Nigger…as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary:
usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a black person
usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a member of any dark-skinned race
: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons
BULLETIN: It does NOT matter how many of us erase it, it will still be used and referred to. This world is too corrupt for anything to change that. To ignore it is to become deluded into believing that this world will ever erase the lines of racial division long enough to truly respect each other. I had the dream, too…but reality is dictated daily.
My girl, Diva posted several statuses the other day and her purpose was to educate those willing to learn what she was teaching. I respect her immensely for taking the word out of her vocabulary and for reaching out to others to do the same. I overstand her objective, but it inspired me (being my naturally adversarial self) to question WHY we SHOULD remove this word from our vocabularies. It IS in the dictionary…but then so are a lot of words. I’ve been taught that words, nor things (and in some cases…people) aren’t bad or good. It’s the way we use them. It’s what we do with things…it’s how we behave as or treat people. Everything in moderation is a balanced civilization. White is no more a “good” or “perfect” word anymore than black is a bad or hateful word. You can say “white snow” and it infer pureness and then say, “white lie” and infer dishonesty. It is indeed how you use your words. We use “bitch”, “ass”, “cracker”, etc…and it can be a good or bad thing. We KNOW bitch is a female dog, ass is another word for donkey and cracker is a thin baked wafer used to snack on. We also know that bitch is used to degrade women, ass is used to describe someone of ill character and a cracker can be a slur for a White person. Are we removing these words from our vocabulary? Are they being voided completely?
I found a site called Race and History. There the original meaning of the word nigger is broken down to microscopic pieces. Click the link…I encourage you to take time out to read this page and give me some feedback about what you think. I read it and took lots of notes, but check what stood out to me:
The word nigger…is an English word derived from the Kemetic word n-g-r…which translates into “God”. It is very clear how the word looks like it sounds. The British heard the Kemetic (Egyptian) people calling one another this and adapted the word phonetically to describe darker people. I’m sure down the line, as battles for land and a people took place…the word became used in a negative way.
So, let me ask you this. If you educated yourself on what the word derives from…and even it’s derivative “nigga”…would you not agree that you are addressing people as “God”.
This is where I come and reconfigure my OWN analysis of this usage. I don’t refer to another human as “God”…but, I would and could respect the term being used to acknowledge the God IN us…since we’re made in his image and such. This isn’t about the reverence of our brothers and sisters and a placement of veneration. It is about turning a negative connotation into a positive affirmation. Empowering (do you see the word “emperor” in that word?). It’s about instilling the king and queen back into our culture with understanding and education. Validating our past and it’s impact on the now without losing the sense of respect we look to gain amongst one another. People will always disagree on this…hell, Oprah and Jay-Z went head to head about it on her show once. Two different generations…looking for the solution to a people’s pain from a single word.
So, if we’re really addressing the God in one another…and even the most ignorant of ANY race is acknowledging this as well, even without intending to do so…why again should we erase the word? Would it not be a form of denying our heritage and power?
Tell me…what do you think?