This past Monday, my cousin and I were having a discussion on this particular word. I normally fall into the camp that believes that word shouldn't never be uttered. Let alone by the African American youths, and in come cases grown ass adults, that have made the word such a popular statute within our culture. However, my cousin made a rather compelling argument.
Me: What have I told you about using that word?
Cousin: Yes, I know. However, there are some black people that deserve to be called N*ggers.
Cousin: Think about it. People who live around here - *waves hand indicating the rest of the block* - N*ggers. People who go to The Club - N*ggers. There are just some people who play the part, so they deserve the title. You're not a N*gger. I'm not a N*gger. But they are.
Took me awhile to get over that bit of the conversation, but when I thought more and more about it, I saw his point. There are those who just simply fall into the stereotypical atmosphere that the word creates.
Is this by any means right? No, but it is what it is. It is far more realistic to deal with the nature of the word than to just hopefully wish it away.
So then, seeing as how people are black folks are going to use the word from now to kingdom come, what does this mean for racial interactions? How can I say anything about perceived racism towards my race when I use a word that has historically been used to degrade my very people?
I couldn't, shouldn't and can't say a damned thing. I would be doing a lot more damage to my own cause than any little overzealous cop who, let's say, gets his kicks by pulling over as much black males as he can in a day. I would be perpetuating the very set of social norms that I say helps to confine me to - abstractly speaking - the hood.
I will now step off my soapbox - the point has been made. Before crying racial fowl - which DOES still exist - please look at your own habits and find where you are slipping up. Finally, here are reasons why not to be a n*gger. Especially a self-proclaimed one. Oh how I hate those...
Update: Click here for an additional video that drives the message right on home even more.