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Why Do People Use The N word So Much?


I used to be one of those guys who threw around the N word frequently. Almost every time I would get mad at somebody or just play around with them, I would say, "N word please" or "come on N word" and act like it was not a big deal. At the time, it was safe to say that I was very ignorant on the word.

However, after a life-changing experience with OUDC (Operation Understanding DC), a year-long program that brings together thirty African- American and Jewish juniors in high school to learn about each others history, culture, and similar oppressions, and to make them activists on eradicating racism and all forms of discrimination, my perception of a lot of things changed. The most influential one was my usage of the N word. I stopped saying it completely.

I looked at the N word in a far different view than before and realized how ignorant I was for throwing it around so much.

But this is not an aritcle about me, it is about those who continue to use it frequently and do so without a clear history and understanding of the word.

I can see why some black people use it though. They want to take something the "white man" made a negative and turn it into a positive.

These black people who have that reasoning feel like they are triumphing over the "white man" because they used a negative term and put a positive spin on it.

While this may be true, are we (blacks) any better than the white people who called our ancestors the N word for doing that? No.

This attitude shows that we are going down to the same level as those white people because we are trying to get back at the whites for what they did. 

Now in today's culture, black people can say it as much as they want, but when a white person says it, they attack them for it.

That right there is a textbook double standard and a hypocritical perspective.

Some blacks who use the N word believe they can say it because it was used against our ancestors in a negative way and that alone makes it fine for them to use it. So why can't a white person say it?

Well because they're the ones who used it as a derogatory term.

That is not a sound argument because if blacks are able to say it then so should whites. I have yet to hear a valid argument why people believe this is the way it should be.

And we know that most times those who use the word today are not using it in a negative way. They are using it to say, "what's up my N word (brother)." Those who I have talked to about why they say it would agree. They are doing it to to mean: "What's up my brother?"

So it appears that people use it because they have a narrow vocabulary. Why do people feel the need to say the N word instead of just saying "brother" or "my man?" Is it really necessary to use such a derogatory and emasculating term rather than say "my brother?"

But let's put all of that aside for the moment and just look at who was being called these things during slavery.

Slaves did an enormous amount of intensive labor and work for their white masters. They practically built this country from the ground up.

So in that sense, blacks using it today are not even worthy of using the N word to refer to their black friends or whomever they choose. 

An "n word" is somebody who has built the country off his or her blood and sweat. They have worked harder than any of the young blacks today. When the present black youth put in as much rigourous work as slaves did, only then will there be a sound argument for using the n word.

But that is not going to happen ever.

I am not telling my fellow black counterparts that you should be banned from using it. I am only saying that people need to really look at WHY they actually use the word instead of using it because it's the norm or because their friends say it.





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This post was excellent. It is thought provoking and informative. As the soon to be adoptive parent of a 5 year old girl from Ethiopia this story hit me. I can not imagine some time down the road where my daughter would refer to herself in that manner.

It will never fly in my household.

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