Before we can fully understand why white or any other race except the black race should not say the N-word, we must first take a look at the history of the N-word. People will argue that it is the intent behind the word that matters but the fact remains that the N-word has a very dark origin. It did not start off as a positive word and in quite a lot of exchanges between black and white people to present day it still is not used in a positive or friendly manner.
The N-word is a derived from the Spanish/Portuguese word Negro and it was originally a racial slur targeted towards black people. Before and even after slavery was abolished, the N-word was and is still used derogatorily towards black. So, it does not matter what the intent of the white person was. A white person saying the N-word whether to a black person or amongst other white people is offensive and wrong. Every time a white person says the N-word it reverts back to its original state – a word of contempt, violence as well as a reminder of the pain and suffering of slavery. Now that we have a general understanding of the N-word we can move on to the subject of debate. There are several reasons why white people think they can say the N-word and some of them are:
1. The first reason some white people give is that slavery happened a long time ago and everyone has moved on from it. There is no racist act more dangerous than pretending it doesn’t exist. Racism exists and even though there might not be public lynching or slaughters, it doesn’t mean racism suddenly disappeared. People who grew up in slave shacks are still alive. Ruby Bridges, the first person to attend an all-white school is only 64 years old. Rosa Parks, the woman who refused to vacate her seat in the colored section for a white person in a bus that was already segregated which happened in 1955 and that was 63 years ago. Apartheid was removed from the South African constitution in 1991, only 28 years ago. Before then there were still white only areas.
Racism does still exist today so it is not a thing of the past. For a white person to claim the that history behind the N-word is long gone which now they are free to use the word is wrong. It is not a justifiable reason.
2. The second reason is actually more ludicrous than the first. Some white people think that because they know a black person they can say the N-word and not be racist. This is when you hear things like “My boyfriend is black, I can’t be racist,” that statement is false. We have white mothers or fathers trying to suppress the black heritage of their biracial children. Children who are forced to bleach their skin and perm their hair. It doesn’t matter if your uncle’s friend’s boss’ girlfriend is black or if your dad’s coworker is black or even if your stepmother is black, if you are white you still cannot say the N-word.
3. Another excuse used is the environment they grew up in. If the white person grew up in a mixed community with Blacks, Latinos, Asians etc, they may feel like it is normal to say the N-word because they grew up around so many people saying the N-word. It is true that no one is born completely knowledgeable but once you find out that the only people who are allowed to say the N-word are black people you should immediately stop using that word. It is wrong to keep using the word and then defending your racist actions by saying you grew up saying it and that you can’t stop because it is a part of you. Anyone can change if he or she put his or her mind to it.
4. Some white people say the N-word because they know they can get away with saying it. They are in such a position that no one would be able to question them and it is because of this reason that they do so or simply because they can.
5. Some white people argue that if the N-word is bad then everyone including blacks should stop saying it. Out of all the reasons we have discussed, this may actually be the worst reason. The N-word was taken from the whites by the blacks and turned into a slang, into something somewhat positive. Taking what was used against you and turning around using it in your favour. It is true that the problem could be solved if everyone stopped saying it, but this is such a childish reason. It is just like stomping your foot down and screaming that if you can’t have it no one else will. Fighting for something that isn’t yours and when people tell you that you have no claim or say get over it, you throw a fit.
If you noticed, these reasons are all connected by one single similarity. White people put the blame on someone or something else, using excuses such as music which puts the blame on the artist or saying it is because of how they grew up which puts the blame on the community. There are some white people that are not ignorant and they know it is wrong but they purposely refuse to stop using the N-word. There is only one rule when it comes to using the N-word and it is not a hard rule to follow. It doesn’t have any loopholes or untied endings. If you are not black you cannot and should not say the N-word no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you’re rapping while taking a shower or in public with friends or at a concert, it is wrong. It is disrespectful and it is racist in nature. Racism comes in various degrees, it is not until a white person kills a black person solely because they are black that they will be called racist. It starts like this, with what some would call the minor issue of the N-word.
Encourage Yourself: WHY SOME WHITE PEOPLE THINK IT’S OKAY TO SAY THE N-WORD. Just so you know, It is not okay to say this word, at any time. I am sadden by the fact that so many think that it is okay, it will never be okay. Christians should never use this word.