Nigger: Some black folk just don’t get it!!

I am so sick and tired of my people not understanding what the nigger really stands for.  It is not a term of endearment.  This Post article  highlights that people do not know their history. 

There is a difference, said Leonard Young, 19, of Fort Washington: Racists end the word with an “er,” African Americans end it with an “a.”

“I don’t think it’s offensive,” said Young, a black computer science major at Prince George’s Community College. “It hasn’t been offensive since slavery. It’s only offensive when people of other races use it.”

Where in the hell has Leonard Young been?  Nigger has always been offensive.  For him to make this statement proves that Young is ignorant of his history.  Which falls back on his parents.

Young contemplated the matter while on a lunch break with Devin Tyler, 18, of Hyattsville, a business-hotel management major. Tyler, who is black, admits using the N-word with his black friends. He has also heard his parents say it but in a different way.

“My parents use it to talk about people who are doing wrong . . .,” he said. “They use it about people who are acting negative.”

If Devin’s parents only use the word to describe when black people are doing something wrong (which I understand but don’t condone)  how does that translate to him calling his friends nigger?  Is he saying that all if his friends are ignorant and don’t know how to act; as his parents have used the word nigger to describe black people who doing wrong things?

Horace Avent, 39, a black security officer from Waldorf, said he uses the N-word “with the fellas when we are playing around.” He doesn’t feel he is being insensitive to his history. “It’s a word, and I’m not offended by a word.” 

People like Horace Avent really piss me off because he is damn near 40 years old.  I can understand some in the younger generation who are ignorant and who don’t know better, but when it comes to older black folk, there is no excuse.  It is not about Avent being offended by a word, it is about his understanding of how the word was used in the aid of our enslavement which lead to lynchings and murders.  I bet, that if a white person walked up to his ass and called him a nigger he would be ready to throw down.  So please brother, safe the “sticks and stones may break my bones”  BS.  We all know the power of words; they can insight all sorts of emotions.  Words have pushed people over the edge, we have seen it time and time again.

All of these brothers young and old are apart of the ignorance that we in the black community must take responsibility for.  Their parents and their communities failed to expose them to our history.  I have said this before and I will say it until the day I die: You will NEVER hear the Jewish Community refer to each other as KIKE.  EVER!!!  They know the pain and racism behind that word that the Nazis used against them.  Half of the people reading this blog probably don’t even know what the word Kike is.  And that is because Jewish people will not allow that word to resurface.

My hats go off to the folks at abolishthenword.com and banthenword.com. Here are some local people who I applaud as well.

That sort of education, said Jahar Abraham, 39, of Southeast Washington, changed his mind.

Abraham, manager and promoter of the go-go band Familiar Faces, said he used the N-word until a mentor exposed him to its use in African American history.

“Some of these are kids who don’t know their history. You know what MLK means to them? Money-loving killers, not Martin Luther King Jr. They took those initials and made them about how they feel,” Abraham said. “That’s what they do with that word.”

He hit the nail right on the head.

And as always, Washington Post columnist Jabir Asim never disappoints me.  He has a new book:
In his book “The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why,” The Washington Post’s Jabari Asim traces the open use of the slur by African Americans to the late 1960s. He argues that the word, no matter who utters it, has “abetted our systematic dehumanization.”

And now on to brother Marc Neal, his justifications for the use of the word Nigger have been the most troubling and most far fetched.  I have heard him many times with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.  And no matter where I hear him, I usually disagree with 95% of what he says.  Dr. Neal is a professor at Duke University.  Here is what he has to say:

Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of black popular culture at Duke University, disagrees, saying African American artists use the word “to capture the complexity of black life.” He said the real debate should be over “stopping the negative use of it.”

“If you look at how black artists have used that word, historically, they have used it in creative ways, the same way black cooks have made chitterlings into a delicacy,” Neal said.

Let me get this straight, Neal is saying that the use of the word Nigger, as a term of endearment can be compared to what blacks have created with chitterlings?????  Are you kidding me? 

How do compare a word which was and still is used by racist white people in the demeaning, degradation and enslavement of black people, to our historic ability to turn pig intestines into a delicacy?  Dr. Neal needs to get a clue.

And finally Big Ups to my Alma Mater BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY and their efforts:

At Bowie State, students and administrators decided the best way to stop young black men from saying the word was to ban it from their dorms and levy fines on those who use it. Artie L. Travis, vice president of student affairs, said students in the two male dorms voted for the ban two years ago.

“Part of what we are trying to do is prepare them for being out in the world and to teach them leadership roles,” he said. “That word does not go along with those goals.”

Tsion Bennett, 24, a communications major and spoken word performer at Bowie State who is black, said he does not use the N-word in his writing but admits to dropping it in casual conversation. “I can understand why, in an environment that’s trying to encourage elevated thinking, you would say, ‘Let’s begin to distance ourselves from that word,’ ” he said.

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9 Responses

  1. ” Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of black popular culture at Duke University, disagrees, saying African American artists use the word “to capture the complexity of black life.” He said the real debate should be over “stopping the negative use of it.”

