nov. 8th, 2005

The Great Nigger Debate.

No one is going to make Blacks stop using it or start using it because everyone has an opinion about the word because we're different people. The reason these protests won't work is because it's not enough of an issue to make everyone rally. It's not like the right to vote or healthcare. It's about personal morality/opinion. Asking Blacks to rally around that assumes we all think the same.

Seems to me, if you don't like it then don't say it. If you don't mind it, then whatever. And if a white person says it, educated them or smack them depending on your mood. The white people who say it because of a TV show would have found another way to say it. Hello? Remember when they were quoting Kings of Comedy like it was the Holy Bible? Remember that Chris Rock "Nigger vs. Black people" standup? They have enough ways to say it. I doubt that Boondocks is going to magically change the way we deal with the word in everyone's daily language.

/$0.02

Comments

( 59 comments — Leave a comment )
seeme
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
Well, I remember a period of time when that word represented an instant and thorough beat down for white people and they didn't say it unless they were skin heads or kkk members or something and those people wanna fight anyway. So for me, when white people disrespect black people with that word now, it's because so many black people have disrespected themselves by using it (white people should still catch a beat down for using that word though). Yeah, you're right, that's my opinion. It's also true that this protest against the Boondocks is not going to amount to much. It does lower him in my eyes that he's willing to fight so hard for something that is so ridiculous though. It's not true that black people use that word. It's true that some black people use that word.
blackperson
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
I use the word nigger because I think that there is a context for every word, even ones that are offensive. Sometimes it's a term of endearment. Sometimes not. But I shouldn't have to justify using or not using it to the community at large. It's my right. Do I use it 15 times in 33 minutes? No. But there are people that do. If he wants to portray those people, that's his right as the creator of the comic. If it offends you, then you have the right not to support that. That's fine as well. That's all I'm saying.

As for white people, I correct and/or fight when I hear it used depending on the situation. Like, this guy at work said it and I told him to stop. So I reported him instead of kicking his ass while my boss was right there.
(no subject) - seeme - Nov. 8th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
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denim_queen
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)
Adding my two cents to the pile
Pretty much agree with everything you wrote on this one.

I don't have alot of love for the word, but I realize that my not saying it is not going to stop white folks from using it. White people have been using this word from the moment they pushed our asses off the damn slave ship and on to the freaking auction block.

And they still say it. Wasn't a few days ago that someone posted a quote from Andy Rooney basically saying how he prefers to use the "Negro" when decribing African Americans? Yeah, now it's a matter of whether or not they say it to our faces or behind our backs.

So basically I'm not going to stress myself over it anymore. Blackfolks want to use it fine. I'm tired of fighting foks over it. White person say it to me, prepared to get smacked in the mouth. Sounds hypocritical or contradictory? Probably, but honestly I'm getting to the point in my life where I just don't give a damn anymore.

I'm getting to the point where the Pavolovian method to race relations is starting to appeal to me more and more each year.
blackperson
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Adding my two cents to the pile
So basically I'm not going to stress myself over it anymore. Blackfolks want to use it fine. I'm tired of fighting foks over it. White person say it to me, prepared to get smacked in the mouth. Sounds hypocritical or contradictory? Probably, but honestly I'm getting to the point in my life where I just don't give a damn anymore.

Basically. I'm a writer and I don't like the idea that there is a word that I can't use when it is used against me. But I also don't like the idea that people who historically used it to kill folks like me can use it now because it's cool. FUCK THAT.
ambienceman
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I think calling another black person ignorant for saying the 'n' word is a bit hypocritical.
keeni84
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
I have to agree with this 100%.

Well, I remember a period of time when that word represented an instant and thorough beat down for white people and they didn't say it unless they were skin heads or kkk members or something and those people wanna fight anyway. So for me, when white people disrespect black people with that word now, it's because so many black people have disrespected themselves by using it (white people should still catch a beat down for using that word though). Yeah, you're right, that's my opinion. It's also true that this protest against the Boondocks is not going to amount to much. It does lower him in my eyes that he's willing to fight so hard for something that is so ridiculous though. It's not true that black people use that word. It's true that some black people use that word.

When I was in high school, I used to use this argument all the time--but then as I grew up, I learned the cultural implications behind the word "nigga". It's still a bit hard for me to understand, but we can't write off the cultural aspects of the word.

We can't just say, "Oh, you're ignorant" because you use a word that used to be bad but then changed to mean something different to you and/or your family.

Although I am uncomfortable with the word, I'm not going to write-off anyone who uses it.
blackperson
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
Basically. It's too easy to say, "Don't use it." I'll bet everyone here has had a conversation where the word was used and it didn't offend them. If you look at why it didn't offend you, then you see that the word has uses. Not saying the historical context would be gone but... there is a reason there is a debate. Because among blacks, there is a sense of unity. No matter how white you look, how good you talk, what you wear, you are a nigger. The word bound us during slavery. It still binds us now. One drop and you're a nigger. White people used it and it said, "You all are alike. No matter how different you think you are. No matter where you came from originally. People like you are less than me and I will catagorize you so I can justify my action." But even then, when black people met someone else who would be one, it's like say, "You know what I'm going through. Our situation might be different but when it gets down to it, we have to back each other." And it says that in the harshest, quickest way possible. I love it and I hate it for that quality.
(no subject) - parlance - Nov. 8th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
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littledrummrboy
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC)
Well put. And my feeling on the word re: white people? I can use it. You can't. Why? Because. And there's an ass-whoopin or other consequences on the other side of that.

