Dear "N" Word...

Dear

Dear "N" word,

I was taught at an early age by both my grandparents and my parents, who had both been discriminated against in some of the worst ways in their lifetimes, that we don't ever use you for any reason. We don't listen to music with you, we don't call our friends or family you, we don't allow others to call us by you. You were never spoken in my house or with my extended family or friends, so as an adult I find it applauling that people sometimes tell me or ask me pointedly, "why am I not allowed to say you, or use you, or rap you, if you can do it?"

I'm angered by that question because I don't use you and I don't tolerate the use of you in my world. Just because I'm this skin color doesn't mean I automatically approve or do things that some other black person does. There is no amount of "we're cool," that is going to get me to accept someone else calling me, you. N word, do you know how many of my people fought and rallied against you? They fought for the respect to be called man, woman, Mr. and Mrs., instead of you, or being called a boy or girl even though they were adults. Why, if I'm going to demand that others not use you, would I then go out and just spit you out of my mouth at every chance? Even worse, why would I ever want to be a part of so called "owning you," you who were used to keep us down, to make us feel like less than human beings, to dehumanize us, to rob us of our identities even more so than had already happened?

You're not okay. You've never been okay. You never will be okay. I'm a person. I'm not you. I don't want to be you and I don't want people to ever think it's okay to associate me with you or that I'm accepting of you in anyway. I want my children and their children to know they are better than what you mean. Black or being black should never equal you, and when you respect yourself, the struggle, and where you want to go in life, there is no room for you. I don't want to "own" you, I want to continue owning my own business, paying my own bills, taking care of my own children, and owning the respect I deserve from others for treating them the way I want to be treated.


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What Guys Said 13

  • If you give a word taboo, you give it power - the kind of power that will only serve to benefit the wrong kinds of people.

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  • The "N" word is still alive and well thanks to the thuggary of the rap guys and the backwards thinking of the South who still thinks that the Civil War is alive an well

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  • I don't know why any 1 cares maybe its just me not giving 2 shits about the people in my family from generations ago

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  • That reminds me of a story. I was 12 when I'd heard that word for the first time. It was a black guy accusing me of calling him one. I asked: "A what? I've never heard of that word before!"

    He didn't believe me. The other kids in the neighborhood, as a mean prank, decided to tell him that I called him a "black-balled n**." I was like: "What? Since when, dude? Since when before now have you and I ever discussed anything? I barely knew you existed before today!"

    The others gathered around, because they wanted to watch him beat me. Or they were hoping I would fight back. They got a little angry when a girl in the neighborhood showed up defending me, and I got on my bike and got away. They shouted curses and threats the whole way.

    Two years after that, one of those brats actually made a murder threat against my brother for some dumb reason or another, and my mom slapped that brat with a restraining order.

    All those kids went to Oriole, Rogers, and Jackson, schools in the surrounding area (Wyoming, MI.) Which, back then (1995-1997), apparently was regularly churning out sociopaths.

    Since then, it took me years to comprehend the word, and why anyone would still use it. Especially other blacks toward each other. It seems to me the epitome of madness and stupidity. I don't go around referring to others who are white as "my fella homie crackas," so why does it work the other way around? It makes no sense.

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    • That's unfortunate. At the core of things, I just believe that if you want to be treated with respect by others, you have to give it, and only accept those into your life that respect you back. Talking down to myself, trying to own some racist word, going against what my ancestors fought so hard against, is not doing that. You cannot stand up and demand someone else not call you a particular word and then be a hypocrit and call yourself and others that word.

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    • I am a selfless person but the fact that somebody is prejudiced fired a gay dude and thinks just because someone uses the n-word is more important. I did not know what that meant to the fifth grade and I mean that. that's pretty selfish don't you think. you can probably argue the fact that behind Isis mask there is blue blue-eyed people. why don't you walk into a school and tell me what really happens. everyone is guilty the fact that somebody actually did something about it is pretty impressive the fact that almost everbody is equal is a pretty good thing.

    • that is the lesson that is learned.

