Should The N-Word Go Away, Or Is It Here To Stay? Byron Thomas, Donald Glover And Dr. J Share Thoughts

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I have mixed feelings on the n-word. Let’s be clear, there’s a big difference in the application of the word whether it ends with an “a” or “er.” However, the word has been in use for the purposes of hate longer than it has been in use for love. Now more than ever I think we’re coming to a point where both races are having discussions on the word. Do I use the word? Without answering that question directly I will say that I have a quota for the n-word in my life and after I hear about 10 times in a day, I’m good on it. I’ve told my friends that they needed to keep it off my Twitter timeline because despite knowing that most mean no harm by it, each time I see the word, I cringe a little.

That’s what lets me know that unless some changes are made to the way we communicate and the use of the word, it will always be negative. Funny story before I let you guys read a couple excerpts from folks and ask for your thoughts. (Admin note: This started out as a share, I wasn’t going to write anything today.) Anyway, I’m in the car with “my white friends” and we’re heading somewhere and like almost without fail whenever you get in the car with white people they change the station. It’s almost as if they were listening to country music and they’re like, “Jay will think we’re so uncool.” My friend puts on his iPod and it’s Talib Kweli. Despite the fact, that everytime I text my friend telling him something he replies, “Bawse” which lets me know that he listens to Rick Ross. Now we’re all in the car rapping the lyrics to Talib and each time we approach the n-word, my white friends pause for a moment and then try and catch up with the lyrics again on the other side. It’s like the 4 minute and 23 second hurdles. I thought to myself, “if I was them, when I wasn’t around, I would just let it go and rap the lyrics.” Deep down inside I knew they did. For some reason, at that very moment, it didn’t bother me all that much. I had that epiphany that “my white friends” use the n-word, but all that came out my mouth was, “Hey that’s rad, you guys listen to Talib.” Shoot me.

Anyway this fool, Byron Thomas is back again with another racially charged post about his feelings on Race in America. This time, it’s his thoughts on how Black Americans shouldn’t use the n-word anymore. He says, “A majority of black people talk about me being ignorant for having the Confederate flag, but I bet those same people have used the N-word.” #BlankStare. Check out his thoughts below (I seriously do not have the time or energy to edit his post for grammar or spelling):

Hello my name is Byron Thomas and America I’m very passionate about this subject. I truly feel like if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today, he would have addressed this issue and it wouldn’t be such a huge problem. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is [dead] and no one has wanted to grab the reins to address this issue, so looks like it’s up to me. Sad to say white people are afraid to talk about it because Black Americans will bomb that person as a racist. So I’m man enough to talk about it because this needs to stop. Black Americans use the N word all the time 24/7, the word means nothing to Black Americans. Black Americans say it at work, home, school, and just anywhere. The N word even has a brother that replaces the “er” with an “a”. So, the N word means nothing until someone not of African descent uses it. When a White American uses the word, OMG! They are automatically looked at as an RACIST! America, something is wrong with that picture. Yes, I know the White Americans used the word as a racist slur but now the times have changed. Now its White Americans wondering why Black Americans are still using a word that’s very offensive and ugly. “An unjust law is no law at all.” When I use that quote I want to give you an example. In school I hear the N word coming out of Black Americans mouth like its water. I’ve seen black students say the word right in front of a TEACHER! Nothing was done about it because like I said, what are people going to do? But then right when a white person says any form of the word, they are AUTOMATICALLY written up without hesitation. America that is NOT right. Why does the white student get written up, but the black student doesn’t? “An unjust law is no law at all.” I’ve personally had white people ask me why black people use the N word so much. Again, if Dr. Martin Luther King jr. was alive today, he would definitely address this issue. Rap songs use the word like its nothing (personally I love Country Music) but you don’t see black parents protesting them to stop using the word in their songs. America don’t we all agree that the N word should not be used? Now, I’ve never used any form of the N word because it’s a power ugly word. It doesn’t make any sense that the race that pushed for the word to stop being used, is the main one’s using it now. I have to ask this question, why is the NAACP, Rev. Al Sharpton, or Jessie Jackson not speaking out on this issue? Why are they not getting Black Americans to stop using the word in music, public places, and the household? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be DISGUSTED if he was alive today and heard the word being used this much. Oh, but wait let a white person say the word and watch Rev. Al Sharpton and his partner in crime Jessie Jackson jump to the sense. Watch them get the Black community to become enraged because someone NOT of African descent just used the N WORD!!! America this has to stop, because two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s not right for one race to tell another race they can’t use a word, but then that same race is using the word like water. In America we have something called Freedom of Free Speech and if White Americans want to say the word, they should be allowed too, because Black Americans are saying the word. What gives one race power to tell another race what they can or cannot say, but that same race is saying the words they just told other races they can’t say. America it’s NOT RIGHT. Black Americans need to take the power to finish of the word. The longer the word gets dragged on, the more future generations will use it. Then once the civil rights era of people have died, watch history repeat itself. It’s not like history books are going to have Do Not say N***** or N****. Black Americans my question to you is, what are we going to do about it? White Americans are doing their part with not saying the word (yes, they are ignorant people that use it but it’s not like it used to be). I want this word to go away, but what about YOU??? So, let’s take the power to kill this word as best we can, for our future. Kill people with kindness and may God bless America. @ByronThomas7 (Source: CNN)

