A common greeting used among friends in the urban black community. The word nigga once had a negative connotation among our ancestors. It was a vile ethnic slur used to demean African slaves.
Our forefathers fought against segregation and racism. They did not see themselves as such, but as strong powerful men of integrity with a mission to change and open the eyes of the world on who we are as a race.
When did such a derogatory name for our race become fashionable and acceptable? Who was the enabler? Is it we the Negros or did we become complacent with the name the white man used to keep us in shackles?
The popularization of the “N” word is now becoming acceptable by our generation. It is part of our everyday vocabulary. We use it with innumerable variations; an exciting acknowledgement of a companion, as a word used to emphasize the disgusting ignorance of a male and sometimes even female or to express a state of disbelief.
Why then do we accept the definition of the word nigger as an ignorant, ghetto/hood individual, yet we call ourselves such?
Being from the Caribbean, the N word is not commonly used. My island Dominica is predominantly black, and growing up I never heard any elders or peers regard each other as such. The only time this word was used was on television and that it was never embedded in us to call each other such.
If a Caucasian person called one of the black race a nigger then he/she would be considered a racist, but if a white friend calls his black friend a nigga, it is acceptable. The N word is disparagingly offensive and the history of it validates this statement. The lynching and murdering of innocent black men women and children for fun, instilling fear and hate towards our race was the motive of our oppressors.
Rising above the N word and fulfilling the dream of our forefathers appears to be a dim prospect. We are easily influenced by what the media puts out on the glass screens for us. We should think and question, why are ghettos/ hoods profoundly highlighted to the public and black people are the victims of the lewdness. The gratification of our flaws has been embraced in movies and music alike. We do not see other races use offensive stereotypical names towards each other because they respect their race and do not see themselves as such.
I believe we have accepted the deterioration of our own kind, thus we call each other “nigger”. The fact that the word is being loosely used means that we do not respect the struggle and the hate our ancestors have gone through. Put a stop to the practice of emphasizing ourselves as the lower class, ignorant, uneducated and poor people the word defines us to be and elevate each other by regarding each other as brothers and sisters.
Our ancestors were kings and queens who ruled dynasties. Let us rise beyond the stereotype of a “nigger” and rule this generation with empowerment and show the strength of who we are as a unified race.
Mecka Darroux is a graduating senior business management major from the Caribbean island of Dominica.