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Achly Esparra

Research Methods Class


The N Word Controversy
Seniors in the Advance Research Methods Class at Greater Egleston High School in
Roxbury, Massachusetts was given an assignment to research different cases, analyze different
articles, and discuss how the N word was used in the past and its current use and impact
amongst the younger generation. Throughout my research I have learned about different
emotions evoked within the older generation, and the response given by todays youth. My evoke
research comprised of a variety of topics like Amaduo Diallo, music lyrics by famous rap artist
and social injustices and different perceptions of minorities. All of these resources contributed to
my undecided stance on the N word. I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and every
individual`s right whether they are black or white to use whatever vocabulary, he or she chooses,
including the word Nigga.
In America, communities of color are given freedom with endless limitations that oppress
citizens from collectively functioning in society. As a minority I have experience many barriers
from by the government, my environment and the social class in which I was raised. The
government/ people with power judge us and even though society has developed through time,
the judgment towards minorities has not changed.
Amaduo Diallo a West African murders in 1999 by four off duty New York police
officers in plain clothes at the doorstep of his apartment, is a prime example of social corrupt
practices of the government, environment, and class systems in America. According to the New
York Times newspaper, the four police officers were in search of a serial killer that was out on
the loose around Diallos neighborhood, yet when the officers saw Diallo and pointed him as
acting Suspicious and they immediately. Fired a combined total 41 shots, 19 of which struck
Diallo.
Trevon Martin was murdered on February 26, 2012 by George Zimmerman a
neighborhood watch man. According to CNN News, Trevon Martin was walking home from the
store after he bought candy and a Arizona from a near bodega, apparently to Zimmerman,
Trevon looked suspicious, he called 911 operators and was told not to approach Martin.
Zimmerman disregarded the 911-dispatcher instructions and proceeded to follow Martin.
According to Zimmerman he shot Treyvon in self-defense. These cases had to do with African
Americans, dying at the hand of people of authority without a reasonable act.
In a diverse community minorities are often considered, incapable and ignorant, only
valuable when necessary. It was stated in the documentary The N Word, Divided We Stand that,
the highest black person cannot equal out to the lowest white person. Are we not all humans?
Is this statement even true? Is America no longer known as the land of the free? Throughout this
story, society has placed diverse communities in such a place of inferiority, that America has felt
the need to entitle our Caucasian counterparts as more superior than our diverse cultures.
The word Nigger has developed as a way to classify, and dehumanize minorities of their
identity making it okay to treat minorities as less than. Adolescents in the 21
st
Century have
developed a new meaning for Nigga defining it as a word of endearment, transforming it into an
expression of love for self-respect and identity.
I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and every individual`s right whether they are
black or white to use whatever vocabulary, he or she chooses, including the word Nigga.
Although the meaning of the word has changed, some people still say that there should be
a limit to who should have the right to say it. When African Americans or minorities suggest that
there should be a limit to who says the word, most of the time it means that they do not like when
Caucasians utter the word and a lot of the time it also means that the African American
community does not feel comfortable when someone out of their circle addresses them as
Niggas, despite the fact that a new definition developed.
From my experience with hearing the word all around me people seem to not get
offended by being called a Nigga. For example, my friends feel comfortable when called Niggas
because they know its another form of saying my friend, and or my home boy. In my
community, I heard many people say that Caucasians should not use the N word because they
might refer to the actual offensive word, Nigger and that they should be limited of the use of the
word.
In spite of their expression of having a limit to who says the word, and how they feel
when people outside of their group addresses them as Niggas, when it comes to music, they dont
identify nor feel uncomfortable when a popular rap or Hip-Hop artists refer to them or their race
as Niggas. YG, NAS, Trinidad James, Jay Z are some of the rap artist that say the word Nigga
many times in their songs. Minorities do not find this out the ordinary when listening to the song.
In fact, people support these artists. Surprisingly, many people who support this artist they utter
the word Nigga as many as 106 times in their songs, and sometimes the listener in left with not
even knowing the reasoning behind the artists use of the word. Rather it is, in a friendly or in a
derogatory way. The word became a paradox with too many contradictions to understand what is
right.
The follow interview is from Ms. Julie Coles; in the interview she explains her position
when it comes to the N word and her reasoning. Ms. Julie Cole is talking as an older
generation takes and sees the word know and then.