A Nigga Tired: Why Non-Blacks Shouldn’t Say Nigga

It’s baffling that in 2013 we’re still having this conversation, but here we are. Repetition is the key to life. And as frustrating as it may be to repeat oneself over and over again, it is often necessary. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King didn’t give one speech and vanish into obscurity. It would be nice if folks got it the first time, however, that is almost never the case.

Here’s the deal: If you are not Black, you should not call a Black person “Nigger,” “Nigga,”  “Negro,” or anything like it. And it’s a weak argument that because Blacks say it gives license for non-Blacks to use it. You can talk about your spouse, but it doesn’t mean it’s okay for others to do so. It’s basic logic and Black people are not obligated to explain why others shouldn’t use the word.

White people didn’t invent the word and its roots predate chattel slavery. The word itself is not evil as much as the word has been misused, abused and given a dirty name.

There are schools of thought that the annunciation of “Nigga” can release kundalini energy in the body. There are no vowels in many ancient languages, and by this logic, “Nigga” can also be related to “Naga” which is the Sanskrit word for a deity that takes the form of a serpent. As a result, the incantation of Nigga or Naga can arouse this sleeping, coiled serpent that sits at the base of the spine and cause one’s spirit to awaken.

Serpents are revered in many ancient cultures because of its ability to shed skin, thus making it adaptable and giving it everlasting life. The American Negro has had to be like the serpent in order to survive throughout generation upon generation of oppression.

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“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

— Matthew 10:16

Like many parts of African culture, the serpent has been reviled through the European lens. The serpent who taught Eve about the knowledge of good and evil — a lesson that all functional parents teach their children — is given a bad name. Cats, which were once sacred to Black people, have also become synonymous with bad energy. The same goes for just about anything black, for example: the financial crises of Black Monday and Friday, Black Dahlia, Black Sabbath, black magic, black propaganda, black comedy, blacklist, blackball, blackface and blackout are all negative connotations.

A large part of colonization is renaming things and imbuing tragedy onto beauty. They took our gods and made them to be feared. They took our great Black music and called it “JAZZ.” They took symbols of excellence and turned them into objects of repugnance. It’s up to Black people to rectify the wrongs. No one else can do it for us.

Black: dirty, soiled, thoroughly sinister or evil, wicked, indicative of condemnation or discredit, very sad, gloomy, calamitous, marked by the occurrence of disaster, and characterized by hostility or angry discontent, connected with or invoking the supernatural and especially the devil, characterized by the absence of light and reflecting or transmitting little or no light.

—Merriam-Webster

I find the last entry interesting, as the color black absorbs all wavelengths and colors, which is why you get so hot wearing black in the sun. Black accepts the sun and white reflects it. The darker the object, the better it receives the light.

Black people need to stop letting other people make them feel ashamed for what and who we are. What Black people decide to call each other is Black people’s business and non-Blacks don’t get a vote.

Every group has names they can call each other that someone outside the group can’t. Gay people have them, lesbians, Jews, couples, friends, family, etc. Black people are entitled to that same right without having to explain to outsiders why they can’t join the club.

“Niger” in Latin means black. “Negro” and “Negra” in Latin-based languages also mean black and is frequently employed as a term of endearment. The same can be said for “Nigga,” amongst Black Americans. I see no difference in any of them. It’s all Black and that is beautiful until some bigot like Richie Incognito is given a free pass to say it.

“A man has to be a man, and when you said ‘Negro,’ it’s a term that’s been used so many times, but I don’t particularly care for that term. I’d rather be a Black man, because that’s  identity. That’s the way he can improve himself and identity and respect for himself, as a man.”

— James Brown (as told to David Susskind)

Because it may be empowering amongst some Blacks, gives no non-Blacks the right to call them “Nigger,” “Nigga,” “Negro,” or any derivation of the word.

End. Of. Story.

#BAM

— Nicholas Payton aka The King of Research

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