When dealing with racism in America it has become a tricky demon. I have made the argument in previous articles that racism is now hidden in the shadows. It is not blatant anymore due to the law. It is now in the form of loopholes. With that being said, racial statements should be challenged and confronted, to ensure that all parties are called out on the injustices that they may believe, or are taught that what they think is harmless and not intended to be racist, actually is.
Today's installment: Why do you get to say the N word but I don't?
This is a blatant question that many people from non-African decent ask. A lot of people feel as though the word has been so far removed from the actual derogatory meaning. Because of the way African Americans pass it around like an endearing and colloquial greeting, it drives pthers to believe that anyone should be able to say it in the same way. However, this is far from the case.
The N word is always a word that has contention behind it. It is a word that was bred out of hatred and used to demean a race. It was not just an identifier, it was a derogatory identifier. That being said, when they black race adopted it, it took centuries for the term to be turned into a greeting past the point of contention. However, it comes with apprehension, even when a black person says it because it can still be used to be demeaning.
This statement should be challenged only to teach the asker. Most of the time, the person with the courage to ask that question or even feels comfortable enough to ask his/her black friends is in no way racist. They are still apprehensive, but most importantly, curious. They may not know why but they do know that they should not just say the statement because of its history. As conscious African Americans, it is a responsibility to educate other races that do not understand.
To put it short and sweet, the answer simply is, "We can say it and you cannot because we are never sure of your heart and how you mean it. Most importantly, why do you want to say it?" This will open up the conversation and leave room for debate. Never leave that question unanswered though, because it can perpetuate the belief that it is okay.
For the other 11 statements, check out the original slideshow at http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/12/17/12-racist-statements-that-should-.... Check back for the next installment soon.