  • I understand this. You are like a beaten child recoiling every time someone lifts a hand. The wound runs deep and it will take a lot of time for it to be repaired. I think we are on the right track, but things like what you are talking about are bound to happen. I hope that someday, we'll be able to use that word again without it being still tied to all the suffering your people went through. Nowadays, we can say the word germans without automatically thinking of nazis. One day, we might be able to say the N word without automatically thinking of black people and what happened to them.

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  • Here's the problem through my eyes. While thousands upon thousands of blacks fought and suffered and even died to rise above the connotations that word carries, a handful were willing to sell the word and its ugliest meanings for their own gain. And white people were willing to buy it. In droves. A number of hip hop artists have remarked that their crowds are made up of more whites than blacks and fair or not those people won't spend 2 hours saying it freely and then stop because the concert's over and it's offensive again. Ultimately, blacks will be seen as however they are portrayed in popular culture just like every other group, including whites.

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  • OH PLEASE! GET OVER THE LEFTIST PROPAGANDA AND SUCH! BLACKS HAVEN'T GONE THROUGH ANY SLAVE CRAP! BY THE WAY! TIMES WERE BETTER FOR BLACKS IN OUR COUNTRY DURING THE SEGREGATION ERA!!! GET REAL AND GET OVER YOUR VICTIM-HOOD COMPLEX.

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    • Times were better for black during the segregation era? Are you kidding me? Maybe than slavery time yes beciase we were no longer picking cotton, getting hung, and raped but I don't think having to get on and off of a bus to sit in the back and then having to give up your seat to a white person is better than it is now. I don't think not being able to eat in any restarraunt of your choice and having to order and wait for your food out back is better, I don't think having to raise white children and cook and clean for them instead of doing that for your own family and then only to have the kids that you raised only disrespect you later is better. I don't think getting beaten by cops is better... Oh wait that's right they're doing that now too 😒

      I may not have lived during that time but how dare you honestly believe or even consider that times were better! The world isn't too hot right now but it's an improvement 👿

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    • @astrOnaut01 yeah I sure did becuase even if he's joking some people aren't and honestly do think that people "black peoples" or people of any darker skin colored are being treated well or fairly when they're not.

      And it's not acceptable 🙅

    • You must be a trolling leftist trying to make common sense look ridiculous. Victim hood complexes are thriving and destroying the people who adopt them as well as the greater society/community as a whole, however what you stated is true ignorance. You could have used the points that all peoples and tribes have enslaved another people/tribe at one time or another - and that we are all related anyway. You could've pointed out that fellow blacks sold other blacks to the arabs, muslims, and Spanish, that they had slaves themselves that whites in medieval Europe were slaves to their lords/masters for centuries and centuries that they were killed if they didn't convert to Christianity, that China had strict slave codes etc etc etc etc etc, but what you stated was true ignorance blacks did not have it better during segregation - the kids had fathers more often on average and gender relations were less conflicting with less tension.

  • I grew up in the south. I HATE the word. but i do love Richard Pryor and Chris rock. Language and words are weird like that.

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  • It's just a word.

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    • Lol shut up

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    • @Feels Oh, my bad, man.

      Yeah, I don't see what the big deal is. It's truly freeing when you don't let a word get to you.

    • It means black in Latin.

  • Great message, and very well written.

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  • I don't see a problem with black people using it it's been a long time since it's been a relevant term for racism, I know it used to be used against black people but that was a long time ago shit has changed.

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    • The world has changed, yes, but the meaning has not. There is a reason you can't really say it on tv, or that its bleeped on the radio and why your boss for example, can't call you that. The word still means exactly what it meant then, and now and its time people of any race, stopped using it. Of all the words in the world I want to be called and to call others, that is not one of them.

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    • Cool story bro

    • @LilWeezey relevant argument bro

  • Lol, why is there a biracial kid?

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    • why not? be real, he's considered black racially.

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    • I can't comment directly to cookiesandmilk because she blocked me awhile ago (lol) but race is based entirely on skin tone. so a little mixed kid with dark skin is black when talking about race.

    • I think some people have access to the internet but live under a rock lol.

  • I agree for whatever that is worth.

