I Hate The N-Word

Photo by VanveenJF on Unsplash

No, not "nigger". I hate "the n-word". I also hate "the f-word", "the c-word", "the j-word" and every f-wording some-letter-in-the-f-wording-alphabet-word out there.

The thing is ... I have no problem with the word "nigger." Or dick, or fuck, or cunt, or any other word.

Now I am sure that someone out there will come and tell me that I have no right to say "nigger" is ok because I have not suffered through the pain and hate and pretty much everything else that went with the word. Well guess what mother-f-word-er, unless you are an African-American who grew up in the bad old days of Jim Crow, neither did you. But if you want my credentials, let me tell you a story.

I was bullied in school, for most of my school life. It was bad enough that I didn't want to go to school. It was bad enough that many days I came back crying. It was bad enough that I stll bear the scars. It happened every day.

And very little of it was physical. It was words. Innoccuous words, like "specko", "professor". But those words hurt me.

Now, looking back, almost two decades later, I find that they were words. And they hurt me because I gave them power. And because I gave them power, people were able to use those words to hurt me.

So words hurt.

But maybe if we took the power away?

I learned to take the power away from words, I have found that you can call a person "dickhead asshole fuckwit" in the friendliest and lovingest of ways. I have found you can insult someone by calling them "Sir."

So there is my beef with "the n-word" and its politically correct cousins. It gives a word, a simple word, a whole lot more power than it deserves. By being shocked, horrified, and angered by the use of those words, we are giving those words - a puff of air, a few twitches in the vocal passage - far too much power.

By replacing a word with a euphemism we are, in effect, creating a weapon. A weapon with a massive label that says "Look! Look at this weapon! It is guaranteed to hurt, anger, disgust, and have many emotional impacts on me!"

And we leave that weapon lying around where anyone who wants to - and there are many of those - can pick up, point, and use.

Every time we read "N-word" in the media, in our heads we say "nigger." This means that the desired effect of not saying the "offensive word" is gone. Or if we were to say things like "racial-epithet" then it may be that the word we think in our heads is more or even less offensive than what was said.

There used to be a time when "nigger" was a word that was in common use. Around the same time, the word "damn" was a profanity. But eventually "damn" became normal. It became just a regular word. "Nigger," on the other hand, gained a lot more power. A lot more strength, and a lot more potential to shock and awe. No one bats an eyelid when you say "fuck" these days, but you can definitely te a reaction by saying "nigger."

Yay for us!

So let's try an experiment shall we? Let's stop giving words power. Let's understand that it is not words that have power, but context, meaning, and intent. Let's start using words, and stop censoring words, and stop pretending that just a few vocalised syllables can ruin children, destroy lives, and obliterate society as we know it.

So alll together now! Shit! Piss! Fuck! Cunt! Cocksucker! Motherfucker! And TITS!. Also Nigger, Chink, Kike, Honky. Raghead, Wop, Gook, and Belgium!

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