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Switch to Forum Live View The dreaded "N" word: Get over it! It's just a word!
3 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2011 - 10:30PM #1
Tamal108
Posts: 27

I’ll preface this post by saying that I am African American, Black,  or whatever one thinks is politically correct. My oldest daughter is  half Puerto-Rican, and my youngest is half white. My Dad converted to  Judaism and I became a Hare Krishna devotee. I have experienced racism  in both the southern and northern U.S. I went to predominately white  schools as well predominately black schools. I have lived in urban  ghettos and affluent suburbs. I have friends and family of all  nationalities, races, and religions.


The word “nigger” is  perhaps one of the most polarizing words used in American English. It  immediately conjures strong emotions (both negative and positive),  images of hate, and it is linked to some of the most horrific atrocities  in the U.S history. It has caused riots, murders, and has destroyed  friendships. It is a word that if uttered, can make a whole room uneasy.  However, blacks (and everyone else) should finally understand that this  word is harmless.

One reason that we should all look beyond  this word is that, it’s just that: a word. Even though it’s linked to  some of most embarrassing moments in United States history, if someone  says it now, are fire hoses and German shepherds soon to follow?  Probably not. Of course there are certainly some areas in the country  where this type of ignorance exists but for the most part, even the most  die-hard racist won’t follow their verbal “epithet” with physical  violence.

As I said, I have experience racism of all types,  subtle and overt. However, I have a decent job, nice family, nice home,  and am an example that with hard work, much can be achieved. I have been  called a nigger before.  If someone called me that now, I’d just shrug  my shoulders. Obviously someone with that type of mentality is not  someone I’d like to be around. However, the word itself would not bother  me. There is really no substance behind it. But it “hurts” because it  has been given the power to hurt. Otherwise, it is just 6 letters. I  suppose I’m simply taking the old “sticks and stones” adage to the next  level.


I should note that I am 35 years old, and my  63-year-old mother does not share this same view. I can understand,  because she still remembers going to segregated schools and seeing  violent attacks due to racial intolerance. But I can only speak from my  experience.

The most compelling argument for everyone to  disregard the word "nigger" is simple. We are not these material bodies.  We are not black, white, Mexican, Jewish, American, Russian, or any  other race or nationality. We are spirit souls that have taken on a  particular body. The ancient text Bhagavad-Gita states, “As the embodied  soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old  age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober  person is not bewildered by such a change”. This is a very simple  definition of reincarnation. I could be black now, but could be white in  another lifetime. If one follows this premise, then it is easy to see  that “nigger” or any other perceived epithet really has no value. Even  if one doesn’t believe in reincarnation, most who follow a spiritual  path believe in the soul and that we are created by a Higher Power. So  if we are indeed spiritual beings, then why are we so captured by the  bodily designation, which is simply material matter? Unfortunately, we  identify with so many “isms”--nationalism, feminism, etc. We love our  countries, states, cities, counties, and boroughs. We are attached to  our alma maters, childhood homes, and favorite sports teams. Therefore  we are disturbed if we are called a “racial slur”. This is all due to  identifying with the body. I have heard it said, “I am not a human being  having a spiritual experience. I am spiritual being having a human  experience.”


I don’t think blacks will get over the use of the  word “nigger” very easily. Just like I don’t think people will get over  the use of the words like spic, wop, guido, and kike either. I doubt  we’ll get over feuds betweens neighborhoods, countries and religions  either. That’s too bad, because as long as we see others in terms of  their bodily designation while allowing others to see us in the same  way, a lot of relationships will be lost and wars will be started. This  article really isn’t about saying “nigger”. Insert racial slur here:  _______I chose this word because I thought it would help illustrated my  point and because of its polarizing nature. I am hoping that we can go  beyond the skin, religion, and country, and see that we are really all  individual spirit souls that are all equal in the eyed of God.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2011 - 10:58PM #2
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

I am going to differ with you.


Given the history of the Blacks in this country with slavery,segregation and the domestic terrorism endured by the Black Community, that word is entirely too loaded with hatred and anger. It is like burning a cross.

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2011 - 11:09PM #3
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Aug 5, 2011 -- 10:58PM, Roodog wrote:


I am going to differ with you.


Given the history of the Blacks in this country with slavery,segregation and the domestic terrorism endured by the Black Community, that word is entirely too loaded with hatred and anger. It is like burning a cross.




I agree. It's nasty. I don't like terms like "rag-heads" either.


Discuss Catholicism is my fave board. Our genial host often addresses us "listen up snappers" and I love it : we were once referred to as "mackeral snappers" because we didn't eat meat on Fridays. Not much after WWII. Now Catholicism is the leading religion, followed by ex-Catholics. The "n" word is still a pejorative.




discuss catholicism
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2011 - 11:16PM #4
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

Aug 5, 2011 -- 11:09PM, jane2 wrote:


Aug 5, 2011 -- 10:58PM, Roodog wrote:


I am going to differ with you.


Given the history of the Blacks in this country with slavery,segregation and the domestic terrorism endured by the Black Community, that word is entirely too loaded with hatred and anger. It is like burning a cross.




