NIGGA/NIGGER/Both Or Neither?
I received this email yesterday:
“Please stop using the N word. It is degrading. http://www.abolishthenword.com/”
I had a plethora of contradictory responses and random musings:
Is it degrading?
How is banning a word going to make niggas not niggas in a system of racism/white supremacy? Given a choice, I’d rather ban the practice of R/WS than Nigga.
Is the energy to ban the so-called “N” word useful? Could that energy be better spent trying to end the conditions that make black people and other non-whites “functional niggas?”
Maybe this anon has a point; perhaps this word is degrading. Maybe I should just stop using it?
One of the points made on the ‘AbolishTheWord’ is that one of the last words black people probably heard when they were lynched was nigger; the “N” word is so closely asssociated with lynching that use of the word triggers trauma in black people.
I’d rather be called what I am, rather than the current state of affairs, where white folks smile ’32 pearly white niggas at me on a daily basis.’
I actually like the word, I like how it sounds when some black people use it, including myself. The word is incredibly powerful and as a writer I lust after words that live, breathe and sting truthfully.
I do believe the word can be used irresponsibly, however, I have no hard and fast rule regarding its usage by others. I refuse to use the word in anger at other black people, as in “I love black people, but I HATE niggas!”
It is the conditions that make us niggas culturally, economically, socially that I object to, NOT the word, though, clearly, I don’t want to hear some white person using it liberally.
Truth is very important to me and banning words and burning books is not for me. We need to FEEL shit, instead of neutering words while the conditions they describe continue to expand.
What cha’ll think?