The latest thing to make the news from Jesse Jackson’s mic slip is that supposedly he used the “N” word during this well-publicized rant as well. Something along the lines of “Barack is telling niggers how to behave.” Oh. My. God.
This is worse because Jackson is on record as being opposed to blacks using this word, asking that comedians and rappers refrain from its usage. But apparently he uses it.
Let me go on record as saying, I know all the arguments that by us using the word we take its power away and the term of endearment argument as relates to the usage of the word’s close kin “nigga.” But I don’t buy it. I think it is stupid under any condition to call each other a word that was, and is still used, to denigrate us. And I think there is no way to keep using the word and somehow not deep inside, internalize its root meaning, its real intent.
Whoopie Goldberg apparently also thinks it is o.k. to use the word, as I saw a clip from “The View” today that indicates she used it several times during the show, on purpose, for shock and to make a point, that she too thinks that we now “own” the word and it is less meaningful.
Just stupid. No matter how much we use it on ourselves it doesn’t change what it means to the racist who throws it at us in an attempt to bring us down, like a homeless woman did at me a few weeks ago on the street.
And our usage of the word only confuses matters. Because no matter how we spin it, it is indeed a double standard to be outraged when somebody else says it, but to think it is cute when a black person says it.
I don’t think so.