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The N-word: What’s in a name, Black America? (2255 hits)

Whenever the “massa” gave the enslaved black man something, no matter what it was, he took it—whether voluntarily or by coercion. Sadly, no matter how demeaning or dreadful the thing may have been, he had no choice but to accept the token, allowing it to become a part of his identity.

For instance, the black man was given the name ‘N**ger’ by the massa. When asked: “What is your name?” He responded: “N**ger”. “What? Say it loud so they all can hear you, what is your name?” “N**ger!!!” was the reply. And yet again he was asked, and he replied: “I am a N**GER.” Finally, the white man said, “Right!! That’s a good n**ger. Never ever forget—who and what you are—and your proper place.”

Today, as opposed to being ruthlessly, physically and emotionally beaten into submission and acceptance of the n-word by a brutal white social system, black people find themselves courted and conned by other blacks to voluntarily remain in their pre-appointed place of a n**ger/n**ga. In this contemporary era, White supremacy is most effective when it uses a black voice as a ventriloquist, and today, many rappers, comedians and black scholars validate the premise.

It is incredulous and appalling how some black scholars encourage their college students to greet each other as n**gas. An uninterrupted indoctrination process that began almost 400 years ago by a brutal racist social system is now carried on by cloned black representatives. The definition of self is only limited by who that person thinks they are, and far too many black scholars—who are, by definition of their roles, leaders and influencers in the community—have a diminished image of themselves and their race.

The American institutionalized systemic has always identified Black America with the n-word and, therefore, finds Black Americans’ willingness to accept and relate to their pre-appointed place and category of being a n**ger/n**ga both gratifying and an ease on their guilty conscience.

So long as black people restrict themselves to saggin’ pants, referring to one another as n**ger/n**ga, b*tches, mf’s; and limiting their thinking to s*x, cars, drugs, guns, sports and life in the hood, all is well in the American institutionalized systemic. However, a far more challenging and graver concern to the systemic are Black Americans retaking control of their minds, demonstrating the ability to think and act rationally, and possessing demeanors of royalty—walking with dignity; that who boldly declare their independence and rightfully return any unfitting or cursed gifts to the systemic—one primarily is being the n-word.

Black historians and scholars such as Dr. Asa Hilliard, Dr. John Henri Clarke, Dr. Chancellor Williams, Dr. Richard Williams, Kimani Nehusi, Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn, Dr. Ray Higgins, Dr. David Pilgrim and a few others serve as examples of liberated, independent thinkers. As such, the American institutionalized systemic refrains from parading these gentlemen before a sound-asleep Black community in fear that the knowledge of these thinkers may awaken the slumbering masses.

However, they will parade and promote the likes of a Dr. David Bradley, Dr. Randall Kennedy, certain rappers, black comedians and some other hand-picked high profile blacks—all of whom are proponents of the n-word—before an unsuspecting and sleeping Black community. The systemic will and does make every effort to keep the sycophants—n-word supporting blacks—constantly before the public to trick blacks into remaining blinded to the truth even though they believe they are in control of their thoughts and aware of what’s occurring.

The ravages of centuries of brutal mistreatment at the hands of whites through slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and lynch mobs still have a powerful psychological effect on black people to this very day. The intent and purpose of being categorized as the n-word was far more sinister than just a mundane racial insult.

The term was used as an identifier and a method of separating blacks from the remainder of the populous; it was used as a psychological conduit to breed thoughts of inferiority and, thus, no self-dignity, -pride, or –respect. The definition of a n**ger/n**ga painted blacks as sub-human, 3/5 a person, a bestial savage beast who needed to be tamed. The term was white America’s way of not accepting blacks as their equal—but as a burden. And because blacks were considered non-human, and instead, animalistic, Whites believed that in the eyesight of God, classifying black ancestors as n**gers made it okay to dehumanize, brutalize and subject them to anything and everything ungodly.

