I don’t really care what anybody says, it is not really okay for black people/African Americans to use nigga. It is definitely NOT okay for you to say it if your family did not come over to America on slave ships. But everybody wants to feel at ease with black culture, like they can own co-opt everything (especially our most controversial then use it without social consequences). That’s fine, I believe in cultural exchange, borrowing, ethnic and religious pluralism. But this is where I draw the line in the sand. Maybe there should be a jar where everytime someone drops the word nigga they put a dollar in for the the United Negro College Fund, better yet the Uhuru Movement. Every time a rap artist or some cat in the street says it in public, it has a cost for me. It has a cost in how I’m perceived as a Black woman, in how I have to work everyday to counter stereotypes, generalizations. It has a cost to me everyday because I have to work to raise the self esteem of the little boys and girls in my family and community telling them that they are not niggas, but human beings. So all you cats who use nigga, but don’t bear the burden of countering that image need to pay up, because I’m working my ass off to counter the niggerization of people of African descent each and everyday.
So, it doesn’t matter if your black boyfriend says it, or you hear it like a mantra in your rap music…you’re just showing how little respect you have for Black people and the depths of your ignorance about the issues that we face.
Here’s a little story brought to you by Black History Month, shortest month of the year:
Teacher uses racial epithet toward student
Valley High teacher Paul Dawson earns 10-day suspension for incident, but impact is far-reaching