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Western culture. We all know that the N word is demeaning. But it is merely a slang term for the B word. The real problem is the B word. "Black" is the English translation for the Spanish "Negro", coined by the Conquistadores during the Slave Trade. The word “Black” was coined by a European tribe as a codeword for describing an African tribe as the "dirty" ones. It is a word steeped in contempt. Nothing good can come of its continued use. Its the antecedent of "color prejudice". Nigger is merely the crude patois for negro. Therefore these terms all mean the same thing. The real issue is not propriety of linguistic expression, i.e. whether a person is put down in proper English or in patois, but rather the meaning or intention behind such expressions. It is a bad habit to call a person black; or white. These are demeaning stereotypes. The very concept of race is erroneous. There is one race: Homo Sapiens. We have a family of mankind divided into tribes ( or ethnic groups if you prefer the more modern term). What is called racism is more properly defined merely as tribalism - a habit that has existed for millennia. People tend to be more sympathetic to familiar faces and antipathetic to the less familiar ( note general attitudes of Arab vs Jew, Hutu vs Tutsi, Irish vs English, Korean vs Japanese, and so on) a practice against which protest is an impotent defense and one which is assumed from a position of weakness. One tribe should never internalize the name calling assaults by another tribe, or expect them to voluntarily desist. Through inertia we have accepted "Black" as an innocuous part of common parlance, but its apparent innocence is what allows it to sit like toxic waste in the vernacular poisoning the self regard of individuals from one generation to the next because, as a man thinketh, so is he. Indeed, I find a preoccupation among many of my friends to find any excuse to mechanically bring up a discussion based on skin color and the use of the B concept or its derivatives. If this practice resulted from an infernal computer virus that had been programmed into the language by some diabolical mind long ago and designed to reinforce itself in defiance of all efforts to eradicate it, it couldn't be more subtly intransigent than the reality. The N word is not as insidious as the B word because it calls attention to itself as being vulgar and antisocial. On the contrary, the B word has become palatable. The politically correct alternative "African-American" is too cumbersome and artificial to be practical. Psychological inertia is the main problem. Inertia is a physical and psychological phenomenon. It requires enormous effort to counteract psychological inertia, but there are ways. Through conscious effort we can individually desist from this toxic language. In any case why is it necessary to distinguish people on the basis of their physical appearance? What distinguishes the human being from his beastly aspect are his higher attributes, such as the contents of his character, and not his physique or complexion. One therefore, pays homage to this fact by addressing an individual on the basis of his higher attributes. For instance, its a compliment to regard a person in terms of
his culture or style since these are accomplishments. Hence, we regard a person appropriately as a Brazilian man, a Jewish woman, a Catholic Priest etc. A person can be proud of his accomplishments.
On the contrary, one debases a person by limiting his focus on the physical plane thus ignoring those attributes. It is less acceptable to regard a person on the baser physical plane such as: a fat woman, a short man, a white man or, a black woman. To illustrate, it is easier to strike up a conversation with a person of quality by expressing admiration of her style than of her physique. These latter descriptions do not pay homage to one's humanity or one's individuality, but rather objectifies the individual. Therefore it is always demeaning to consider a person in such terms, even if that person is oneself. Furthermore, a person is never justified in being "proud" of his physical attributes since he cannot take credit nor blame for them. Thus, to say, for example: "I'm black and I'm proud, is nonsense. While one cannot oblige other people to desist from this terrible habit, one can set an example by obliging oneself to desist; One person at a time. until through benign neglect, the issue of color becomes moot. Its the only solution. Remember, MLK " : ...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged (i.e regarded) by the color of their skin but by the content of their character..."