Article 14201 | Island Views
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Does The ‘N-Word’ Use, Psychologically Try To Re-Brand Us?

The use of the N-Word by some individuals, provocative groups, rap artists, film makers, programs, radio makers, poets, visual media, news outlets and other forms of expressive media, plus those who use it culturally, needs to be understood and challenged.

The ‘N-Word’ has been used as a strongly negative term of contempt for a darker skin toned (black) person since at least the 18th century by lighter skin toned people (White). Today it remains one of the most racially offensive words in the language.

The N-Word is sometimes used by ‘darker skin toned’ people in referring to other ‘darker skin toned’ people in a mutually neutral greeting and manner.

Some ‘darker skin toned’ people have argued that the regular use of the N-Word is the ‘claiming’ of the N-Word, in order to take the stigma out of the N-Word, which they believe will over time remove the perceived potency and perceived power away from the N-Word, they believe this will remove the shock and affect from the N-Word.

However, other darker skin toned people argue that the origin of the N-Word should be held and kept unchanged to remind us all of the historic and current damage caused by racism in societies, plus argue that the very definition of the N-Word should never be reused when describing any human being, because we all have rights, they believe the N-Word is historically and currently a hateful word.

Many also question the logic of how the N-Word can ever be used as a greeting or as a welcome between darker skin toned people, because effectively that person is calling the other person the historical definition for the N-Word. Many argue that using the N-Word as a greeting makes no sense whatsoever, because psychologically it does not change the original intended definition of the N-Word, plus does not change how it was applied in history, and they believe we must not forget how it was applied historically during slavery, through to the present day.

Others say that it is impossible to redefine what the N-Word means, based on how it has previously been applied historically.

Some argue that there should be a brand new word created to celebrate darker skin toned people and the hard fought journeys, wonderful achievements, intelligence, creativity, strength, endurance, humanity and fight for equality. Others argue that as long as everyone is treated equally and fairly, there is no need for a special word.

Some prominent groups argue that regardless of what some darker skin toned people may wish the N-Word to be, the N-Word will not be changed, because of its historical significance and importance to how darker skin tone people have been treated for centuries, which continues right through to the present day, including and leading to extreme, cruel, unfair, unjust, social restrictions, financial restrictions and disparities throughout society, not to mention the physical and psychological abuses, plus damage to the individuals.

Others further argue that the historical use of the N-Word and all it’s associated actions carried out, by those who applied the N-Word to people with darker skin tones, further fuelled appalling treatment, deeds and actions against darker skin toned people.

In addition to the N-Word, there is the word Negro which came from the Portuguese and Spanish around the mid 16th century, which was used throughout the 17th–19th centuries. The word Negro was also an expression occasionally used by some black American campaigners in the early 20th century (examples = W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington). This use changed in the 1960s with such groups as Black Power movement, they used the term “Black’ to express racial pride and terms like Negro were dropped and became offensive in both UK and US, plus in many other parts of the world.

The N-Word historically was used by lighter skin toned people to offend other darker skin toned people and ethnic groups such as:


*   Arabs who were called, sand-n*gg*rs

*  Japanese who were called, yellow-n*gg*rs

*  Jews who were called, white-n*gg*rs.


Individuals who have stated such things such as ‘Slavery was merely economic at the time’ and/or ‘Slavery was a choice’, have been condemned by many for being extremely ignorant and showing extreme lack of historical facts.

Many do not argue that it would be a nice thing to rebrand, change and remove the potency of the N-Word. Many agree that the N-Word should not be generationally applied or used now, or ever in the future. However many believe we should never attempt to remove the historical dehumanising potency and impact of the N-Word as it applies to our shared history of slavery, because we need to remember, honor and respect the hardships, brutality, difficulties, pain and suffering, inhumanness on an international scale ever encountered or endured by a race/group in society over the last 300-500 years and more.

Many may feel that because of the ongoing treatment, oppression, economic suppression, the educational suppression, societal access disparities based on the historically appalling treatment of darker skin toned people (and much more), that darker skin toned people are still being treated badly in some of the very same ways that were as historically, based on the concepts held within definition of the N-Word.

