It’s 2014, time to say goodbye to the “n” word


By Rivers-Cleveland

He’s like a warm fuzzy bulldog or a crazy lost uncle who brings you candy when he’s not in jail. Or maybe he’s like that fair weather frienemy who comes around only when they use you or cause trouble for excitement. He is the “n” word. It is 2014 and he needs to go. Long overdue! His foul disposition is bad for business and for the health of our children.

The “n” word is one of the most polarizing terms in the English language. It is especially offensive when one considers that it is not just a word but a mindset. The “n” word is often used by people as an excuse to be racist to in the name of freedom of speech. Sadly too many black people have fallen into the genocidal trap that is affecting the least vulnerable among us.

Because of the tremendous negative history and derogatory images associated with the term, I feel that conscientious people of goodwill reject what is popular for what is right. Is it not a terrible contradiction that some feel it is OK for black people to use the word and wrong for others to? How does the usage of an ugly degrading term add any value to our lives, or to that of our children?

The “n” word is so notorious and so profound that we describe it by only a letter. The “n” word, unlike Elvis, has never left the building. Almost every hip-hop and rap star is crazy in love about the “n” word more than they are about Beyoncé. Of course people like Beyoncé, Elvis and Serena are one-word names that have become iconic and even historical. We live in a world where we want to oversimplify everything-causes and effects. Well, so is the “n” word. Just like people, we can sometimes make graven idols of entertainers and celebrities; we can lose perspective on perceived rights and popular behavior. Just because it’s popular and easy to say doesn’t always mean is it good to do so.

George Wallace started off as a moderate judge who had a fair repetition with black people.  Judge Wallace wanted to become Governor Wallace and became nationally famous because he started using the “n” word on a regular basis.

When comedians and hip-hop stars want to make “big bank” they called their old buddy the “n” word. I do not blame them as much as the consumer that makes this lifestyle possible. Nor do I advocate censorship. Freedom of speech is necessary even if it is vile language.  Government   should not do the job of the parents, preacher or your conscience. We all have a duty and responsibility to “step up to the moral plate.”

One professor I listen to compared the “n” word to the origins of the Nazi swastika. For centuries before Hitler came to power the swastika was a very holy symbol in many different Eastern cultures. It was a powerful symbol of prosperity in ancient times. It took one crazed maniac to use it and now it is forever the symbol of hatred and death. Should Jewish people use the swastika because many years before it was a good sign? No, there’s too much baggage associated with it now and Jewish people do not embrace the degradation the way some other races do.

The “n” word is supposed to be a Spanish derivation of a term used to describe black people in Africa. The word Negro is similar to the Spanish word that means black objects not black people! The term for black people in Spanish is Morrano not Negro. Some scholars say that the African word that sounds like Negro actually is a God-like term. But European slave masters used the derogatory “n” word to separate themselves from the lowly captives.

There were whites who came to the “New World” as slaves and they were called indentured servants who could buy their freedom. It is colonial America that turned slavery to an exclusive black situation. The “n” word was designed to differentiate the master from his subjects.

The “n” word is an evil justification by unscrupulous people to undermine the humanity of black people. The slave masters realize Africans were not apes but they were not white either. So he came up with a term to describe them to put them in a place.

The “n” word…so many foolish and ignorant people wear this term as if it were gold and silver. The “n” word mindset is “blood guilty” of so many of our ancestors and is responsible for the deaths of many people today.

Now some people say it’s just a word and that they changed a few letters to take the sting out of it. That makes about as much sense as you purposely degrading yourself to take the sting out of someone else that’s degrading you.

Now I understand the logic some people use with forbidding whites to use that term. There are things you can call your family members that wouldn’t be inappropriate for an outsider to do so. However why would a good conscientious person want to use a historically divisive term in the first place? It is hard enough to be poor or uneducated, so why will we add that extra baggage of degradation?

We cannot demand respect from other people unless we respect ourselves. The “n” word is a cancer that must be eradicated. The “n” word is a self-fulfilling prophecy because as you think and say, you may become.

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