Besides, it was yours exclusively for, oh, let's say 400 years. So see me in 2405, we can renegotiate.
magentathompson
Nov. 8th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
*chokes at your icon*
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dyvinesweetness
Nov. 8th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)
iawtp
thebigbadbutch
Nov. 8th, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC)
I agree, I don't try to stop black people from using it. And I've only used it like once in my journal
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kittylarock
Nov. 8th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
thank you! again, i have to say....when have white folks ever needed an excuse to say the word nigger? if i recall, rap music and cable tv weren't around back when we were being sprayed with water hoses and hung from trees.
recumbentgoat
Nov. 8th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC)
It's about personal morality/opinion.

Yeah, and how one copes with assimilation.

So is this word a symptom or a cause? I'd say symptom--

But it won't weaken until white privilege is broken down, history mainstreamed, etc etc etc.
blackperson
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
and we all live happily ever after? *points to icon*

:P
What? I can't have one damn kumbayah? - recumbentgoat - Nov. 8th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
gitana_negra
Nov. 8th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
I wonder what happened to the days where folks referred to one another as "brother" or "sister"? Homeboy or homegirl, etc...You get the point. It's kind of sad to see that folks refer to people who they claim to have affection for as a "nigger"...

I don't care who uses the word, black or white...It's an ugly ignorant and racist word, with an even uglier history behind it. No matter how many rappers, cartoons, buffoons or everyday people use it, that is *not* gonna change.

If you wanna disrespect yourself and your people by referring to one another as niggers, do it on your own time...Just respect me enough not to use that word in my presence...

That's my two cents.
hometraining
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC)
arsenio did a bit about this. like what will we say or call each other next? piece of shit?

which is funny but i don't think it's exactly the same thing. i dont know. it used to be negative to be called *black*.

of course if people don't want to hear it i'm respectful enough not to say it. that's what my user name is all about! lol.
(no subject) - parlance - Nov. 8th, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
kjpepper
Nov. 8th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC)
I use it. Mostly in an ironic watch-me-hurt-the-white-people way. I'm in Amherst, MA and there are a LOT of so-called "enlightened" white folks up here, some of which include some of my friends... and godDAMN it's funny watching perfect strangers jump in Target if you just randomly say it loudly. It's like they're thinking "Oh God! Someone said Nigger! It wasn't me! I swear! I donate to the NAACP! don't hurt me, oh god please, I'm good Whitey, really!"

I'm just kinda sick and wrong like that...
blackperson
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC)
Nah, I do it too.
hometraining
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
ha ha. i'm from boston and i went to school in vermont, so i know what you mean, lol.
littledrummrboy
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
LMAO... it reminds me of back in high school, we were putting on a production of Fiddler on the Roof. I played Perchik, who was a rebel who starts some commotion at one point. We are in a rehearsal and in the scene where everyone is all anti-me, my boy Carey (who is Black) shouts out "Get the nigger!" You shoulda seen the fear on these white folks' faces...
(no subject) - blackperson - Nov. 8th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
richirch2
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC)
I think the black community must have more respect for the history of our people than to use that word. I don't care what the context. I don't get into letter writing campaigns and all that jazz... especially not to someone who should understand the history behind that word as well as I do... But I'm damn sure not giving anyone a free pass to say it.

I think I'm less affected when a white person uses it than a black person. I'm not really expecting to much from random white person, but I'm expecting very much for another black person to know and appreciate the history behind that word. Appreciate all of the blood shed, lives lost, etc., over that word. Then appreciate why we must have more respect for our ancestors than to throw that word around at each other.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is there any other word in the English language with such a dark history?
hometraining
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
that's funny. like someone else said, because its really *their* word, i almost expect them to say it. it's almost like no big thing. well, lol. it *is* a big thing, but it doesn't make me bat an eye, iykwim.
(no subject) - richirch2 - Nov. 8th, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
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gitana_negra
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
Ya know?
blackperson
Nov. 8th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
No, I think this word wins in terms of negative historical context. And like you, I don't get into debates about it often. But I use it and I think I shouldn't be ashamed or scared of any part of my history, even the bad parts. That being said, I don't believe in it being "their word". I believe they made it up, yes. But it can't be just "theirs" if it has affected so much of our culture. When someone calls me a bad name, if that's all it comes to mean, I don't intergrate it into my image on myself. Yet, that's happened with the word nigger. I think every socially aware Black person understands that at some level, they are still seen as a nigger. And that won't ever change. And what we do with that knowledge comes out in different ways for different people. Some embrace the stereotype. Some use it mockingly. Some use it as an insult. Some shun it. But I don't personally think it's as simple as "have more respect than that".
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( 59 comments — Leave a comment )

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