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What feeling do you associate with the “N-word”?

Touchy subject for many and it will be interesting to see what, if any responses and opinions this post gets. My first feeling is anger. The word has been ingrained into our minds with such degrading ties...but how do you take power away from a word? It’s all about context right? Me personally I do not like the use of it at all...in songs, culture, whatever. I do think when it’s used in that way that usually the meaning is trying to be deflected from its heinous and degrading notions. However is that really curing the issue with the way that word is looked at? I know there are tons of racist words for all skin tones but in America I find this to be one of the deeply rooted ones. Ps. I am not asking for all my questions to be answered, I am curious of your feelings associated with it though. I could go on and on and deeper into this but I am not trying to write a 10 page essay 🙂

BohoHeathen 8 May 15
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23 comments

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4

It's just a word, just like any other.
I gave up being offended by words a long time ago.
Some one trying to belittle or degrade me by using so called "words" to insult or otherwise, has no effect.
giving weight to hateful words, only gives the user validation. I simply won't do that.

Agree with you. There used to be a saying when I was a little kid, used as a lesson by all parents, and my American parents in particular: "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Well it turns out names do hurt in certain contexts -- when the powerful use them against the powerless -- but modern generations have made words themselves the problem, hence the derogatory term "snowflake" (which I never use, but its reference is clear). "N*****" still retains that visceral hatred, but coming from powerless rednecks its power to hurt should be a lot less. I'm convinced the wrong way to go is to ban any word someone will be offended by -- The language would lose literally thousands of good, expressive words and would be a lot poorer for it.

4

I hate that word. If Black people would give it up, it would pretty much disappear just like the words Kike, Spic, Wop, Polak and Dago, very common slurs when I was growing up, have almost disappeared from our lexicon. I can't remember the last time I heard those terms used by anyone.

@ProudMerrie As long as they use it certain white people will feel it is OK to use it. It needs to go away period, just like those other words. IMO

3

Anger. I hate that racist slur.

2

For myself? Danger.

I was the favorite student of my black female English teacher's 9th grade English class. It probably saved me the worst ass whooping of my life.

Boy I thought I knew every-fuckin-thing and always tried to be too hard to be the class clown. My area of west Kentucky is one of the most diverse in the South. There were many black kids in every one of my classes and it was just a normal thing.

However, because it's still rural Kentucky, there were some weird "We Are The Titans" vibes as far as the racial tension went. White country kids and black kids who lived in the city -- I thought that's how people of different races lived everywhere for a long time. Anyway, we had lots of non-black people who thought saying that word was OK, some of them with a hard R. Some of them trying too hard to fit in with the soft A. The former and the latter are ignorant for different reasons.

Anyway, I don't remember why, but one day we were discussing the synonyms for laughter and how many of them had different meanings depending on the mood and etc etc.

I came up with one, but I didn't wanna raise my hand. I didn't want to participate. So I said it, kind of under my breath just to get it out of my system.

"Snigger"

Problem was, one of the black kids sitting next to me heard, or rather, misheard what I said. Well, he let the class know. Next thing I know, I'm getting ready to get the hell beat out of me by about four or five different black dudes.

Teacher interrupted. Didn't tell them not to kick my ass, but told them to listen to what I had to say, because I was trying to explain but no one was listening. They stopped. Whole class stopped.

I explained what "snigger" meant. I said it again, emphasizing the 'S'. If I were a little less nerdy maybe they don't believe me IDK. After a few moments that went on forever, the guy who originally heard me said "he didn't say it" and just like that it was over. People dispersed. They never brought it back up, and I was friendly, if not friends, with some of those guys throughout high school. That teacher was one of my heroes, still is.

But I'll never forget how quickly that dynamic changed when they thought I said that word. That day I realized how important it is, and how much words do have meaning.

2

I have never used the word. Can't imagine a reason to. Sad such words as "niggardly" are also taboo because they sound similar. And so few know the difference. And so many are triggered by the sound.
"Ignorant" is another such misunderstood word.

2

If someone says it who is not black/POC at the least, its usually rage mixed with fear. It pisses me off but at the same time, its the people who are willing to say it that scare me the most. These people know what the word does to people and how it hurts and they use it anyways. I fear the person who can say it without any hesitation because I know they use this word often. They are more likely to physically hurt someone as well so I am instantly put on edge.

2

When I hear another white person use it, I’m disgusted and angry at their ignorance. From what I’ve seen as a native Southerner, racism is due to ignorance and/or fear. Many, MANY of us are not racist. On the other hand, too many are, and not just of blacks, but of anything non-white. Xenophobia is rampant in places. In my own family, I’ve met resistance to my travel to countries such as Egypt, Mexico, and Greece. I could see their fear was as real as their ignorance, and my facts fell on deaf ears.
Like others here, when I hear people of color use it, I think they have a right to do so, though I still don't like hearing it.

2

Disgust.

2

Fear. The white men are so afraid they can be replaced. And with a lot of them their 'special' skin color is all they have going for them. Jesus is white don cha know! Not.

2

I feel the same way about the "R" word (retard).

1

There are a couple errors in the story below. My apologies, the edit button isn't currently working.

There is always at least one button that is not working.

1

It's a tribal word that can be used in either an inclusive or degrading way depending on the speaker. The mere existence of the word tells me we have a long journey toward ending tribalism. I have many friends and some family members who I dearly love that have suffered from this word spoken in a hurtful way.

1

It depends entirely on who says it and how. In a rap song or casual convo, said by a black person with a soft A it doesn’t bother me at all. When a white asshole uses it, I associate the feeling with a punch to the gut or sternum. It’s intended as as violent an affront as is verbally possible, so that’s how it comes off. When a less malicious but still dumbass white person asks why a black person can say it and they can’t I just have the feeling of a facepalm or a deadpan take at the camera. Or lately more like sorrow for the idiocracy I’m witnessing.

1

I was age 8 when I saw the effect of the Nword..A black teenager was playing cards in the projects playground. The rumor was he had "stabbed" a Nword in a fight. So being young and naive I asked "Is it true you stabbed a Nword?"..the look of pain , his loss of a smile, his entire composure ripped out of him..spoke volumes to me..and hurt me and enlightened me as to the effect that word has on African Americans...I was ashamed..

1

Neptune? I'm good.

1

First thing I automatically picture in my mind when I hear that word is some morbidly obese hillbilly goober with three teeth and their ass crack hanging out of underwear that hasn't ever been washed or changed.

1

I get disgusted

1

Yup true used trump as a model N word was racist suppression just like "boy"

1

If the word is being used by a black person, I take it to mean a sort of "homie" tag, but if spoken by an angry old redneck, I take it as a reference to slavery, when whites "knew" they were the master race, as ordained by "god.".

1

Context is everything, like any other word. It can evoke any emotion in the human palette.

1

Hate and superiority.

1

I hate the sound of the word. Soft "r" or hard it doesn't make any difference. I think I understand why black people feel entitled to use it and feel like they can take it back and change its meaning and usage. I disagree, but I think I get it.

JimG Level 8 May 15, 2019
1

Neurological developments of the brain and some biased scientists tried to say a mongoloid brain was most advanced that negroid brain basing it on brain development and I.Q. tests. They also asserted the "Caucasian brain" were the highest developed over all other brains!" This was according to scientific research which ended up being a sham back in the late 1960s and 1970s or false science of racial superiority.

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