I agree with all of you, he makes some good, solid points. I also agree with all of you, it’s hurts my eyes to read that. Now before you go all revolutionary, read this excerpt from Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino’s standup, Weirdo. It’s actually a great standup, but he shares these thoughts and I wanted to share:

Black people use the “n” word for everything. We use it for everything. Like mother, brother, sister, love, hate — we use it for everything. I called a seat belt a nigger earlier today. I called a seat belt the “n” word. I was putting on the seat belt, and I was like… [grunting] “Nigga, if you don’t…” It just needed a little flavor, so I gave it the “n” word. You never see any other minority — you never see white people just using it. You never see them just using it for everything. You’ll never go in IKEA and see two white undergraduates from NYU just holding up some rugs and being like, “what do you think?” “oh, stop being a nigga.” like, no. You’ll never see that. And that’s the problem. It has to become a bad word for everybody. I hate it when black leaders are just like, “oh, we’re getting rid of it. Everybody’s got to stop saying [it].” No, rappers will still say it because you told them not to. That’s what makes them badasses. Like, everybody’s got to start saying it. Everyone, like, white people, you guys have got to start saying the “n” word. You guys got to start saying it. We will lose some of you in the process. Not all of you will make it home. But you’ll be dying for a good cause. It’ll be great. (Source: Weirdo, Donald Glover, it’s at the 28-minute mark.)

I decline to share the person I agree with the most here. However, I’m interested on your thoughts on these two passages and the n-word in general. As always, be respectful and play nice in the comments section, or BE BANNED FOREVER! Just playing…

#notreally

- Dr. J

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  • http://inanimatethoughts.blogspot.com Animate

    Donald Glover is spot on lol.

    Mr. Thomas, with all due respect…nigga hush. There is no way you are going to police what people say. If people are too simple to not know when a word is okay to use around their present company then that is their fault. It's not a matter of "well they can say it" its a matter of "are they okay if I say it". You don't see me complaining about the group of women calling each other bitch do you? No, because that is how they choose to address each other. To put it on simpler terms, a lot of people have a nickname within their immediate family. If someone calls you that name you will look at them funny because they don't know you like that to be calling you by your nickname.

    It really is that simple.

    PS.
    Nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga
    My recent post Murci, Murci Me

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    I try not to use it, its out of mere respect for others who are sensitive about it, but ultimately i don’t care too much. I have white friends who use it,it comes from music, tv and hanging around me too much. We’ve been cool for years i know they’re not racist they arent degrading me or anyone else. I don’ have time to play vocab police or check peoples ancestry.com account to see that they are indeed 1/8 mexican (yes thats one’s excuse….cool ppls tho) To me its about context, i’m not going to get up in arms because a white guy said a weezy voice but ignore the white posters on espn calling chad johnson nothing but a worthless thug but thug isnt offensive, ok.

