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Home Opinion Originally published June 12, 2013

The ā€˜Nā€™ Word

My Take

by Edmund Simms

    Edmund Simms (Courtesy Photo)
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We're Black and African-Americans. We're Negroes. We are not, and have never been the "n" word. We are not better than any other race, nor is there any race better than us. It was that kind of deluded thinking that gave birth to the "n" word. One race created the belief that they were superior to black people because of our color.

There came a point when the fact that we were being sold into slavery was considered not demeaning enough. It was decided that a special name be given to us to further solidify the belief that we were inferior. We began then to be called the "n" word.

To this day, not only do people who hate anyone who is Black or dark skinned use the "n" word, so do some African-Americans. Baffling. The reasoning for some to use the word is to take away the negative power it once had by making it mean friend, brother. This is illogical because some black people use the word in anger at other black people. Apparently, when you're black, the:"n" word becomes some kind of warped homonym. It means something positive if you're black, but bad if you're not. But can be bad if you're black and mad at someone who is black but it's okay then because you're black. WHAT?! Baffling.

The "n" word was designed to break us down further. Many wonder why some of us continue to use it. If you teach a toddler what we know to be a square is a circle, that child will grow to believe a square is a circle. The child knows no better. Our ancestors were called that word by their owners and took it with them into the fields, into their quarters and into their psyche. Many began to believe they were that word. To this day, hundreds of years later, that word remains in our psyche.

If you're black and use the "n" word, you lose the right to be offended by it. If you're black and use the "n" word, look down at your wrists and ankles because the chains are still there. Every time a black person uses the "n" word, a racist get their coned hood.

We need to abolish that word from usage. Black people especially. We diminish our accomplishments and struggles by continuing to use that word even if we redefine it. If I redefine a chocolate chip cookie as an apple, does that make it good for me? I may not be as great as those who came before me, but I know very well that I am not an "n" word.

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