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The n-word (anonymous response)

The n-word (anonymous response)


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Published by John Robinson
This is a response to an article from a good friend who wishes to remain anonymous. I appreciate his input, opinion, and his wishes.
This is a response to an article from a good friend who wishes to remain anonymous. I appreciate his input, opinion, and his wishes.

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Published by: John Robinson on Aug 01, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The N-Word I recently had a black friend ask my opinion as to the use of the n-word in modern society.

To put it more bluntly, the question is how do I feel when I hear the word nigger used today? I contemplated for a few days on how to respond. I am known to be blatantly honest even when my opinions shock or surprise others. The decision was mine to make. Do I go hard and hope to reach or change someone, or do I keep it gentle and center of the road as not to offend anyone. As you read you’ll see that I do not believe I can change anyone in today’s society nor do I care what society thinks of me, so I am going to keep this piece honest and let the chips fall were they may so to speak. Nigger- Originally simply a dialectal variant of negro, the term nigger is today acceptable only in Black English; in all other context it is now generally regarded as virtually taboo because of the legacy of racial hatred that underlies its history of use among whites and its continuing use among a minority of speakers as a vicious hostile epithet. Webster’s New World College Dictionary 4th Ed. Now the original Mr. Webster is long since dead but I am sure there were many English professors to comb over the entire dictionary giving their input. I believe these men are wrong in saying that the word nigger is acceptable in any form. I am sure in their minds they are simple recording established fact, but the word nigger to me is a negative word that should be put in the past and kept there. Everyone reading this will have a slightly different take on the word and who should or shouldn’t have the right to use it. It is like this. Equality is equality. If anyone has the right to use a word then everyone does. Does equality not cut both ways? Does equality only apply to the terms and rights that blacks feel are good,or to everyone? The truth is no one should use the word; it takes all races back to a darker time when the word was used for property not as a term of endearment for a friend or as a code word for a fellow participant in the struggle. Now to the parts that are going to offend a few of you who are reading these pages. In my last sentence I called a previous period in time a darker time, and just this past week congress gave a formal apology for this nation’s treatment of blacks in the past. I DO NOT APOLOGIZE. Now if you stopped reading right there you’d think I was a racist, but I’m not. I simply was not alive at the time. I had nothing to do with what happened. I am not ashamed. It was not MY actions that are in question. I also saw a few black leaders call for reparations. Are today’s blacks really owed anything? Ask yourself did you work? Was anything taken from you such as land or belongings? Was it all of America that placed blacks into slavery or various companies that are now out of business? Do I think it was right? Absolutely not but then again I wasn’t brought up in that culture. Were I born 150 years ago I might well have been as guilty as my ancestors.

As it is I am approaching 40. I went to school in a rural part of the deep-south. I lived in a single wide house trailer for a time. When I looked to the right and left all through school there were black, brown and white children on all sides of me. My high school principle and multiple teachers were black. I thank my teachers of all races whenever I see them. We were all offered the same teachers and text books. Now I will not argue that some racism applies to darker skinned individuals in some cases as they look for work. I am not a black man I have not felt what is like and can not intelligently argue that there is or isn’t any racism in various work places. I will say that if I were a business owner that someone who comes to a job interview in a suit and tie, no matter the race, is going to get the job before someone who came in “sagging” with tons of “bling” on with a fifteen year old car in the parking lot jacked up on dubs with the latest “kill the police” rap song still blaring on the system even though no one is in the car. All I can give is a modern day white mans point of view. I myself have been discriminated against many times, but as a white man I had to travel overseas to experience the worst of it. In America racism has snuck up on me and moved on before I could even see it coming. I have seen middle aged black women walk straight out of the door at department stores and give me a look daring me to hit them as they step out in front of my car. I have seen black men my age in stores ignore me and say good morning to other black people in line. I’ve seen black mothers try and start racial issues at high school athletic events where there obviously wasn’t an issue. But I ignore these trivial things. It is beneath me. Do I care? Not really. I won’t try to equate these minor things to being made to use a back entrance or sit on the back of a bus, but it is racism is it not? (By the way Rosa Parks is not a hero in my eyes either. She was placed on the bus with a plan by the NAACP who already had lawyers in place to defend her. It was about time that someone did what she did, but heroic? No.) It comes to this. We are all equal when it comes to rights. Our country has moved past these issues and they should be put to bed. All men were not created equal. Some of us white, black, brown, or mixed have talents that others do not have. They vary from athletic to academic. It may seem like I’m putting down the “lesser thans” but no matter what race they are, the world needs ditch diggers too. Given all the rights that we share as a nation I believe it is up to the individual and to a lesser degree the parents of an individual to create bright futures in life. You get what you settle for. No matter your race, if your lot in life is not what you wanted look inward not outward. Did you study as hard as you should have? Did you make the best decisions coming out of high school? Ask yourself if you are happy. If you are not, ask yourself why. Many of us will blame it on money, and opportunities not afford to us. Few Americans will blame themselves for anything bad in their life it is generally someone else at fault. I applaud the civil rights acts of the 50s and 60s. I do believe that all men should start on an even playing field, and I believe that today’s society is about as

close to an even field as you can get. If you are any race and 40 years old or younger and your think that Americans as a whole owe you anything at all that you yourself didn’t work for you are dead wrong and all of the finger pointing the world won’t change that fact. As for the n-word, if you can say it I can say it. Are we equal or not?

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