Hip-Hop Block Presents: the N-Word

Nigger: a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by blacks; a person who is economically, politically, or socially disenfranchised.

The word Nigger can find its history and meaning traced back about 400 years ago around the time our country was founded by Mr. Christopher Columbus. However, the lexicon of the African-American since then has manipulated the word to make it a familiar greeting among black constituents in America.

Not only is the N-word one of the most offensive words in English language, if not the most offensive one, but it is also the most used word in the art of hip-hop and its culture. As Americans, we can learn a priceless lesson that the use of the N-word in hip-hop teaches; for example, in a art form dominated by the black population in the US, one of the top ten rappers of all-time is a white male who has never used the N-Word publicly.

Eminem assimilated to the African-American culture and has lyrically dominated with his delivery, lyrics, diction, subject matter, and production. During his 7-year career of solo studio recorded albums, Eminem has not once used the N-Word. The closest he ever came to using the expletive was on “The Way I Am” when he says, “And I just do not have the patience/ To deal with these cocky Caucasians/ Who think I’m some wigga who just tries to be black/ ‘Cause I talk with an accent and grab on my balls.”

The bigger picture is this: how come Eminem never used the n-word in any of his songs? Personally, it would have been the exact same outcome as the Mike Phelps and pot-smoking ventures. He would have lost a few endorsements and fans; but nonetheless, people would still listen to his music.

He didn’t use the word because of what our country did to people with dark skin during the building of our so-called democracy where all people are created equal. Would it be ok for a black person to punch another person for using the n-word because they got flashbacks of what it would be like had they been a born a couple of decades ago?

“I’m not calling you a nigger” is a phrase I hear a lot when the word is used outside of the black race. “I’m just saying it how you say it. There’s a difference when it has an A instead of an ER right?” Or “The music said it. I’m just repeating it. I’m not causing harm.”

Yes, you are causing harm. The N-word caused fear in a lot of people during slavery times. People cringed at the very sound of the word. Now, we celebrate it. Why? Because we had nothing, and now we have something.

I am sorry that white people are not socially allowed to use the word. I am also more sorry that the word even originated in our language. Sure, as Americans we have a freedom of speech. We can say what we want. False. We were created equal by the power of God; however, blacks weren’t able to attend proper schools until about the 1960s. People outside of dark skin can’t say one word. I see no problem with that when blacks, during the building of our nation, weren’t allowed to learn, read, or write the language. If you were an educated black person, you were lynched or put to work immediately. Blacks couldn’t worship freely because they were seen as barbaric already.

Blacks were reduced to nothing. They were property and chattel. Because of this, when I hear someone outside the race say the N-Word or any variant of it, I automatically think of swastikas, confederate flags, stereotypes, and bigotry and hate.

The black race in America has literally came from nothing. As liberal minded college students, we must acknowledge the fact that racism is still alive and kicking in our country. Even with the election of the first black president, there is no such thing as a post-racial America.

Watch what you say. You never know whom you’re going to offend.

Our only unanimously voted president was a slave owner. George Washington, the first president of our country owned slaves. That in its self says a lot about the topic of blacks in America. America is one of the most hypocritical countries on Earth.

So, when your ancestors have been oppressed to the point of the lowest form of degradation possible, when they are beat, when they are uneducated, when education is a ticket to death, when your school systems aren’t adequate enough because of skin color, when all the leaders of your race are killed in a fight to make things better, when you are in an unwilled Diaspora away from your motherland, when you are denied seating at a restaurant because of your skin color, when you aren’t killed because of the complexion of your skin, when you’re ancestors were raped and tortured, and when you are looked at as a black man who will never be anything in society because of your skin color, then you can use the N-word.

When white privilege does not exist, then I wouldn’t mind the use of the N-word outside of the African-American race.

No matter what, racism is still prevalent in our society. It is in our constitution and founding documents. The Preamble to the constitution says, we “promote the general welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity;” however, for African-Americans, the blessings of liberty did not come until amendments were made. Things will never fully change, but we must do all we can to change the inevitable.

Until then, don’t let the fact that the African-American people own one word hurt you. Because no matter how we use it, it hurts us as well as the generations before us. Don’t let the fact that racism still exist ruin your day.

In the words of the comedian Paul Mooney, “why white people got a problem with me saying nigga? You didn’t have a problem with the word when it mattered, why now? NIGGA! I say nigga 100 times every morning – it helps keep my teeth white.”

~Keep Hip-Hop Alive~