Nigger (usually offensive): noun | nig·ger | ni-gər
- A black person
- A member of any dark-skinned race
- A member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons
Nigga (slang; usually disparaging and offensive): noun | nig-uh
- A term used to refer to or address a black person.
- Mainly used among African Americans, but also among other minorities and ethnicities, in a neutral or familiar way and as a friend term of address.
I wanted to address the ongoing debate surrounding the word nigga/nigger. Apparently, they’re two different words with two different meanings, but both of them have the same negative undertone that can be offensive to the person on the receiving end.
According to African American Registry, “nigger defined, limited, made fun of, and ridiculed all Blacks. It was a term of exclusion, a verbal reason for discrimination. Whether used as a noun, verb, or adjective, it strengthened the stereotype of the lazy, stupid, dirty, worthless nobody.” However, with the advent of pop culture, the revised word “nigga” has become socially accepted in entertainment, storytelling, and in everyday life.
Some of you may feel that the word is only socially acceptable in the black community as a term of endearment. Wrong. The word is being used in front of everyone, therefore, it’s fair game. And if you needed further proof of that, check out the following clip that features comedian Larry Wilmore at this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner.
We did it, folks. The word nigga has made it to the White House, as a term of endearment of course. So there shouldn’t be anymore backlash behind the term, since it is ok to call the leader of the free world that word in an endearing way. Right?
I don’t have the patience to over analyze this word and the plethora of debates that have surrounded it, so I’m just going to say my piece and log off. I was taught that the word is offensive, I’ve seen in real life that the word is offensive, and I’ve researched the English meaning behind the word and it’s offensive. Therefore, I don’t understand why the word is so socially acceptable.
I’ve heard it in the barbershop, at cookouts, school, parking lots and in neighborhoods within the black community, and it has been used as a term of endearment. But once it’s used in front of and towards other races, then that pseudo power no longer belongs to the black community, it belongs to everyone. That’s right, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic and the likes can use the word however they please because the black community is no longer offended by it.
I consider myself a hypocrite because I’ve used the word more times than I can count. However, it was always used in a negative way and if I heard a non-black person say it, my blood would boil. I can’t do that anymore. This spoiled generation of mine have been the catalysts behind the disrespect of my ancestors. Our definition of power has become so nonsensical that I purposely don’t take the majority our rhetoric seriously.
I guess I have to tell myself that today is a new day and those unimaginable fights that my grandparents fought in regards to racism are in the past. As the rapper Common would say, let’s “extend a hand in love” and move on. Racism is a thing of the past and words are just words, they don’t mean anything. Right?
Define Nigga at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2016, from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/nigga
Definition of Nigger by Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nigger
Nigger (The Word), A Brief History. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2016, from http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/nigger-word-brief-history