The Use Of The N-Word

    I think Black people use the word because they feel their ancestors have
    lost their lives due to the word and now [it] belongs to them.  They use it
    because they feel that since the nasty word was deadly and extremely
    costly, they now have the right to use it whenever or wherever they
    choose.  For some, since the price has been paid, it no longer has the
    stinging pain that it once had.

    I have heard Blacks use the word against other Blacks.  In addition, I
    have heard Blacks use the word adoringly toward other Blacks.  
    Likewise, I have heard Blacks affectionately say to Whites and Browns,
    "My, N***a!", as if it were a sign of acceptance and inclusion.  As if skin
    color was/is irrelevant.

I have heard Whites refer to one another as the n-word, however, I am not so sure why.  Perhaps they think it is cool, as
they have been in the presence of their Black friends who have used it a plethora of times.  In fact, they have heard it
used by some Blacks so many times, that they may feel that the word is no longer a racial epithet.  Even worse, some of
the younger Whites are clueless, perhaps not knowing that it is a derogatory word.  However, even if they did know the
history of the word, they probably use it anyway because their Black "homies" use it, perhaps thinking that their homeboys
have "gotten over it."

Personally, I do not appreciate the word, period.  I do not care how it was/is actually intended - out of love and/or
acceptance - I do not wish to hear it.
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The "N" Word
            The NEED for the "N" Word?
Posted Wednesday, January 08, 2014
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Keeba Smith is a published writer and desired screenplay artist.  She is the author of Shades of Bright Pale and many other
unacquainted writings. Please visit to find out more about Keeba Smith, read additional critiques and her
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© 2014
Miami Herald journalist Leonard Pitts, Jr. wrote an article in the Denver Post article titled "Let's
Bury The Need For The N-Word."  Note that the Miami Herald's website, the article is titled "
N-word keeps spreading with stubborn insistence.")

While I always feel that Mr. Pitts provides written commentary that is thought provoking, I am not
so sure this time.  Although his article provides plenty of instances where known celebrities has
proven their refusal to bury the n-word, I am not so sure there is a "need" for the n-word, but a
desire.  I mean, is there really a
NEED for it?  I "need" to call my Black brothers and sisters the
n-word?  I
need to refer to them as such because it so fitting that it is deserving, thus

Perhaps Mr. Pitts' meaning is just the opposite of what I was originally thinking.  Perhaps he is
simply saying that we as a Black race are putting the need out there for non-Blacks to say that we
can either accept it with pleasure or pain.  Or, they feel the word is no longer a threat to us and is
acceptable; believing we have moved past it.

Nonetheless, Mr. Pitts' article is arousing.  And although it is 2014, sadly, the word remains in the
forefront and well, because it is, it will be discussed - repeatedly.  Well, at least until we are ready
and willing to bury it for good, but america sends a loud warning that it will not be anytime soon.
    The word was abusively given to my Black ancestors as a sign of
    disrespect and hate towards an inferior race; a race that was not even
    considered necessary or deserving to be considered human.

    However, Blacks have achieved so much, that our accomplishments will
    forever be chronicled in books.  Our creations will forever be mimicked
    as well as stolen and in no way do we deserve nor should we accept
    and/or embrace such a degrading term.  We deserve better and
    consequently, we must start expecting and accepting better - if not more.

    We cannot expect Whites to stop using the word when we use it often or
    even sparingly.  We must let it die, because it was ugly then and it is
    certainly ugly now.  In fact, with all that our ancestors have
    accomplished, it is even uglier and repulsive.  We do not deserve it and
    we must not shame others or ourselves, as we owe our ascendants.

Blacks must let the word die and it honestly begins with us.  We must bury it forever, not just for awhile - reviving it - but

If we continue to use the word, then non-Blacks will feel it is okay to use it [too], although I cannot understand why
Whites want to use the word; I suppose it gives them a feeling of power.  However, we must let is go, people!…all of us

A White man referred to me as the n-word once, and I was horrified.  Although I was in the right shade of skin, in his
mind/world, I was certainly on the wrong side of town - during his time.  (It was the 1980's.)  I had heard and truly
remembered the horror stories my Dad had told me as well as recalled my history books.  As stated, I was horrified!

In this day and age, the word should not only be dead and buried, but forgotten, as it has no purpose.

Some say it does not hold or have the same burning and jabbing sting today, but I say they are wrong.  There are still
some of us who know and painfully remember its creator and history, and it is more than just a stingy-painful word, but a
word that associates with murder.

The word is and always will be a racial epithet.  It is useless.

No matter who uses it, there is no "need" for it, as it will always be useless.
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