Posted by: constantinakatsari | January 24, 2013

Nigger

The word Nigger, extremely offensive to some, but to others a word of power and lifestyle. We all know that words can have a negative effect on individuals as well as a society as a whole. ‘Nigger’ is no different. A racist word that should not be used by the black community.

So many times I have heard this used by the black community as a way of greeting, in conversation and in songs when black people refer to the black males. I have always seen this as a racist word and accepted that it was only okay for black people to use. Never has it occurred to me the negative connotations it holds and never have I questioned the use of it. Until now.

African-American slavery was a violent, race based system, controlled by white people. Looking at books written at the time of the slave trade and also when the discrimination was incredibly powerful, the words ‘nigger’ and ‘negro’ are used over and over again. There is nothing positive about this word at all. Yet we see it used so much in conversion and in music!

Rap artists are responsible for this in my opinion and the word ‘nigger’ is key in the glorification of the ‘thug life’ and gangs. It is used so much that I feel that even the black community do not understand the true meaning of the word and that no one has stopped and argued against it. We all continue to listen to the music and do not question the use of the words. But its time to get rid of it.
This gangster or thug lifestyle has been glorified by various black artists and passed down the generations. The lifestyle is associated with the ghettos, drugs and portrayed education as uninteresting and negative thing.

Artists have a responsibility to have a positive effect on people lives and yet they promote something so negative that they should not be seen as such positive role models. It is incredibly selfish of them that they are so absorbed with the money that they feel the only way they can continue to make money is if they promote the ‘thug’ lifestyle. Yet some rappers blame society for their negative start in life. Why? And isn’t it strange that even when they reach this level of fame they do nothing to get rid of the source of their negative upbringing and make sure that it is no longer a factor to stop the forthcoming generations.

Individuals such as Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, fought for the freedom of the black people in a society dominated by white racists. If they were to see rappers and young children using Nigger as a positive thing, would they be proud? I highly doubt it.

In 1963, Martin Luther King said in his famous speech, “one hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.” What has changed from the day this speech was made? Yes there are now equal rights and the first black president of the United States, but the attitude within has not.

The slave trade should never be forgotten and should be used as a factor in order to unite people, not to create even more of a divide within society. The children that grow up in today’s society shouldn’t have this fear of being an outsider, because they want an education, or think that when they grow up there is only one path for them.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking I’m an idealist and that I’m a typical student trying to ‘save the world’, but that’s not the case at all. It is most likely that the word nigger will never stop being used, but we as a modern and equally society should try our best and at least think more about what we stand for.

I don’t feel comfortable with the thought of the generations that will follow to be sucked into this negativity and continue with this vicious cycle of events just because of one word that people use without thinking and base their imagine around and I’m sure that none of you do either.

Gagan Bajwa

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