What's Happening in the World

That Oh So Loaded Word

The N-word is one of the most potent words of all time. There are different variations in spellings that some say changes the meaning. The most common forms are N***a and N***er. The first is used as a term of endearment or friendship while the latter is a derogatory term used towards black people and sometimes other minorities. The definition of N***er is “Extremely Disparaging and Offensive; a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of any racial or ethnic origin regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant, etc.” This is such a loaded word because of the context in which it was first used. The term rose to prominence during the African Slave Trade, westernization, and the Civil Rights Movement. Also, white slave owners used the word to refer to their slaves. It was and still is used as a demeaning term. It is all about the context with this word.
Here is where my problem lies, who has the right to use this word? No one and I do mean no one should be using the word N***er. It is offensive and if you are using it, you are using it with the intentions to hurt someone’s feelings and be disrespectful. So that leaves the word N***a up for discussion. This word is typically used by African Americans and sometimes Latino communities. In fact, many people who are foreign to America use this word because that is how America is portrayed overseas. It’s used a lot in music, like rap, and entertainment. Many black people have chosen to use this word in hopes of reclaiming the word and taking away the hateful meaning and connotations associated with it. In theory, that seems like a good idea if you take away the negative connotation then you can also take away the power of the word, which leads to the next question: if people are trying to take away the negativity of the word should everyone be able to use the word? I personally think if you are outside of the black community you should not be able to use that term.
So do you think we should get rid of the N-word altogether? Do you think the word should be used just by the black community or that everyone should be able to use it? Do you think ultimately the word can lose its negative connotation? Can such a loaded word be transformed? Only time will tell.


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