It is now the year 2003 a new millenium is upon us. I think that it's finally time that we the people of the world stop using the N-word. Slavery has been over for more than one hundred years. The N-word is no longer needed. It should not be accepted in any of its myriad variations, or considered permissible in any context. I am speaking about the words ******, niggardly and the slang word niggah. These are popular terms used both inside and outside the African-American community, most of the time used as a derogatory term. The weirdest quirk is that African-Americans perpetuate the use of the N-word each time we greet each other by saying, "Yo, whassup, *****? Or, "You know you're my ******" and the popular "You'd still be my ****** if you never get no bigger." As, a self-respecting Black man I get irate when I hear these sayings. I keep asking myself, why do we continue to downgrade ourselves and each other by demeaning our own race with these words? Don't you know what the word ****** means? The word ****** defines someone who is ignorant, stupid, dumb, the property of someone else, a person with no rights, a person with no future, a person with no past that matters anymore, a person who has lost their heritage and native language, and a person who can be beaten, raped, killed, disfigured or beaten up at will by their owner. ****** was a term used to remind us that we were to be subservient to whites. It is used to enrage us, and jolt our memory back to face the reality that we were not brought to America of our free will. The N-word has been used historically to goad us into fighting and acting without reason. I can't stand to hear anyone even a friend use the word ******. They try to use it as a way of showing they like you. But, I argue, how can you use a negative word in a positive way? That doesn't make any sense to me. You never hear Whites say to each other "you're my *******", or Latinos say "You're my Spic". So, why do we African-Americans have to be so different from the other races? Why can't we wise up and move on. Let's start calling each other brother and sister, mother and father, parent and child, lover and loved, student and graduate, doctor and lawyer, business people and entrepreneurs. By the way I did look for the N-word in a couple of dictionaries and couldn't find it. Wouldn't it be nice if I could listen outside of my door and find it missing too? Think about, you're our first line of defense and we're counting on you.