The most damaging, hurtful and anger sparking word in the history of the English language is “nigger”. It’s been used to degrade and in some cases dehumanize blacks in particular, but also other ethic groups of color. With this in mind, how much does the word really offend Blacks? Is there a double-standard so far as who uses the word, who they say it to, in what capacity they say it? For example, for decades in our music, films, periodicals, conedy and everyday talk in a many African American circles the term is used among Blacks with no ill will or offense taken. To some, its even a term of endearment of sorts. Tupac Shakur made an acronym using the word to change its negativity to a positive (Never Ignorant Gettin’ Goals Accomplished).
So how does that change when a white person uses it? Is it not the same word, same meaning? How one feels about the word and its use, largely depends on their family background, environment, age group and experiences. Are Blacks truly less sensitive about the “N” word as long as another Black person is saying it? If so, is this really acceptable and what kind of message does it send? Is it the equivalent to women calling each other “bitches” and “whores” in conversation, yet should a man refer to them as such he’s “calling them out of their name” ?
It is ironically a sensitive, yet intense subject. Recently on The View, co-hosts Barbara Walters and Sherri Shepherd debated the issue. What are YOUR thoughts?