Why is uttering "the n word" acceptable but the word it alludes to isn't?

I was ify about posting this question, and I know regardless of what I say I'll probably get attacked, if not outright censored. I'm going to ask this anyway. Why is [the-n-word] (turns into asterisks) given so much power? It's like a bad word beyond a bad word. Even look at this site. It's just asterisks if you write it. We are supposed to pretend it doesn't exist? We can't fire up the flux capacitor and go back in time to erase its very existence. That's not going to happen so why pretend like you can? People are spewing this word, anyway, and you will never, ever stop them. in my opinion, if anything you are feeding this monster by trying to censor.

If you are still here and haven't gone into an emotional tizzy, let me make my case. I'm not saying we should all of a sudden tolerate insulting people. That's absurd. I'm saying it shouldn't be any different from other vulgar words. Take the word "cunt". Is it offensive to women? Maybe, but hardly anyone seems to care, anymore. People (esp. Brits and Australians) call each other cunts regardless of gender. It still doesn't mean you'd call someone that with any sort of peaceful intent. So "cunt" is just another insult. It doesn't mean we try to pretend it never existed as a word. So why do we have to completely ban the utterence of another, similar word? Because of racial history? I'm aware of all that, but the "speak no evil" strategy has never produced a single, positive outcome once in the history of humanity.

I have a nephew whose mother is black and he brought up some people using [the-n-word]. If he had heard it when he was 5, he wouldn't have cared about it in any way. Now that he's more aware, he's becoming keen to the fact that people see it as a "special word". I can see the process of programming in action that leads a person to have a pavlovian reaction to a word because that's the environment they are raised in. This is quite pathetic, in my opinion. You can argue that it should be that way, but don't try to say that it's the natural order of things, or some kind of proven path in reducing racism. It's just an arbirary choice that hasn't proven anything good. And saying "the n word" is worse than the actual word, in my opinion, because you're basically saying that you are defeated by a word, but that you acknowledge how horrible it is but still want to get away with saying it. It's vile on many levels.


Most Helpful Girl

  • i will never understand why people say nigga but when they say the actual n word they lose their shit both are equally offensive


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What Girls Said 1

  • I don't see why people can't wrap their heads around the offense of this word. It's a derogatory term. End of story. There are many words out there so why do people so badly want to use this enough to make arguments over it trying to make it OK? In my culture there is also a word that will always just be offense to my people when anybody calls me it other than my Afrikaans peers. That's just how it is. It's never used in a friendly manner but in a offensive way. I can think of another word to for a certain race of people in my country too and it's just plain offensive towards them and will always be.

    "So why do we have to completely ban the utterence of another, similar word?"

    Out of respect.

    I don't understand why people still have a issue with this.

    • *standing ovation*

    • Show All
    • So you don't even understand what "the n word" refers to? LOL ok. So your argument is that because I wouldn't want to be insulted, it means we should ban a word. There are stupid words people could call me. Why would I want to censor the words over it? Why should I be affected by what an idiot says? Sorry, but you're WAY OFF.

    • @Asker

      No I think you're way off not realizing the impact and magnitude of what you are saying when you call someone that. I just explained to you that some words can carry offense to a certain culture and race. Sorry but that will never ever change and you'll always be looked on a certain way if you use that terms. In my country if you used a slur word against my culture you'd get your ass kicked cause that's just how it is. There are many insults but yet again as explained none of those words have the same background. Swear words don't have specific racial or culture meanings but other terms such as the "nigger" do carry a racial meaning and you cannot just excuse that conveniently. It's NOT the same as asshole. It's not even nearly the same so you're WAY OFF.

What Guys Said 3

  • n** is way more offensive than cunt.
    The word was used to dehumanise and belittle slaves back in those days, and was even used when segregation was introduced etc, and is still used now to humiliate and remind a black person of his inferiority.
    Maybe it shouldn't be censored but it shouldn't be used as an insult either. It literally means black in latin, so what should be the harm in that?
    It's like how people find the swastika offensive, in some cultures it means good luck but it also carries the weight of a holocaust.

    • Of course it shouldn't be used as an insult. Nobody should be insulted. But I'm shocked that you're saying that a black person is inferior.

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    • Okay, well it's not physically real but the humiliation attached to it is. Of course, it's not possible to weigh the damage and compare it to other hurtful words but it's still hurtful and more hurtful than other words.
      The brutalization of slaves and lynching etc is attached to the word, and that is the weight I'm referring to.

      I don't understand why people want to say it so bad. If you want to say it then go ahead, no one can stop you but you're just being unnecessarily offensive. Even when black people say it, it's just counter-productive.

      To answer your question, "the n word" still strikes a nerve but not as much as "ni99er". It's like a cushion, so to speak.

    • Now you're engaging in stating fallacies. I never said I wanted to say it so bad. I'm calling stupid the idea that we could or should pretend it doesn't exist to the point where if someone insults someone, we can't even cite what they said.

  • I think the thought process is to denormalise the word, to make it offensive - Like I grew up using old version of eenie, meanie, mynie moe and didn't realise there was a new version until I was doing it with my young nephew we going through it and I was going ( oh fuck, oh fuck ) and he went catch a tiger by the toe ( phew for me ) - It seems pedantic at times but if you grew up in a different era you would know how necessary it was to make these kinds of words seem offensive.

    • But what is the end game? It's an offensive word, but why does it get special treatment? It seems to be getting worse. People used to say it when referring to an incident, but now people are trying to hide behind "the n word". What has been achieved with this practice, other than racists shouting it harder and louder?

      100% of the time, when there is a concerted effort to do social engineering by "de-normalizing" a word, it leads to the word being co-opted by people that consider themselves freedom fighters of some kind, including organized racists.

  • Nigga hush.

    Black peoe don't care when they use it. it doesn't mean anything. I say it to describe anything. Any race can say it. But when a white person says it. It bring back negative feeling to the word. Now white people can still say they just gonna get there whooped. A Asian person saying. Nigga mean bothing. Latinos say all the time so it means nothing. just white people can't say it. You guys gave it the bad meaning. We gave it no meaning. Ba. Just deal with it. You can say it though

    • Who are you talking to? You guys? That shooter in SC said it a lot and didn't "get there whooped", so now what?

    • He had a gun does the avargae white person have gun when they say it. Let see him say that in a place where other people have guns.

      Very bad exmaple. try again.

      Anyone tough with a weapon. I'll fight the rock , Floyd maywheather and the entire staff of ufc with a gun?

    • *facepalm*