Tonight on CNN my old love Don Lemon (actually he will always have my heart, he is so cute), will have a special over the word NIGGER. My new love Marc Lemont Hill, will add his clever expertise to the topic. I find it charming that CNN is having a special highlighting this topic.
I hate this term, I hate black people using it around non-blacks and even more I hate people who are not black using this term. No what I really hate, Black people letting non-blacks call them a nigger. I will admit, I have said this term in my angry sista girl tone, such as ” that trifling nigga”, yes I am, besides myself in those moments, but lets remember I AM BLACK. There are a few stipulations to my use of this term:
- alone in my car
- around my BLACK girlfriends
- never say it around friends nor strangers who do not share my ethnicity.
- Never use in public
When I was teaching in the public school system, this word was used more often then bitch, fuck, ass, motherfucker and shit combined. The bigger issue than the students of all races using this term (“I’m a Asian Nigga”; one girl told me), are the adults who hear them us it and never reprimand them. I would hear a student say “Bitch Ass Nigga” and a teacher would yell at the student for saying bitch but never mention the Nigger part. At first, this shocked the hell out of me, but I noticed after a few months in that environment, I became numb to the word as well. I would always make it a point to say, “that word is never allowed in my classroom nor in my presence”; that was, as much influence as I could extend. The day I knew anything I said wouldn’t matter, was the day I watched a BLACK student laugh when I discussed the transatlantic slave trade and he said ” that’s when them niggas were stacked up like sardines”. At that moment, I knew that the children didn’t associate slavery nor the negative connotation that comes with Nigger to themselves.
I asked some black students, how they felt when their peers of different races said Nigger,
– “If I know them I don’t care”
– “everyone says nigga, its doesn’t matter”
– “Nigga and Nigger are different” —-> has this really become a legitimate answer?
I asked students who were not black how it made them feel to use or hear it
-“None of the black kids care if I use it”
– “Yeah I call myself a nigga”
That is a bit scary. I remember when I was in high school, graduated in 2004 not too long ago. When we (black kids) heard non-black kids say Nigga, there was a issue or a fight. There was always one or two white kids, who received the “down card”, but he or she still knew watch who you say it around.
Remember when Jennifer Lopez said Nigga in her song “I’m Real”, My friends and I, we were truly shocked and confused and we had four hour long convos about it.
“Now people screamin’ what the deal with you and so and so
I tell them niggas, mind their biz, but they don’t hear me though”
NOW in 2013. . . well you know, everyone can say it as long as they sing it, has this become the exception.
I call BULLSHIT!! DONT USE THE WORD PERIOD.
Lets see what Don has for us. . .
p.s I love you DON and MARC