Although there are still many of societies systems that maybe gamed against darker skin toned people at this present time and there is a great deal of psychological damage being done to darker skin toned people, due to the unfairness of the system against darker skin toned people, however it is still not the same as the 300-500 plus years of historical physical violence, at the time of the creation of the N-Word and the historical application of the N-Word which continues to this day.

It would be a grave injustice of our shared histories, if individuals do you not understand what the conceptual realities of what the N-Word use and application, really means and represents in their daily lives psychologically. The N-Word represents a terrible sustained egregious history of brutalising, undermining and attacking darker skin toned people, the psychology and ideology is a scourge on humanity, but in no way shape or form must it ever again be the current situation. This is not to say that the current situation is satisfactory at all, or is even close to being reasonable. The point is that psychologically, financially and emotionally, there is a horrific and brutally unfair burden being borne by darker skin toned people still to this day, because of the disparity in finance due to imposed restricted access and engagement to institutional structures, that still carryover much of the psychological behaviours that are completely unacceptable, still exists and in some cases often encouraged by many lighter skin toned people.

However understanding how the psychology of the N-Word is still being projected from its history, through to the present and in the future, is both important and vital. Darker skin toned people are not in the same physical dangers as under slavery (having fought and survived this horrendous inhumane period), however it is clearly unfair and unjust that darker skin toned people still have to unfairly endure many of the injustices and unfair restriction economically, psychologically, organisationally, procedurally, infrastructure, ownership and more, even though many people are chipping away at the unfairness.

If our darker skin toned ancestors who were forced to go through slavery, were treated under the current laws and not the historical legal definition of the N-Word, (in other words, if they were able to see from their graves at this current moment in time) they would be in tears of joy that no one else is going through the physical brutality and separations that they went through. Remember that if those darker skin toned ancestors were alive today, they would be you and I, if you and I have darker skin tones.

Do you define yourself as a N-Word?

Or are you the person you are today, which is not defined by the N-Word?

Yes it is harder for darker skin toned people when it should not be, it is totally unfair, and and there has been no rebalancing of this in the last 300-500 years of denied infrastructure, financial rewards, land ownership, structure, institutions, preferences and more. Darker skin toned people are trying to survive within this mentality for over 300-500 years of ‘world wide’ infrastructure, institutions and financial denial and obstruction.

Darker skin toned people are fighting against the above, therefore this is where the focus should be. The use of the N-Word as a modern day term of endearment or greeting does not do this, therefore the idea of a ‘modern day’ term of endearment is false, insensitive, disrespectful, and an inaccurate expression via use of the N-Word.

When the argument that other cultures have managed to flourish and get going through the difficulties, is used by lighter skin toned people concerning darker skin toned people, lighter skin toned people often forget the absolute abhorrent treatment and vicious actions by lighter skin toned people. The financial benefits to lighter skin toned people that has been built on over 300-500 years, has never been corrected and never redressed. There is no comparison historically and/or currently.

Most importantly, both unfairly and inhumanely, lighter skinned toned people have been and still are given more opportunities, allowed more access and treated far better then darker skinned toned people, because of 300 plus years of slavery and years of the attitudes by organisations, institutions, plus the use of and the manipulation of common societal psychology. Many lighter skin toned people have still not relinquish many of the attitudes, injustices, unfairness and its institutions, implementations and interpretations, that lie at the heart of the N-Word.

Some examples of the cruelty worldwide over 300-500 years as follows:

Burning, lynching, beating, boiling in oil, decapitation, amputation, impaling, whipping, incarcerating, starving, raping, sodomy, hanging, breeding, torturing, experiments, medical trials and killing.

Would you trivialise the historical racism, genocide and brutality against the Native Americans, Aborigines in Australia, the Holocaust, Roman Empire amphitheatres, actions carried out in World War I and World War II, plus other wars?

Just because the N-Word has been created and defined in the dictionary, does not mean that it is actually true, this was mainly legalise hate, racism, slander, legalised commercial exploitation, extreme cruelty and bullying, by many societies historically carrying out institutional inhumane acts against other human beings.


We should never trivialise the use of the N-Word, because of the devastating affect that historical and current racism has had on darker skin toned people.


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