Pan Africanism : Subliminal Messages....

Clio_the_Muze

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Jul 7, 2003
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So, here is a question that has been on my mind:

Having attended a predominently white, small, Catholic college for the last three years of my life, I have had to answer a lot of questions in regards to African-American culture, and one of them that unnerves me the most is this:

"Why is it okay for blacks to say the N-word, but not whites?"

I have my own special way in which I answer this question, however I am interested in knowing how my fellow peers and African-Americans would answer this question.

Let me know what you think...
 

Sasha

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Jul 3, 2003
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Hey, I also went to a small predominately white (jesuit )university. I personally don't find it acceptable to use the N word and I would never use it in mixed company. That being said, I have had college friends ask me about the use of the N word and I would defend those that say it with the old N with an A not an ER explanation. N with an A is our way of reclaiming a word and flipping the connotation.

We are not the only group that calls each other by once derogatory names. It is much the same way that gay people call each other "queer" or "queen." Here in New Orleans, some Italians casually joke and call themselves "daggos" and that wasn't a nice term originally. Also, some young Chinese people call themselves "chinks." And I know a lot of young Chicanos that call themselves "spic"..meaning Spanish people in Control. Our use is more pronounced because rappers use it as every other word in every rap song. I dislike the usage and really think that the casual use of this word is more negative than positive.
 

$$RICH$$

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indeed the word has hinder us far too long
and we should realize that this make us only look a
bit foolish
in all stand point a brutha calls another brutha the word
and they high five becoz it's part of what they have been fed
through history of such so many seem to live wit it now when we
hear it from another race then it become racial to us ...why
because again we have taken this from others so long
i hate the fact this word still here so heavy and live inside many
and we use it like everything o'k but it's not
i agree with Sasha..........more a negative vibe then positive
 

Clio_the_Muze

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Jul 7, 2003
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Detroit, MI
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That's how I feel. I mean, I have heard the argument about "reclaiming" the word and "giving it a new meaning", but like $$RICH$$ said, it makes us look really stupid. I mean, in the videos that our black men make, material objects are idolized, women are objectified, and then to top it all of we subject ourselves to an oppression that our grandparents fought to release us from. It's like rescuing a child from a fire only to turn around and watch that same child walk back into the burning flames knowingly.....
 

Alesha

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Jul 23, 2003
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I also disagree with the use of he N' word all together. I think that the whole hype about "reclaiming" the term is nonesense. It is an excuse that I used to use myself. The problem is that the word is used so much by Black people it has lost it's edge. It's like using the saying the word ***. Ten years ago it would have been a crime to say that on TV. But now that it is used so often, it's lost it's edge so people say it all the time. The same applies to the N' word. Especially now that so much racism is institutionalized. By this I mean that it's less common for a white person to walk up to your face and flat out call you a ******. We hear it more from our own people, which allows us to buy into the hype and believe that the word is a term of enderement.
Nevertheless, I have to be honest and say that it is more acceptable for Black people to use the word. When I am asked why Whites shouldn't say it I usually respond by saying that I can usually (not always) assume that a Black person's intention isn't to use it in a descriminatory context. Yet, if a white person says it they are either trying to insult you or trying to identify with the Black struggle. And I don't see any use in entertaining that. It's okay for whites to want to learn about Black people and Black struggle. But to try to identify with Centuries of cultural genocide by using the word ****** is as rediculous as putting on a pair of Baggy pants and thinking that it will make you Black.
 

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