I agree. It's nasty. I don't like terms like "rag-heads" either.


Discuss Catholicism is my fave board. Our genial host often addresses us "listen up snappers" and I love it : we were once referred to as "mackeral snappers" because we didn't eat meat on Fridays. Not much after WWII. Now Catholicism is the leading religion, followed by ex-Catholics. The "n" word is still a pejorative.








I do not like honkey or cracker either.


 I will only accept "Gringo" if the speaker is actually from Latin America. That is not neccesarily perjorative. When used by a Spanish person born in this country, I take it as a separatist slur against  the country. 

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2011 - 11:33PM #5
Tamal108
Posts: 27

Aug 5, 2011 -- 10:58PM, Roodog wrote:

I am going to differ with you.


Given the history of the Blacks in this country with slavery,segregation and the domestic terrorism endured by the Black Community, that word is entirely too loaded with hatred and anger. It is like burning a cross.


I agree with all of you. The "word" is loaded with hate but it's charged by the person behind it. On a a strictly material level, yes, the word is terrible. But that's just my point: to move beyond the word--on both sides. If someone says "Nigger! Nigger! Nigger!" (or any pther slur) over and over again, what does the word really do? Nothing. It may show someone's hate for me, but perople are going to hate me for a multitude of things. Because I'm black, or catholic, or from XYZ Street instead of ABC Street... there will always be something--and it's all based on the body and not who I really am. Again, i am trying to look at this on a higher level than just race, religion, and sex. Thanks for your feedback.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2011 - 11:55PM #6
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Aug 5, 2011 -- 11:33PM, Tamal108 wrote:

Aug 5, 2011 -- 10:58PM, Roodog wrote:


I am going to differ with you.


Given the history of the Blacks in this country with slavery,segregation and the domestic terrorism endured by the Black Community, that word is entirely too loaded with hatred and anger. It is like burning a cross.




I agree with all of you. The "word" is loaded with hate but it's charged by the person behind it. On a a strictly material level, yes, the word is terrible. But that's just my point: to move beyond the word--on both sides. If someone says "Nigger! Nigger! Nigger!" (or any pther slur) over and over again, what does the word really do? Nothing. It may show someone's hate for me, but perople are going to hate me for a multitude of things. Because I'm black, or catholic, or from XYZ Street instead of ABC Street... there will always be something--and it's all based on the body and not who I really am. Again, i am trying to look at this on a higher level than just race, religion, and sex. Thanks for your feedback.



s


Catholics haven't worried about being Catholic in generations. Perhaps I should not have included that story, which I love, here.At least half of the regualar posters on Discuss Catholicism are highly educated in that faith and overall. I'm fringey, intellectual Catholic and dismiss much of what has emanated from Rome since John Paul II became pope decades ago as do many posters there. We have hillarious fun all too often.


Something afoot in Catholicism for some time now is being comfortable with who each of us were created to be. This does mesh with some of your outlook. Much of this came into play with the writings of the writings of Thomas Merton, a Catholic Trappist monk who sought wisdom among Buddhist monks.



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3 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2011 - 12:26AM #7
mountain_man
Posts: 39,062

Aug 5, 2011 -- 10:30PM, Tamal108 wrote:

I’ll preface this post by saying that I am African American, Black,  or whatever one thinks is politically correct. ...


I have never had a need, or desire, to use that word. I'm over it. It seems you're not.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2011 - 1:38AM #8
Merope
Posts: 9,544

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2011 - 8:32AM #9
Tamal108
Posts: 27

Aug 6, 2011 -- 12:26AM, mountain_man wrote:


Aug 5, 2011 -- 10:30PM, Tamal108 wrote:

I’ll preface this post by saying that I am African American, Black,  or whatever one thinks is politically correct. ...


I have never had a need, or desire, to use that word. I'm over it. It seems you're not.





The first paragraph basically some background. Typically, when someone says to get over the use of the word "nigger" people assume they are white. Then they attack that person for being racially insensitve. So you may want to read my post again to get a better sense of what I was writing. Or not. That's okay.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2011 - 12:30AM #10
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

Aug 5, 2011 -- 11:33PM, Tamal108 wrote:

Aug 5, 2011 -- 10:58PM, Roodog wrote:


I am going to differ with you.


Given the history of the Blacks in this country with slavery,segregation and the domestic terrorism endured by the Black Community, that word is entirely too loaded with hatred and anger. It is like burning a cross.




I agree with all of you. The "word" is loaded with hate but it's charged by the person behind it. On a a strictly material level, yes, the word is terrible. But that's just my point: to move beyond the word--on both sides. If someone says "Nigger! Nigger! Nigger!" (or any pther slur) over and over again, what does the word really do? Nothing. It may show someone's hate for me, but perople are going to hate me for a multitude of things. Because I'm black, or catholic, or from XYZ Street instead of ABC Street... there will always be something--and it's all based on the body and not who I really am. Again, i am trying to look at this on a higher level than just race, religion, and sex. Thanks for your feedback.





I am trying my hand at writing both Science fiction and Speculative fiction. I would balk at putting the word in question in the mouths of my most despicable villains.

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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