Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The "N" word

This post keeps popping up in my head so I'm finally going to post about it.

I have a problem with people saying the "N" word and I'm talking about the derogatory term used for African Americans.

When I was in 3rd grade, we lived in North Carolina for a little while. My school time there was not much fun at the beginning. A group of AA girls would make fun of me, calling me all sorts of names for white people. One of which was "honky". I was really upset and didn't even know what a "honky" was. I cried and told my mom and then in all my smartness told my mom if they did it again, I was going to call them the "N" word. yes, that's the way I said it because I've always known that was a derogatory name and meant to be offensive. And my mom told me that no I may not do that and no matter what I was to not use that word.

I've always grown up believing that word to be the worst of the worst. My family is from Kentwood, Louisiana and I can remember many racial incidents when I was there in the summers growing up and especially my senior year when I lived there for awhile. I can assure you that the "N" word used then was not meant positive. I can also assure you, on the flip side, that there was little tolerance from the AA young community for the young white community as evidenced by the fact that I was cornered in my new high school locker room by a group of 6 AA girls who did not like the fact that an AA guy showed me around the school my first day. I had moved from Texas back to Louisiana and felt like I had taken a major step back in time.

All of this to say that it has been a long road for many people to travel to try and reach equality and it's still not there! There are men and women who still remember the days of slavery, remember the days of not having basic human and civil rights.

This is what I associate the "N" word with. A time in our history where humans treated humans like animals because their skin was darker and it is shameful. So when I hear the young African American men shouting at each other "hey *igga" as a term of endearment it makes my soul cry out. They get rich (in their music) using terms *igga this and *igga that - it is so very disrespectful to the men and women who actually suffered through slavery and segregation. And I think to myself, "what are you doing? This simply canNOT be the way. Stop." For me, they belittle the African American men and women of our history.

But let's address all of the whites using the "*igga" term with their friends. Stop it, you sound stupid. This young community knows NOTHING about what it was like back then, I barely do. Using the "N" word does not make you closer to the AA race, it does NOT show a sign of solidarity with your African American friends. I have supposedly Christian High School facebook friends who have used this word on their FB pages. Where are their parents? I don't care what song it comes off of, it is inappropriate.

I don't want my children raised believing they can use a term that once was considered derogatory, that once represented a class of people who were considered less than human and beaten and killed because of the color of their skin.

Can we not find something better? Can we not do better for our youth? Can we not do better for our children?

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