Stop Saying the N-Word Just to Sound Cool

It seems like practically every teenager gets a high from saying it as loud as they can.
by Gaby Agbulos   |  Jul 6, 2017
Image: Unsplash
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Nigger (or the n-word) is a term that was used as far back as the 1570s, where it was a neutral term used by non-black people with no harmful or hostile content. The term simply meant "black." However, somewhere along the way, its meaning has become corrupted by the tongues and actions of others, and is now a word heavy with the history and suffering of generations of black people.

By the early 1800s, the word suddenly meant something negative. For centuries, white people colonized black people and turned them into slaves, turning them into a symbol of laziness and stupidity. A white man would be called John but if he were black, he would be referred to as N*gger John. What was once an innocent word became a word for spite and ridicule among other races, but amongst black people? The term means friend. It means someone meeting someone that they know understands the struggle they go through every day simply because of the color of their skin. It means they understand.

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However, this word seems to have become extremely popular with the Filipino youth, and it seems like practically every teenager gets a high from saying it as loud as they can. It's become such a popular word in songs and in the mainstream media that a lot of non-black people simply think it's okay to say it whenever they like. They use it to call their friends or post on Twitter and other socials, they shout it out as loud as they can when listening to rap songs, and just say it carelessly without even seeming to realize the true meaning behind it.

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This word seems to have become extremely popular with the Filipino youth, and it seems like practically every teenager gets a high from saying it as loud as they can.

For many, the idea that they use to keep saying the n-word is because if black people can use it, why can't the rest of the human race?

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The n-word is a word that, for any race other than black people, will always have a negative connotation. We as other races have not experienced what they have experienced, and we have not felt what generations of their people have felt. We do not have the right to pretend like we know their pain, and we most definitely do not have the right to steal their words and claim it as if they're our own.

Referring to your friends with the n-word or feeling too lazy to stop yourself from saying it when singing along to songs is a blatant way of disrespect towards black people, and it's something that everyone needs to be aware of.

To cut it short, black people calling other black people the n-word is okay because they have faced the same struggles and hardships of living in a world where, until now, they are discriminated against simply because of the color of their skin. It is not and never will be the same experience for anyone else; it's not for Asians or any other person of color, and is especially not for white people. Regardless of if a black person gives you "permission" to say it, or if you're in a crowd of people rapping along and bopping to a Kendrick Lamar tune, there is no need for you to ever say it.

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Other races keep using the n-word and appropriating black culture, yet they go silent when they hear another innocent black person has been shot by yet another white cop. They turn the other cheek when they hear their aunts and uncles talking about how the world would be better off without them. They laugh off their privilege as if it's impossible for a black person not to get the same opportunities as someone that's white, and think that white privilege is just something black people made up because they're bitter at not getting things they want. Everyone wants so badly to be black until they actually realize what black people have to endure every day.

So the next time you want to nonchalantly slip the n-word into your conversation, try to imagine just how much damage the words you say can actually bring unto others.

Think of how you're continuously promoting the disrespect and misuse of this certain word, of the disrespect you're bringing to all the generations of black people that have endured so much hatred and intolerance, just you can get your stereotypical black guy joke across.

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About the author
Gaby Agbulos
Candymag.com Correspondent
Gaby Agbulos is a strong, determined spirit that enjoys doing anything as long as the people she loves with her. She enjoys listening to music, writing stories, and meeting new friends, especially if by friends, you mean puppies.
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