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The New Nigger

Good day niggaz, the non black niggaz that is. Though many black leaders push for the burial of the term, they have not done so on behalf of the other colonized races. A Black multi-cultural person will soon confront the taboo as a minority among members of another culture. This was the case for me when I went to an Indian birthday party. “Nigga” gets thrown all over the place, and it’s not in reference to the African brother. Black folks are expected to get defensive with such lingo, but the expectation changes when the odds of safety are not in your favor.  Relaxation forces itself as an alternative, and still, the discomfort does not escape. So what does this mean for the 21st century Black American?

Rules for usage of the “n-word” have to be negotiated with people descending from India, Spain, indigenous America and so on; meaning Black folks are powerless in the struggle for exclusive appropriation of it. As a result, either “nigger” loses its negative connotations or all of the colored people of the world form a weak vanguard against Europeans. I do not think many Black people are ready for the drama of “nigger” to just vanish, as it’s our only form of reparations. This “n-bomb” expresses the respect for our ancestors, as it is widely accepted that any non-white person that lets it roll off their tongues is to be dealt with. What a low standard? On the other hand though, this is the country that would not give 40 acres and a mule, nor even basic human rights. Nevertheless, the struggle we hold dear to our Black history becomes minimized as we use it too.

Not only is the word being embraced by other devalued cultures, but the pop culture spaces make white usage less forbidden. Black artists’, of every type, achievement of crossing over is nothing new today. It presents a problem for the death of “nigger” though, because Black audiences are not the only people idolizing Black celebrities. With idolizing comes the want to reenact the greatness. There have been times when my white roommate raps a Drake/Lil Wayne lyric and does not think twice about saying “nigga.” Chris Rock resolved the issue in 99, saying that is impossible to give a “niggerless rendition” of an N.W.A. song. So I don’t trip, reason being, pop culture has redefined the word in multicultural terms. Still I am not ready.

While multi-racial America grows, Black folks have new concerns to be thought out. Our main question regards two things: whether we can recognize the European destruction of other cultures and its validation for saying “nigga,” and if any derivations of “nigger” should exists at all. Refusal to seriously reflect will only make the shock more intense, seeing that it’s going to be hard to avoid the new nigger. This is the dawn of another age, which Black people will have to survive once more. Can we really deal with a melting pot?