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Piers Morgan Op-Ed: If black Americans want the N-word to die, they will have to 🤬 it themselves

Young_ChitlinYoung_Chitlin YCN Chief/FCC Member/#RedVelvetSquad Member/IC Task Force GeneralASUville, PhoenixMembers Posts: 23,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2014 in The Social Lounge
By: Piers Morgan

N****r.

A 6-letter noun in the English language which the dictionary defines as ‘a contemptuous term for a black or dark-skinned person’. It’s such an inflammatory and offensive word that for any high profile white person to publicly use it, without abbreviating to ‘N-word’, is rightly tantamount to professional suicide and personal opprobrium.

I don’t use it; would never use it. But it has become astonishingly ubiquitous in modern American society. According to a new data survey by social media analytics Web site Topsy.com, it will be used, either as ‘n****r’ or ‘n***a’, 500,000 times on Twitter today.

By comparison, the words ‘bro’ and ‘dude’ are only used 300,000 and 200,000 times per day. These shocking statistics form part of a powerful study in today’s Washington Post. Headlined ‘THE N-WORD’ – even the Post shies away from actually saying it – it concludes: ‘The slur has become more prevalent in American life, but remains as divisive and complicated as ever.’ The reason it is so ingrained in pop culture is that many blacks, especially young blacks reared to the soundtrack of N-word splattered rap music, use it in an ironic way.

They’re aware of its history; they know from their parents and grandparents that arrogant, dumb, racist whites used it as a wicked, derogatory insult against their black slave forebears. And they enjoy the freedom of being able to say it now in the knowledge that it’s become taboo for whites to do so.

I understand this, and empathise.

It’s the same ironic reason many 🤬 call each other ‘f****ts’, why supporters of an English football team called Tottenham Hotspur, which has a large Jewish following, call each other ‘Y*ds’, and why some ardent feminists like to use the word ‘C**t’ with impunity. I get it.

But I don’t like it. And this is why: it doesn’t work. It has the COMPLETE opposite effect to the one that I imagine everyone who does this imagines it will have.

Far from ‘owning’ these words, seizing back control with the use of them, I believe it merely serves to empower those who wish to deploy them abusively - and encourage them to CONTINUE doing so. Your average dim-witted, foul-mouthed bigot – and there are plenty of them as Twitter can attest – thinks: ‘If they use it, why can’t I?’

They hear African-Americans say the N-word to each other and claim victory: ‘See, that’s what they even call themselves!’

It’s the twisted, horrible mind-set of the wretchedly ignorant.

I debated this issue many times during my tenure at CNN. Mike Tyson, who uses the N-word a lot in his excellent autobiographical stage show – insisted: ‘We have to think about how this word originated, where it came from. Just because we stop saying it won’t stop them (white racists) from saying it. They’re mad because they say it’s a double standard if they can’t say what we say amongst each other? I don’t plan on stopping saying it anytime soon.’

I don’t think it’s a double standard at all. The N-word is a grotesque, odious, evil stain on the English language. It symbolises everything multi-cultural America has fought so hard to move on from - white-run, imperialist, violent, sexually malevolent barbarism. Yet far from receding in society, it’s spreading; out of the once clearly defined confines of private usage in the black community, into the public hallways of every school in America.

This has to be wrong, doesn't it?

Better, surely, to have it expunged completely. Eradicated, obliterated, tied to a literary post and whipped into such brutal submission that it never rears its vicious head again.

But this will only happen when America’s black community applies the same level of tolerance to its own use of the word as that now APPLIED in the National Football League: zero. Teach the youth of today the N-word is so heinous that even to repeat it ironically is to perpetuate its poison. As a white man, I have no right to demand that any black person gives up using the N-word.

But as someone who believes passionately in civil rights, I just think it’s the right thing to do.

1415650270903_Image_galleryImage_tweets_per_day.JPG

A graph from Topsy.com show how just the word 'n***a' has been tweeted anywhere from 300,000 to over 600,000 times a day each day for the past month

Comments

  • JDSTAYWITITJDSTAYWITIT .........Tell your mother she has a cute mouth #GIANTS #2014/2012/2010 #FUCK.KCMembers Posts: 12,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    white people
  • hueyhuey Members Posts: 11,743 ✭✭✭✭✭
    🤬 that. let it live to remind our descendants where it comes from and what white people are capable of
  • BoogaSugaBoogaSuga Members Posts: 4,000 ✭✭✭✭✭
    People should stop using it tho (not that they ever will)

    I hate seeing people on social media refer to their baby or kids as their "lil 🤬 "
  • LUClENLUClEN Absence makes the heart grow fonder of someone else Members Posts: 20,559 ✭✭✭✭✭
    huey wrote: »
    🤬 that. let it live to remind our descendants where it comes from and what white people are capable of

    But why use that label to refer to yourselves?
    It seems like a bad idea to wear it so willingly
  • Meta_ConsciousMeta_Conscious Hypocrite The BashmentMembers Posts: 26,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    🤬 him.
  • DarcSkiesDarcSkies TRUST IN ALLAH BUT TIE UP YOUR CAMEL Members Posts: 13,791 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh really?

