Will Michael Richards wake up Black America?

It's been a couple of weeks since Michael Richards went crazy at the Laugh Factory and revived his stale career, albeit this time he will have 15 minutes of infamy, and not much else has occurred. He has apologized on Letterman and the Jesse Jackson show and reiterated time and time again… that he may think of black people as niggers but he isn’t racists. The guys Richards belittled in the club have come forward, demanding an apology and in true American fashion, money as well. Can someone tell me how do you monetize racial epithets anyway?

Since that time everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to my coworker has chastised Richard’s behavior but I want to know when will we, as Black America, also wake up and realize the damage this word is doing to us. For years I have always said I could careless about the use of the word be any racial group. I always believed I didn’t use the word and black person using it as a term of endearment is about as bad as a white person using in it in disdain.

In the United States, the word was commonly used by some whites and blacks, until the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s when the word acquired a pejorative connotation. Today, the implied racism of the term is so strong that the use of nigger in most situations is a social taboo. Even the media here in America will not even print the word in full, instead using n*gg*r, n**ger, n——, or simply "the N-word." But for some odd reason our hip hop generation has adopted this word, changed the spelling and use it as a self-deprecating term that is suggestive of familiarity and endearment. I have heard people explain it as turning a negative into a positive. But when mainstream America sees us using this word… what do you really think they see?

What makes this even sadder is this ridiculous assertion being spouted by some brothers who will point out that there's a big difference between the word 'Nigger' and 'Nigga'. It baffles me to think you have some people who take this word and flip it so that it empowers them, or at least so they think. So that now nigga is a good thing... However when some white or Asian kid comes rolling up to me talking about 'What's up my Nigga'?, should I embrace him because this kid is down with hip hop culture or kick his ass because he has disrespected me?

We as Black people must understand that when the word nigga is used in public or in lyrics, other ethnic groups also hear them. And yes, these other ethnic groups may understand in which context blacks mean and use the word nigga and may recognize this as a term of affection and friendship. But at the same time it still reminds people of the word nigger. The two words nigga and nigger will never ever be separated. If blacks use the word nigga as a greeting, then certain people from other ethnic groups will want to use the word in the same light. And why does skin color have to depict the true intentions of the use of the word?

Shouldn’t we follow the lead of other ethnic groups who vehemently step to folks who use such hateful epithets? For example, the Jewish community or even the gay and lesbian community. There's an old saying that goes 'What you say or allow to be said about you is what you will become'.


Anonymous said...

somethings will never change

ShawnQt said...

I'm done with the word.
Amazing how words can bring up such a rise in people.

Marz said...

YES. I find it interesting also how black people are ready to KILL when a white person calls them a nigger; but, then can call their mother one.

The children in my class are always using nigga and bitch, to define the genders of African Americans. I'm always screaming, " don't call me that, I'm a Negro at worst".

(Although i must say it was funny when my Caucasian teacher said that if we had more white people at our school we would get money for having diversity then screamed, "So if you have any cracker friends, tell them they need to come to our schools". Innapropriate Humor though.)


celeste said...

i see a lot of people are blogging about the infamous N-word.

Playboy Adonis said...

I personally could care less about the N Word. I think you either use it or you don't. Like the word "Gay". There are some people who feel that it is taboo to use this word. I was at work the other day and I overheard a coworker talking about their Thanksgiving dinner.

He said his sister came to the dinner table with her lover and his dad said he was not condoning the shit in his house. My coworker talks loud and when he said "she was in a gay relationship" he whispered the word 'gay'.

So, in today's society, as long as you don't put a finger on me, you can say and call me whatever you want. It is not opinions that count but actions. When someone deliberately takes it upon themselves to go out of the way to bring harm to you, these are the things that get me fired up.

I will reiterate. If it was comedian Mo'Nique on the stage and she said "Nigga, sit you black ass down, shut the fuck up, before I hang you like I'm your master", the audience would have been like, damn she funny, she keeps it really real, she had me rolling that night.......so why is it different now?

We are sensitive about white people doing it because their ancestors kept us as slaves. When will we forgive and forget and if there are people living with true hatred in their hearts, let them be that way, we cannot change everybody.

Them niggas should have known not to go to his comedy spot in the first place, you can tell from tv he aint funny like that...LOL

Anonymous said...

I agree, the white people in this country are soo asleep at the wheel.

When is it going to become evident that we are in FULL REVERSE DISCRIMINATION MODE?! Wake up white people, before its too late!!