Do black people have some kind of copyright on using the "N" word (serious question)?
I was talking to a black co-worker the other day, telling him about how I introduced my grandpa to "n*g**g*3*r music." It was just a joke. I put on some rap music in my grandpa's truck to show him how black people like to rock or "jam" to their favorite songs. My grandpa calls black people the "N" word all the time (that's just how he was raised) so that's why I used the word in the story. I told my co-worker the story because I thought it was funny but he quickly got offended by me using the "N" word. He said that the word "offends him and many other people" and went on to lecture me about a bunch of random stuff. But I always hear other blacks at the job call each other that word, so I don't see what the big deal is? Why is it OK for them to say it but then they get upset when us whites use the word? That's a double standard. Black people don't have a monopoly on using the "N" word?
- Andy FLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
I know black people who hate the "N word," no matter who uses it. Arguably, when black people use it to refer to themselves as individuals, or to each other, it perpetuates "internalized racism," the anti-black racism of black people who have come to accept a white racist view of themselves as bad or inferior or criminal, and who therefore hate themselves at some level.
OTOH, I've met other black people who will use the "N word" themselves, but would be highly offended if a white person like me used the word to describe them.
The problem with the word is that historically, it's often been used by racist white people in a hostile and derogatory way -- been used as a racist insult directed at black people.
When most black people hear a white person use the word today, I think it evokes all that racist and often violently racist history. When a white person calls a black person a "N****r," I think most black people take that as a deliberate insult, if not a threat.
Some black people use the word to refer to themselves and to other black people, however, for the same reason that the rebellious American colonists in 1776 began calling themselves "Yankee Doodle Dandy." The "Yankee Doodle" term was originally a British insult targeted at American patriots. The patriots responded by adopting the name for themselves -- as a way of defusing the insult.
In similar fashion, there are gay activists who call themselves "queers" or "fags" or "dykes," but enormously resent heterosexuals calling them these names. There are Jews I've met who sometimes will use anti-Semitic insults to refer to themselves, and I'm sure there are white southerners who call themselves "rednecks" but hate it when any outsider calls them that.
In all these cases, if you want to avoid offending the person you're talking to, I think you should call them by whatever polite, widely accepted term that they choose for themselves. Using the traditional insult that members of the group have chosen to claim for their own is risky, and it's easy to offend people and anger them without meaning any harm.
Your grandfather, of course, is probably not going to change. But YOU can change, and make sure you don't call your coworker by the "N word."
And yes, it is a double standard. But in real life, we run into double standards all the time. This one really isn't hurting you any as a white person, just asking you to think a little before using the same vocabulary that your grandpa does. Although it's a bit of a nuisance for you as a white person to observe the double standard, you can learn to do so pretty easily. So why not do it?
- WeRthe99%Lv 69 years ago
"My grandpa calls black people the "N" word all the time (that's just how he was raised)"
So that makes using the "N word" OK or right ????? Pfft ! Your grandfather is a BIGOT pure and simple! Yeah, go ahead and get offended because I told the TRUTH I don't care pfft. Do Whites have a copyright on "h0nkie" (which is not as bad as the 'N' word)? Try calling the mostly White people here that word, and see how long your post stays up. Pigs here call Blacks the "N" word all the time here, and their posts stay up even though I know they have been reported by people. But I only see ONE bigot here sometimes typing about "white puntas" or however you spell it. And those posts are deleted IMMEDIATELY! Now what does that tell you? If you can answer honestly that is. Tells me that YA is very biased, ... towards Whites. And ALL Black people don't call each other that disgusting slur. You LIE pfft.
- 7 years ago
Surely, if it "TRULY" is "OK" to demean, diminish, invalidate or attempt to reduce societal perception of self, "self-esteem"...then by all means we should use such terms across the board, and direct such vernacular to "all" cultures.
Perhaps we can create a name for those that created the N-word. How about OrigaNigga?
That way, those without a functioning Pineal gland can take part of the fun. After all, those with ancestors having survived an ICE age emerged with a heightened survival instinct. Thus evolving integrating into their culture and society an "exclusive" paradigm, which while Incrementally lowering self-esteem across all cultures does seem to help stimulate the economy,while those emotionally retarded or in acute psychic pain either try to fill that void with plastic surgery, vehicles, jewels or via sadistic behavior directed at family or strangers work at filling that void. After all, a progressive culture certainly can not be expected to encourage society to like themselves? To be proud of their individuality, that is threatening to a harsh and fixed standard. Gosh, we might actually be happier, less likely to take drugs, drink or torture some innocent family member.
We all should, continue to teach children that they must in order to retain "our" illusions: we must hate and degrade those that we have in the past hurt, and abused. After all, that is the "foundation" which makes America ...great? America home of the N-word a jewel in the crown; a supposedly superior vocabulary for the proud nation.
- DarrenLv 69 years ago
Perhaps you've never heard the expression "I can make fun of my cousin, but you can not." Italian Americans will make Dago jokes, Mexican Americans make ******* jokes, Cajuns make Coon-*** jokes and so forth. Many of those folks would take offense if others did so. The reason Chris Rock gets away with n*****r jokes is the same reason Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy get away with redneck jokes. It's not a double standard, it just comes off as fun and not mean spirited when we make fun of ourselves.
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- TorgoLv 79 years ago
Did you know that back in the 30's, some people referred to swing as being N-music? That's right, Glenn Miller was a white N*****!
- mimiLv 69 years ago
I was raised to never say this word as it was told to me that it was degrading.So if blacks are saying it to each other, I would just have to say that they are just degrading each other.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Dude, you totally have the right to say whatever you want about any group, no matter how offensive it may be. That is YOUR right as an American. Besides, you and your grandfather both sound like white trash. I’m sure most Americans don’t expect people like you to act civil toward others anyway.
- niHilLv 69 years ago
Have you ever watched the Boondocks?
- 9 years ago
When in doubt, just keep your mouth shut.... which for you should be most of the time.
- The GladiatorLv 59 years ago
Umm. ok. Last time i checked, that was the only advantage of being black. Want to trade places? You say the "N word", and Ill raise interest rates.