  • Adonis

    I will decimate it from my vocab this year, and only use it for pure self-interest.

    But definitely not a moralist on it.

  • J.Crawford

    I think the word Nigga has become more than jst a Word- it's now a Persona that distinguishes Good Black Men and the Negative Stereotypical Black Men. Calling somebody a Thug doesn't work anymore (Ladies like/love Thugs, even want their potential or current S/O to have "a little Thug in Him"); therefore being called a Gangbanger or Gangsta is the closest equivalent to Nigga. It's been over a century and unless somebody has been totally sheltered their entire life, and their family has been as well, EVERYBODY KNOWS what "Nigger " means and what it meant Back Then.

    In this new era where it's a daily and hourly battle to Not Look, Sound, or Act like the next Brotha out in Society, there Has to be a Clear and Direct Compare and Contrast as to WHO African American Men are- either REAL Men or Niggas.

  • J.Crawford

    Not ALL Black Men are Deadbeats, Lazy, Drug Dealing, Cheating, Down-Low, Fortified Felons; we ALL are Not Uneducated, Unemployed, Drunk, Hip-Hop/Gangsta Rap Zombies, or other Gneralized Negative stereotypes- but SOME Are, and Everyone, especially within the Black Community, needs to be able to Identifya Real Man from a Nigga.

    I Hate BOTH Words with a Passion, whether it's in Endearment, a Diss, or regualr conversation. I can admit that two of Jay-Z's songs that I like are Niggas in Paris and Nigga What, Nigga Who, which makes me sound Hypocritical, & I'll Take That. It's the same as how Women feel towards the word "Bitch". if Lupe Fiasco can make the song Bitch Bad, Woman Good and we all will STILL use the word as Endearment and a Diss/Insult, then Nigga will Also be used. It's Just the Way it Is, Unfortunately….

  • http://wwww.barronnetwork.com cheekz money

    childish gambino always gets my vote. Everything right with suburban black men.
    My recent post Fables #120 Review

  • WaterBaby

    I don't like the word being used in public. I admit that some songs I listen to use the word and I still like the song but that doesn't mean that I like that. If they never started putting the word in songs I wouldn't be thinking "Man, if they put that word in these songs they would be so much better!" They're here now so what can I do about it? I don't have to participate though so although I can technically say it, I don't when I'm in public or in mixed company. I don't want anybody that's not black saying it so I don't want to confuse them by making them think it's okay by saying it in front of them. When those songs come on, I censor myself not to say that word as well as any other curse word. That word is a bad word too.

  • WaterBaby

    And yes, I automatically think that a white person has some racism in their heart when they ask why they can't say it. I wanna know why they wanna say it so bad. I don't say that other word unless I'm talking about Ritz and I'm perfectly fine with it. I'm not allowed to say it and I shouldn't be allowed to say it even though they can say it all day every day. That's fair.

  • R-Soul

    I just have one question when it comes to the use of the n-word. Why is it the only racial slur that is so commercially use? I mean it's not like it's the only word out there. I 'll tell you why, because other races have way to much respect for their ancestors to dishonor them in that way. The n-word was born out of hate, pain, murder and so much worse and yet far too many black people continue to use this hideous word toward one another as if one could really change the meaning of a word. Oh one final thing, last year when Kobe used the F-word toward one of the officials in was made to apologize and charged a large sum of money by the LGBT organization – one has to ask why?

    R-Soul

  • http://youngheaux.blogspot.com Young Heaux

    I think political correctness, and the effort of trying to dictate an entire nation's speech is foolish. People are going to say whatever they want; so why waste your time and energy trying to convince people why they should or shouldn't say the word. Of course, if a white person ever said it in front of me and they werent a) singing along to a song, or b) my nigggaaaaaa, then I would be pissed. Cause it is different, and it is beyond rude and racist. And if you don't understand that, you are probably….white.

