Ezrah Aharone: The Un-Abolishable N-Word
Understanding the power of defining and controlling language, it becomes clear why we weren’t permitted to read or write during slavery, nor speak any language other than English.
We couldn’t even tap or hum to ourselves.
Enslavers would panic, not knowing “the
words” behind the tap and hum... Herein marks initial concerns to disarm and re-channel the influences of our words and music.
Now, under the pretext of “Free Speech,” the N-Word is commercially linked to a billion dollar music-genre that flaunts sex, violence, and prison culture to our children.... Since we were considered “less than human,” logic might suggest that Euro-Americans wouldn’t care what we called ourselves...No, No, No....
For submission purposes, captors cannot allow captives to communicate in unfamiliar languages or have unfamiliar names. As such, all “Kunta
Identities” had to be deconstructed entirely.
“Toby vs. Kunta” represented an epoch identity/ideological struggle where – “winner takes all” – there was/is no second prize....
African names traditionally convey aspects of heritage, history, and virtues.
Enslavers didn’t know the meanings, but they knew that African names encompassed more than European names.
So “Toby” denoted far more than a typical European name alone.
The “act of renaming” was part of a larger process to psychologically transfigure all “Kunta
Identities” into domesticated natures that could ultimately be trusted to be “Toby-minded” – even when no one was looking.
H. Lewis Smith: Black America Under Siege: Without and Within
"Affectionate" users of the n-word claim that the manner in which they use the term defuses any of the heinous roots attached to the word. However, these same African Americans conveniently overlook the paradoxical circumstances when they also use the word derogatorily in a fit of rage; at these moments, the true sub-conscious understanding and definition of the word rises to the surface, with all of its hate, degradation, and disrespect attached in full blossom. By continually referring to self and one another as "n**ger," blacks are keeping the dream of the slave mentality alive and oppressing their own people....
African Americans must realize that not only do external forces work against the race, but their continued use of the n-word - the "inside man" - is attacking the African-American race from within.
Jamese Lewis: Is the 'N-Word' Dead?
Is the N-Word dead? No. Is it nefarious, self-deprecating, archaic, and counterproductive to the goals and aspirations and spirit of the African-American people? Yes. I have bad news: The N-Word is not dead. The N-Word has been on its deathbed for the past 40-60 years, and only we have our hands on the cord to end the livelihood, impact and longevity of it on our living possibilities....I think we have forgotten that it was those who share our bloodline that formed the geometry necessary to construct the pyramids, that invented many of the foundations of contemporary medicine, that first navigated by the stars and taught others all these things. We forget that
Aristotle and his contemporaries voyaged to US in
Cairo to attain an education. I'm not talking about the bloodlines of our mothers' violators during slavery that promulgated and gave roots to the firsts of our culture's single parent homes....We need to be edifying each other, building each other up, removing from our language the arsenal of our enemies....This N-word has got to go. Its wheezing, straining against the covers, feeding through a tube. Its heart monitor is giving off a weak emasculated signal. Its breath is thin and hardly perceptible. It wants to die. Are you keeping it alive?
H. Lewis Smith: Scrutinizing NAACP's Burial of the N-Word
For decades, the African-American’s consciousness has been submerged in a toiling, never-ending sea of self-deprivation, and ultimately, self-destruction, at their discretion. The minds of its youths were (and still are) exposed to the poison and venomous lyrics of rap music and the Steppin Fetchit antics of black comedians. Their sole ambitions were to sell their souls and the souls of their community for fame and fortune. No one cried out in protest against these “innovations” in entertainment. Rather, they either turned their heads and chose to remain ignorant or separated from the exploitations, or they bobbed their heads rhythmically to the degrading tunes and snickered boisterously at satire-filled stand-ups.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Nothing Hip In Boondocks' N-Word Usage
There are still dozens of daily examples where whites (and other non-blacks) taunt, and harass blacks by calling them nigger, spray paint the word on their homes, businesses, churches, physically assault and even murder blacks. In the FBI's annual count of hate crimes in America, blacks still make up the overwhelming majority of victims. The N-word reigns supreme at the top of the stack as the favorite racial epithet hurled at blacks during these crimes. Even when the word isn't used, the sentiment is that blacks are still fair game to be abused and dehumanized, and the N-word reinforces that belief.
Michael Tyler: From Origins to Use
I can never imagine Jews employing a swastika as a transformative aid for Jewish identity. That symbol has been indelibly branded into their collective psyche as a remorseless reminder of the holocaust of 6.5 million of their own. By comparison, estimates are that 100 million people were extracted from the continent of
Africa during the transatlantic slave trade. Only 10 million survived --- a holocaust of 90 million.
Sam Saleem: A Tribute to the Children for Necessary Change
When youths of African descent are seen constantly using the “n” word, it’s because they do in public what many of us adults do in private.
By openly identifying with the “n” word, our children are revealing our primary problem.
Despite being the mothers and fathers of humanity, our primary problem is that the slave (or “n” word) legacy, with its inference that black is bad, evil, ugly, inferior, bestial or subhuman, has blinded us to the magnificence of our own identity and self-worth as a people.
When we look in the mirror, many of us are not comfortable with what we see or who we are.
So, even while some of us achieve great success, we all know, deep down inside, that real freedom is still missing.