Earlier this week former CNN host Piers Morgan wrote an op-ed piece on the use of the n-word in black communities. In doing so, Morgan tried to solve the problems of black America with one simple solution, stop saying the word nigga.
Well though I disagree with the overall gist of Morgan’s piece I can’t deny that there are some valid points he brings up.
Yes the n-word is a heinous, disgusting word with a long horrid history – and yes many black people, especially young black people have become desensitize to the word through the world of hip-hop, but that’s where the agreement between myself and Piers Morgan ends.
Morgan, if his piece serves as a true reflection of how he feels wants you to believe that by eradicating the word nigga from the English language – whether you’re black, white or any other color that falls under the sun, if you just stop saying that n-word, man how much better your life will be.
And that is the fundamental problem not only with Piers Morgan piece, but a belief that many white Americans have. That belief is that race relations in this country can be fixed once we stop saying the n-word or start wearing our pants on our waist.
Yet those same people seem not to offer other more practical solutions such as better public schools for African American children, a change to the racist justice system in the country or economic development within black communities. But only if they could get us black people to stop using that racial slur.
So I find myself asking why? Why does a group of people who have had all the freedoms they have ever wanted in this country want to stop the right of the one group that they have oppressed throughout history of saying a word? Well pretty simple, it’s the only freedom that they don’t have.
The n word itself has a long history, whether it is spelled negro, nigger or nigga the word has always been a point of contention in United States history. As the word has evolved, just as all language does. The usage of the word has become exclusive to the African American community, and at times caused problems for prominent whites who use it in public and are caught.
The idea of their being a privilege in this country which whites are not a part of is something that rubs white people the wrong way no matter how many times they will deny it.
Now this doesn’t mean all white people want to use the word or care about its usage among black people. Nor does it mean that all black people are in favor of using the word. But it seems weird that the voices who seem to be the most vocal on the issue of ending the words usage are those who have nothing to do with the issue. So while I don’t question Piers Morgan or any other person who considers themselves a civil rights activist. I would ask is this really helping solve civil rights issue in this country?
My answer to that question is a resounding no. This country has a long history of victim blaming and making the disenfranchised feel they’re where they’re at because of their own actions and that only. Instead of trying to change the mindset or behavior of those racist people, a good portion of white America rather make life easier for themselves and not be “uncomfortable” around the word by telling others to stop what they’re doing instead of asking why they’re doing it.
It’s this same mindset that has the most popular sports league in our nation policing the use of the n-word on their field of play, but continuing to allow one of their own teams to have a name that has been deemed a racial slur to Native Americans. Because God forbid that the NFL let 70 plus percent of their workforce use a word among themselves that has been culturally accepted, but won’t intervene in the name controversy that is the Washington Redskins.
Why do white people care so much about the n-word? Simple, It’s the one thing in the culture that they have been left out of and not by choice. You add the possibility of punishment and that just doesn’t sit right with many.
Ending the use of the n word won’t change the plethora of problems facing black people across this nation, but if Piers Morgan and others want to make something die in the United States they should start with the injustices facing black Americans every day.