What disturbs me is how mainstream the use of the “N” word has become. This reverse psychology that the African American community has adopted concerning its use has now made it acceptable for other minority cultures to use it as well. Where is the regard for the origin of the term within our society and the pain of its history? How could such a word that was birthed solely to dehumanize an entire people be joyous to use? If ignorance is bliss, then knowledge must consume and subdue it.
Often, I find myself guilty of using the word “nigga” as if it was simply a friendly nickname or slang that I picked up from my neighborhood. Frequently, I find myself answering to the word as though my parents lovingly called me this instead of the name they blessed me with at birth. Seldom do I hear, see or experience the refusal to accept being a nigga within our communities. What I DO see is the word being thrown around as though there was never a multitude of lives lost due coloreds being called nigga. Historically, this word has enslaved too many men and women of color to still be used today for any reason.
Eventually a bridge must be built between the generations of today and those of yesteryears that brings into focus the reality of the state of our communities. I am disgusted when I hear Latinos calling themselves “niggas” as though it has earned them a badge of honor or as though they have transcended the pain that the word has caused blacks in this country for years. It saddens me to see men and women of color with influence in pop culture continue to live two lives: in one they speak as though they are among the educated and well versed and another where they condone the systematic ignorance of an oppressive culture.
Never as a young man did I believe that when I studied about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall and the influential list of others who devoted their lives to foster equality for our race, did I image that my generation would be the saliva that constantly spits on their legacy and defiles their monumental efforts.