Derogatory Terms

Hateful names that are used to describe a certain group of people have been around for ages. Some slurs seem to warrant more usage than others. It’s almost as if people are infatuated with them. For instance, the word n**** is almost used just as freely by those not of African American descent than those who are. It’s actually weird to me that some people blame Hip Hop music for this rising ‘trend.’ However, I fault the individuals.

As a Black woman, I am very well educated on the history of the word. Also I tend to use it myself from time to time. I have always just perceived the word to be a “Black only” kind of thing; since it was used to destroy OUR spirit and OUR dignity (well those of our ancestors, but you get the point). Then, of course, we took back the power and tried to make it our own. On the contrary, there are plenty of African Americans who frown upon this ‘term of endearment’ for different reasons. Older  individuals view the obscenity with hatred as they recall painful memories that are forever attached to it. This is very understandable, but it’s difficult for me to ban a word that’s such a major part of my generation (pop culture, music, television, ect.).

However, I will never understand another culture’s obsession with using the slur. It literally blows my mind anytime I hear someone else (not Black) say that term in reference to another non-Black person. I have never heard an African American use a derogatory term intended for another race towards another African American. I highly doubt I ever will quite frankly. I mean, I don’t even want to go into cultural appropriation because I could go on for forever; but I have to admit that it annoys me like crazy. I, in fact, agree that many Blacks have turned the word into a term of affection that means the complete opposite when used by an ‘outsider.’

My point is this: if you are not African American and have NOT experienced what it’s like to be Black in America- you shouldn’t say n****. Regardless of how you alternate the ending, there are some of us who cringe at hearing someone else use it. I’m not ashamed or afraid to admit that I’m most definitely one of those people.

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