The Holy Bible was interpreted in many self-justifiable ways to support White America’s idea that blacks were a cursed race and that it was God’s word that instructed them to “cleanse the world of impurities” by enslaving and dehumanizing them. They found it necessary to browbeat, brainwash and indoctrinate the black slaves into believing that they were indeed n**gers, and that whatever harm came to them was an act of God because they were nothing more than n**gers.

N**ger is an inferior category and place, reserved for those black folks who are gullible enough to accept the term. During slavery, our ancestors had no choice but to accept such categorization; today, their descendants have a choice but are timid about leaving their comfort zone, their pre-appointed place of being n**gers. So, what do they do? They dupe themselves into accepting the ghetto vernacular n**ga as some BS term of endearment. That action in itself basically safeguards White America’s plight of destruction against the black community at the black community’s own hand.

The embracing of the n-word serves as a sanctioning of all the evil deeds committed upon Black African Americans’ beloved ancestry. This is not a consensus or opinion but a fact. Deliberate or not, it is sanctioning nonetheless. Such actions are neither magnanimous nor altruistic but indeed the opposite—malevolent, mean-spirited, self-centered and narrow-minded. Black ancestors deserve better—in the perspective of reverence and honor of their sacred and hallow memories. The n-word should be taboo and forbidden to be a part of the Black African-American culture.

There is nothing empowering about embracing the n-word; it has no benefit or value. Continually holding on to the name given blacks by a racist society through using, defending and supporting the use of the word, as well as trying to rationalize that it has been changed into something positive, is sheer insanity.

N**ga/n**ger is an empty sign of self-hatred masquerading itself as a term of endearment. The idiom serves as perpetual imprisonment and is the detonator to the absolute extermination of an entire race of people’s pride, dignity, honor and state of mind. Some may feel that the term carries no weight and plays no role in the current status and eventual outcome of the black community.

However, the name “N**ga/n**ger” was always meant to demean and destruct. And as blacks continue to use the term, the community’s ill-development will continue to occur. Words are a mighty source of power (Proverbs 23:7), and there is power—a negative, evil, conniving power—in the name “N**ga/n**ger”.

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com); a writer for the New England Informer Online, and author of "Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word". Follow H. Lewis Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1

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Thursday, June 9th 2011 at 2:00PM
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You present a very interesting and in-dept perspective of all that’s going on with Black America’s use of the n-word. No doubt about it, trying to get black people to eliminate the word from their speech, is a challenging and seemingly insurmountable task…but achievable nonetheless.

Trying to overcome 400 years of mental enslavement is far from being easy but is not impossible. If nothing else history demonstrates a unique quality about the Black African American and that is our ability to rise above adversity as a group. The indomitable spirit of the Black African American in the end will prevail and free itself from the clutches and the last link in the chain to a slave mentality which use of the n-word is symbolic of.

Our history has been distorted; our collective self confidence has been compromised because our cultures and contributions have been distorted and purposely forgotten but fret not, all of those misled, misguided, misinformed people who think it is cool and chic to make a mockery of their ancestral sacred memories, with their use of the n-word, will eventually see the light and learn to take back their self-respect.

You point out, and accurately so, the millions of young people who are in self-denial, mentally enslaved, but what you fail to realize is the silent millions who [ARE] liberated from the n-word and how everyday the number is growing as more and more blacks are WAKING up to the truth and are taking back their pride, dignity, honor and self-respect.

Though you do not use the terms self-denial, mentally enslaved, slave mentality they are appropriate nonetheless and I have fittingly applied them. Certainly words change, but history doesn’t; context can change words, context cannot change history. History of the word n**ger cannot and should not be overlooked. The word n**ger is so stigmatized that to try and redefine it would suggest that slavery and oppression and all of the ugly atrocities perpetrated upon our ancestors never happened. But the fact is, it all did.

We need to be brutally honest about something: millions of US Black people—men, women, AND children—were beaten, raped, castrated and/or murdered with "n**ger" being last word they heard. An African American Holocaust took place, and the n-word is synonymous with this Holocaust. This is unacceptable, and when it is all said and done—trust me—that word in a few more years will no longer be rolling off the tongue of anybody black.

Friday, June 10th 2011 at 2:10AM
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