The dreaded “N-word” the only ethnic slur that is so powerful and potent that people avoid speaking its name, as if the mere mention of it would bring upon pure hatred and ultimate evil amongst the masses.
A word that is not like any other, it is a true double-edged sword, when spoken by a select few under certain circumstances it could be considered a term of endearment, a sign of camaraderie, but when spoken out of anger it becomes a dagger that pierces the heart of the intended target and makes him/her feel less of a person.
The phrase, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” obviously does not hold true, at least not when it comes to this word and the pain it could cause when used by ignorant hate-filled people.
The word is muttered behind closed doors, where people feel safe from any repercussions and/or retaliation as a result of doing so, in a sense they feel as if they are breaking some kind of unwritten law when it crosses their lips.
Now I don’t personally think that everyone who uses this word is a racist.
Sometimes, I think that people don’t realize how horrific this word is and what it could do in the wrong hands, they just do so without thinking and/or concern with who they may hurt in the process.
I’m white, so white that I’m almost transparent, so I can’t pretend to understand the magnitude of devastation this word has caused over the years, all the people it has hurt and why it holds the power it does.
To me, it is nothing more than hateful garbage that has no purpose in our world, completely meaningless and totally insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
But then again, as I said prior, I am white and never had to feel the sting of such a word.
I won’t sit here and tell you I’ve never used the word because that would be a lie, but I will do my best to avoid using it at any and all costs in the future, because it is not something that should be taken lightly, regardless of which ethnicity you are.
But I can honestly tell you I’ve never used it in a hateful manner, only in a mindless joking kind of way, which by the way does not make it any better but I’m just being truthful here.
The bottom line is this, we as whites don’t understand just how deep this word cuts, the damage it has done and will do moving forward, and so as with all forms of hate speech we need to remove it from our vocabulary and let it die the death it deserves.