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What Girls Said 14

  • Growing up, I feel like I was "afraid" or "intimidated" by the word. I'd literally cringe at the sound of it, but I think now I'm at the point where it doesn't phase me, but "nigga" and "nigger" definitely do have differently connotations. Saying someone is a n** is basically saying they need a rope around their neck or shackles around their feet. "Nigga" is more just a black person in general or a friend. I don't use the "N" word often but I'm not afraid of it. The first time I was ever called one, it definitely didn't feel good, but now, I'd honestly laugh in the person's face. Like astr0 said, it is just a word, but it's up to the person what it's significance will be. I definitely don't think non-black people should use it unless absolutely "necessary", but fact of the matter is, people will use it just to spite you, so it's better to laugh at their ignorance and bigotry rather than let it tear you down.

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  • I love this letter/myTake you wrote. Great Job! I hate this word as well including the alternative used in rap music.

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  • This is a great myTake. Everyone just needs to stop using this word.

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  • This is POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL and I applaud you. I am not African American but as a girl of colour, and just people of colour we have dealt with discrimination and I am not someone who tolerates the N word. I don't think people should use it because it was a word used to oppress and not power African Americans. Just look at people like Emmett Till, he was the N word to racist people and Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X fought for their rights and that right involved not being called the N word.

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  • I wish you used the energy that you put into writing this into just letting the N word go.

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  • Stop being a sissy, and don't get offended by everything. It's just a damn word.

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  • Wow some people here need to learn some manners and respect for others. The N word is like the P word here in the UK although black people have suffered for longer and had it much worse than any other ethnicity for centuries. I would never use the N word or any other derogatory term even if those of that ethnicity may use it freely.

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  • Try being ginger... it's not discrimination to be called ginger, or ginger minger, carrot top, no soul and even some go on about the colour of pubic hair... gingers have been discriminated long before black people but theirs no crime ever commited... gingers have been burned to the stake and tortured for their hair colour- but it's fine though because gingers are white- right? gingers are the butt of all jokes, so when black people whine about something that they didn't have a say over then they want to know what true victimisation is in redheads... *redheaded babies are harder to love* *id rather my baby die than it being a redhead* * beaten up like a redheaded stepchild*. Never heard any of that directed at black kids...

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    • I understand where you are coming from in the sense you are being called things you have no desire to be called, but you have heard of slavery right... blacks were lynched, tarred, burned, clubbed and beaten to death. A red head can dye their hair and no one would even know. I cannot dye my skin. I'm black forever and so there is literally no where I can hide in terms of my race. Both situations are wrong, but let's also not ignore history here.

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    • I do not say this because I was not part of something. The world is not rascist just really prejudice. I was fired the second day of insurance while the best closer in the office was a white girl flirting with me. She yelled at him when I left. I was the only white boy in the room and they hire another that day and tried to offer me another job. A friend of mine was gay and black and they fired him with nothing. Let me remind everyone I am strait and I do not judge by color or preferance. I judge everyone individually.

    • This opinion... Ohh the ignorance. Well you are entitled to your own ign-opinion. :)

  • Amen.
    But I see some of the comments here are completely ridiculous

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  • ... wow... i guess that's ur decision... but people give words meaning, being a nigga isn't an insult to me it's like "yeah i am, and?" coming from friendly people i couldn't give less of a shit but when used negatively I assume the worst of the person who said it. you don't even seem like you're black...

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    • How does one seem black?
      Wtf

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    • Or she listens to rock music, or classical, or jazz, or country.
      There is more out there than hip-hop you do know that right?

    • @LilWeezey not a fan of any of that, good music is hiphop, r&b and pop for me. i'm not judging if she listens to that but it seems weird

  • Well, I wish all black people would reach a consensus on this.

    I live in Louisville and I go to a highschool of over 700, I have personally heard every single black guy that I've met in my classes call themselves and each other n**.

    "Nah man dat ain't dis nigga"

    "Sup mah nigga"

    "Nigga you best come back here wit mah shit!"

    whats strange is very few black girls actually talk like that. It's just the guys for some reason. All I'm saying is that your opinion doesn't seem to reflect the bulk of black culture. No offense.

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  • This exactly. Great MyTake :)

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  • thank you! great mytake! (:

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    • it's not surprise that all the people who felt the need to be assholes haven't had their "opinions" removed.

  • Really nice

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