Please Be Advised – This posting contains frank, and too many, offensive language.
This blog posting originally appeared when Jesse Jackson referred to President Obama as a nigger. Jackson was wrong to use this vile word in the context that he did. Recently, President Obama used the word “nigger” during an interview (http://tinyurl.com/pvn6eut). President Obama used the word in a proper, historical context, and should not be criticized.
The recent “hot mic” video, featuring Jesse Jackson uttering the word nigger, and the on-air discussion at “The View,” where Whoopi and Sherri Shepard tried to justify the word’s use, has a lot of people talking once again about the exploitation of the word. It is a conversation that is confusing and scary to many people and is divided along racial AND political lines.
I purposely did not use the “N-word” reference, which is often bandied about when people try to have a discussion regarding the word nigger. The “N-word” reference plays right into the debate of who can use the word nigger? Is it that no one can use the word, everyone can use the word, or just certain people can use the word? Contrary to the current argument (which is just an extension of the same old argument) words are not owned by any one person or collection of people. The meaning of a word is determined by what the majority of society commonly assigns to that word. The word nigger has been rightly classified as one of those words that are so filled with hatred it does not belong in everyday language. That is not to say it shouldn’t be spoken, but it should only be used in a setting that respects the word’s negative connotation.
I detest the word nigger, like I despise most obscene language. But the word nigger is much more offensive, regardless of who is using it. The word nigger is so deeply rooted in human depravity and societal oppression it should only be used in the context of a historical understanding. The word nigger is directly connected to one of America’s greatest failures, slavery. The word nigger was meant to move an entire class of people to the category of “sub-human,” and regardless of how some people try to spin it, the word will always represent the subjugation of African-Americans. By believing that you can use the word to mean something different DOES NOT remove its roots in an evil institution, an institution that violates every principle that natural law stands for.
How ignorant is it for us to debate the vileness that the word nigger communicates? I place the word nigger right up there with cunt. Imagine if it became commonplace for women to refer to each other as cunts, but in their context, the significance was meant as a friendly greeting between women. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But then add a rule that ONLY women can use the word cunt, and that if anyone else (meaning: non-woman) dared to use the word, it would be deemed offensive. Sounds even more ridiculous. Both words are hateful and are meant to humiliate and cause pain. So why would we want these words to remain a part of our everyday language? The answer is simple, we wouldn’t.
We are doomed as a culture if we decide that it is alright to segregate language but then expect equality everywhere else. If an entire segment of our society chooses to use the word nigger, then demands that the word has a different meaning when used by others, then it is an affirmation to the obscenity of the word. Try as you might, you will NEVER be able to separate the cruel history of the term nigger by trying to apply your definition to the word. You will only allow the word to live on beyond its tainted uselessness.
The path to the origin of the word nigger is simple to trace. The word nigger starts with a group of people being stolen from their homeland and shipped to a foreign land. The word nigger was used as those very same people were paraded around and sold like livestock. The word nigger was used when families were separated for the sake of evil commerce. The word nigger was used while the slaves were whipped, beaten, raped, and maimed because they were deemed as nothing more than a “piece of property. “ The word nigger was used to keep an entire race “in their place” after their “emancipation.” That is the history of the “N-word.” Not the Black history, not the White history, but the true history. No good can come from trying to attach a different meaning to the word. The word nigger is an ugly scab on America, and each time the word nigger is used we reopen that wound.