  • Doomsday

    I hate the word with a passion and I die a little inside when people use it. I never use the word and I always tell my friends to never refer to me with said word. Mr.Thomas is right, Black people are unjustly dominating a word that no one else can use. Its another example of the hypocrisy in our community.

    The word should die, but most Black Americans do not see a problem in using it. The NAACP is a vestigial and archaic organization whose voice has lost much force and a shocking amount of Black Americans either A). Say that its a useless relic of the past or B). Don't know it exists. They cannot stop the use of the word. The Black community will have to come together to stop this issue and frankly I don't think we are up for it.

  • JupiterCalhoun

    I'll be laughed at, probably even called a damned liar…but I've never used it in the context most of us do. It just wasn't done in my household, and it wasn't done in the environment I grew up in. I've only ever used the word to describe what I've been called. Maybe that's part of my distaste for the word.

  • http://glippost.wordpress.com Dark Gable

    I’ll go ahead and jump out there and say both these dudes make fairly legitimate points. If I had to lean one way though, it’s probably toward Donald.Glover. Personally, I started using the word when I couldn’t even write a full sentence, which is over 25 years. As I’ve gotten older, I realized I shouldn’t use it, but it’s more a euphemism than anything else at this point. Hell, even grandmother has used it, and she hardly ever speaks ill of anything. It’s not healthy to use, but when you have words such as niggardly that mean slothful, etc, the shortened form of it will continue to prosper. When it stops having country, then perhaps it will clear out of the vernacular.

  • Hunnit Acre Woods

    The Psychology Behind The Feelings Attached To The Words Nigger, Nigga Is Amazing. Europeans Again, Tricking People Into Negative States Of Being With An Utterance Of A Word. I Know Many Reading This Won't Be Aware, But The Word Nigga Is Morally Neutral. 1st Point: Remember How They Used To Call Niggas Sambo Back In The Day. When One Does The Research On What (Better Yet Who) Sambo Was, It Was Actually An Old Hindu Kushite Legend Of The Powerful Hero Sambho. 2nd Point: Nagas (Etymologially Harmonic) Were The Ancient People Who Brought The Light Of Knowledge To The People Stuck In The Darkness Of Ignorance. 3rd Point: Europeans Hate Niggas For Being Niggas Since The Days Of The Moorish Kingdoms! This Is Why They Conditioned Us (The Descendants) Into The Present State Of Disorganization We Are In. True, Niggas Are In A Bad State Today, But Remember This Is The Result Of Atleast 1400 Years Of Constant Onslaughts Against Niggas Peaceful Communal Way Of Life. Why Else Would The Proverbial "THEY" Try To Stop Niggas From Using The Word When It No Longer Has That Harsh Belittling Affect. I Think Its Time To Stop Using That Black Crap, Or African American Bull..

  • Hunnit Acre Woods
  • Guest

    Here is the thing…If I say mother F^*ker people look maybe but do not care as I am using it out of pain or anger about something….if I call you a mother f^&ker then you care because I called you a mother F^$ker. If I say NIGGA or Nigger and I am not talking about you then move on…If I call you a NIGGER then we can talk…Funny how people that think they come from slavery believe they can now tell the rest of us how to act because they came from slavery. If you want to do that then go sell your self into slavery it is still around in the world today mostly in russia, china and…AFRICA….but is not the kind of slavery you may be thinking about…then if you manage to get freed you can have a special card that says do not say nigger around me…

  • Nick

    Hi Dr. J, thank you for posting this. Here is my situation and question for you: I am white and my nephew is half-black. I produce his rap songs. He uses the N-word. I want to send our songs to fellow rap producers I know, but I feel as if I am vicariously saying the word to them. They may not be able to tell my nephew is black from his voice since he ended up raised almost completely by his white side. I feel like I am overcompensating if I explain he is half-black and imply he is "permitted" to use it. I know every person can have varying reactions, but I would like your perspective on this awkward situation. Thanks, Nick PS I hope I didn't obscure my question with new issues.

  • Lone Smoker

    Do white people want to be black that bad??