    “If you look at how black artists have used that word, historically, they have used it in creative ways, the same way black cooks have made chitterlings into a delicacy,” Neal said. ”

    mark bey: I hate when so called intellectuals make some of these rappers out to be more than what they are, these rappers are using that word in the same context that the rest of the black community uses it and since thier message of nigga this and nigga that is replayed all over the world I cannot condone.

    Meaning it can both be used to describe a friend or extremely negative behavior, or behavior percieved as bieng typical to black folk or more prominent amongst black folk.

    Although I have used the N word as a term of endearment for my closes friends and to desribed sickening behavior on the part of some black folk your sentiment is correct in my oppinion we should not be using it. But I dont see things ever changing as long as we remain at our intellectual level. Good post my Pg county brotha.

    P.S Marcus you should open up a clinic to reprogram confused black people, which happens to be a lot of us.

  2. No problem man. I have never been a fan of Dr. Neal, he arguments on why we can use the word but not white people is null and void in my opinion.

  3. ” I have never been a fan of Dr. Neal, he arguments on why we can use the word but not white people is null and void in my opinion.”

    mark bey: I would agree with you in sentiment, but it is world reality that people or groups speak and act differently amongst themselves than others.

    For instance as a joke me and you may start talking in black dialect, you know ifn it twas, Lawd have mercy but if we were to here white people speaking like that it would be extremely offended.

    Although I do agree with you from this vantage which is it is no longer accepted to say retarded and coonish things in public and in music and then say we can say them but know one else can.

  4. Did you happen to catch what Serena William’s heckler yelled at her a month or so ago in Miami (at the Sony Ericsson Open): “Hit the net, like any N_ would.”

    The cool thing: Serena still won the match, and won the tournament too (kicking Justine H’s bony Belgian ass :)!

    The funny thing: the idiot asshole is now denying that he said it, even though an entire stadium had to have heard him say it.

    I love Serena! She is soo cool!

  5. “it is no longer accepted to say retarded and coonish things in public ”

    Oh man – I’m sorry – that sentence made me laugh. Your frustration comes through so strongly. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the adjective “coonish” before. Don’t worry — I will not be using it.

  6. Words are Power, people gotta be real about this.

    Like I said here:

    http://djblackadam.typepad.com/damnitq/2007/02/words_of_power.html

    Words are power, choose them wisely, I hope you choose righteousness and life.

    Peace

  7. DJ man you better preach to the people. you are on point with your blog post!!

  8. I´m white and from Sweden. I often wondered if there is a difference between the word negro and nigger. Nowdays all people in Sweden say black people instead of negro (neger in swedish). But my father told me this is quite strange cause the word negro (neger when transformed to swedish) is simply latin for the word “black”. Compare it to Manus Negro (The black hand). So he says he thinks its perfectly fine to say neger (negro) cause it just means black. We also make this pastry that is called negerbollar and translated to english they are called negro balls. A cafe was than for some time ago sued for using this term to describe the pastry. Instead the one who sued the cafe told them they were to call the pastry chocolate balls. I think it is all kind of silly. I understand that in America were you had slavery it is touchy. But i dont understand why we in Sweden are to change our language when their is nothing wrong with the words we have. I cant understand why you are not allowed to say neger (negro) when it simply means black. Its perfectly fine I think.

    Its like with the gypsis. They dont want to be called gypsis anymore but instead want to be called romans. This is totally ahistorical and based on revisionism and glorifying of their past. What is the deal? We have always called them gypsis and I dont understand why we are to change because they come up with som fake history and want to be called romans. And last but not least we have our native inhabitants in the north of Sweden. This northen area is called Lappland and the native inhabitants is called lappar. But now they dont want to be called lappar anymore but be called sami. I dont understand what the fuzz is all about.

    Its like I would think of it as offensive if you called me a swede and I would say you are only allowed to call me svensk (cause this is what I call myself on my native tounge). It is just so stupid I think. Maybe we are not allowed to call people from the USA amerikanare in the future because you all think that is offensive or maybe people from South America think it is wrong that in sweden we only call people from one north-american country americans and no other american people. But thats just the way it is. People just have to live with it!

    And about slavery. Most swedes who emigrated to USA did that in the early 1900. They went from Sweden because they were poor and our country were overpopulated. Today their is about 5 million people in the US that have swedish ancestors and most of them had nothing when they came to the united states. So I think it is strange when you do thinks like affirmitive action for black and other people who are not white. Its like only because you are white you have an ancestor who was a rich british aristocrat who hade slaves in the south. But that is not true. Five million whites live in USA today and they originate from very poor farmers who had to leave their country because they owned no land and couldn´t get a job back home. Slavery was at that time abandoned. So black people and swedish-americans really had the same oppurtunities in America. Than it is strange that swedish-americans dont get affirmitive action but some black people do. It is bizzare I think.

  9. Markus:

    What you find silly clearly is the reason why there needs to be more discussion on why the word ‘nigger’ not negro is offensive. And trust me Swedsih people and black did not have the same oppurtunities in America. not by a long shot. After slavery was abolished in this country, they then passed laws to keep black people down. It is systemic racism at its best. I suggest reading up on Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights Movement in America

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