    I'm pretty sure we were being called 🤬 by whites first. When it was dead to blacks it was still used by whites. THat's not going to change because because the year did.
  • jetlifebihjetlifebih Sion Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 4,655 ✭✭✭✭✭
    On one hand its like.... a female can't tell a male how to be a man...so how can a cac tell blacks how to use the n word or not use it....but then again Jim crow was created by cacs and part of the reason we use the n word so I'm up in the air with it....
  • CapitalBCapitalB all these dollars.. no sense. Members Posts: 24,556 ✭✭✭✭✭
    this 🤬 ..
  • soul rattlersoul rattler Chief Petty Officer of the Ill Community Naval Command HOOYAHMembers Posts: 18,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This isn't ancient civilization. Words cannot be erased or banned from utterance, script, or thought.

    What is more plausible is accepting that the word MEANS something different, just as the usage of countless words have change throughout time to have different definitions.
  • CopperCopper The WickMembers Posts: 49,531 ✭✭✭✭✭
    meanwhile we getting shot down in the streets and viewed as threats, stopped and frisked, arrested 3 times as much for drugs even though whites use it more, make up most of the prison pop. even though whites commit more crimes, graduate from college and have less of a chance at getting a job than a white man with a criminal record and are denied loans ....but lets get together on this N word
  • DarcSkiesDarcSkies TRUST IN ALLAH BUT TIE UP YOUR CAMEL Members Posts: 13,791 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Copper wrote: »
    meanwhile we getting shot down in the streets and viewed as threats, stopped and frisked, arrested 3 times as much for drugs even though whites use it more, make up most of the prison pop. even though whites commit more crimes, graduate from college and have less of a chance at getting a job than a white man with a criminal record and are denied loans ....but lets get together on this N word

    20120428144743!Preach.gif
  • MasterfultechMasterfultech Members Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm pretty sure this is the logic of an idiot...Whites were calling us 🤬 before the word was popular among us and they still use it today even if they don't see black people in their day-to-day lives. I'm also pretty sure that this is the least of our problems in a country that kills black kids and justifies it to only then get on national media to disparage our community for being upset about it.
  • So ILLSo ILL Members Posts: 16,507 ✭✭✭✭✭
    aka_OG wrote: »
    this a better solution:

    if black americans want the n-word to die, whytes should 🤬 themselves

    Since they started the 🤬 . If he really wants to go there.
  • b4rPnQrC32H4cTb4rPnQrC32H4cT Members Posts: 185 ✭✭✭
    Copper wrote: »
    meanwhile we getting shot down in the streets and viewed as threats, stopped and frisked, arrested 3 times as much for drugs even though whites use it more, make up most of the prison pop. even though whites commit more crimes, graduate from college and have less of a chance at getting a job than a white man with a criminal record and are denied loans ....but lets get together on this N word

    but if you would only speak properly, pull your pants up, and not wear those hooded sweatshirts

  • _Goldie__Goldie_ ablackweb.com Members, Moderators, Writer Posts: 30,349 Regulator
    I give 0 🤬 about the word 🤬 /🤬 . If someone can call you a word and make you feel insecure about being black, then there's a larger issue within yourself. I embrace being black and everything that comes with it. Yea, Im a 🤬 with big lips and a big 🤬 , it is what it is. Any word said maliciously can be offensive.
  • MorganFreemanKingMorganFreemanKing Members Posts: 4,282 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tried to erase me from y'all memory/
    Too late I'm engraved in history
  • ghostdog56ghostdog56 Members Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What about black on black crime
  • kingblaze84kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I try to use the word less and less as I get older but the word itself will never stop being used in a friendly way among Black people and others who like talking like us.....the word has been around too long
  • kingblaze84kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopMembers Posts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    BoogaSuga wrote: »
    People should stop using it tho (not that they ever will)

    I hate seeing people on social media refer to their baby or kids as their "lil 🤬 "

    I agree
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