The End Of the N Word

The End Of the N Word

Last week I found out who Riley Cooper was (even as a hardcore NFL fan I didn’t know him), and what he said and all the pundits and sports media debated about what his punishment should be and how his future might look like.

But there is one thing that is completely clear out of all of this.

No one should use the N word anymore.

Not hip hop artists.

Not brothas on the corner.

Not racists.

Not my father & my brother.

Not me.

And I am a black man.

The word needs to be taken out of circulation and vocabularies everywhere effective immediately.

Now this is not a new idea, in 2007 the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) local chapter in Detroit, had a funeral for the N Word, coffin, eulogy and all.

It comes down to this, its not acceptable for any ethnicity to have ownership of a word (and one that is so negative and heavy with bad history), and then wishes to crucify anyone that uses that word BUT we freely uses the same word as a synonym for person or worse as a term of endearment.

Why would we a people that has a well documented history of over 400 years of oppression even want that word around, much less have it in music, movies and coming out of our own mouths with such prevalence?

The word was started to be used against us. Do we have some sort of Stockholm Syndrome that now its “our word” ? To top that we then go all “civil rights” on people who are not allowed to use the word.

I can’t go 20 minutes without hearing that word on satellite radio on the hip hop stations. And now hearing that word used with such abundance in hip music and its so casual bothers me.

I openly admit I used to use that word a lot and so do my friends and relatives but then I married someone of a different background and realized I needed to stop (and trust me its not easy), because we do feel like it is “our word”, but its not.

That word represents Jim Crow, lynchings, slavery, 3/5 of a man, the untrue “separate but equal” and a very violent, negative and painful past that black people have. Now all of us have been called that word in its true negative context and we all have plenty of hard times with racism that we carry around with us, its part of who we are and what we go through.

Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others were killed trying to further the progress of civil rights, to use the n word is a disgrace to their legacies and the effort they died for.

But as for the n word we need to let it go today. To give ourselves freedom, to move forward and leave all that hate behind. Yes we were done wrong (and still are), yes this nation was built (especially the south), on our backs but the 14th Amendment (at least on paper), granted us freedom. We need to grant our own liberty and turn our backs on that word and all it stands for.

There is a black man in the White House who is not a butler, he is the most powerful man in the free world, we wouldn't dare call him the n word out of respect.

The same goes for all of us, we’re better than that, if we want to own something from our past, its that in the words of the hip hop great Nas “we have the blood of slaves but heart of a king”, we need to look at our past and use that as motivation to be great but n word must stay behind.

This is about owning ourselves, our future and those of our children, and there is no room for the n word.

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    Charles W. Johnson

    I'm a lifelong writer (since I was 8 years old), and have been doing this blog in some form or fashion since 2004. I'm a DePaul University alum (LA&S '99), and know and love Chicago. Writing is my passion, what I write is what I feel, know and have experienced. I simply want to share my thoughts, experiences and opinions. And I appreciate you taking to the time to read what I have to say.

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