"Nigger", a Racial Offence?

Racial offences are common. Even if they are legally punishable if they are committed in public, they are still used in private circles. There is no law obliging a person to befriend another from a different race although the same law obliges him/her to show equal treatment.

It’s unfortunate that black people still face prejudice because of their colour. But black people should be proud of what they are. In some parts of Africa, white people are pejoratively described as “pale”.

One of the latest controversy about the word “nigger” is the ban of an advertising poster about a show called “Pride And Prejudice And Niggas”.

If “negro” is accepted as a term as there were American black activists in the 60s calling for “negro culture”, the word “nigger” should be avoided as it has diminutive meaning.

What hurts is not the word but the notion that goes behind it.

After all “gay” used to be a term to express joy now it can be used derogatively or a way to express one’s identity. For racial harmony, it’s better to devise affectionate terms or refer to people as they look like and not how we perceive them.

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4 Comments

  1. H. Lewis Smith said,

    November 14, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    BOOK CRITICAL OF AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO USE THE N-WORD

    Los Angeles, CA., Author H. Lewis Smith has written a thought provoking, culturally divided book that will not only spark heated conversation, but can also bring about real change. The N-word is often used in the African American community amongst each other and is generally not a problem when spoken by another African American. However, once the word is used by a Caucasian person, it brings on other effects. The question is “who can use the word and why?” Smith believes it is a word that should be BURIED!!!!

    The book is written in a manner that all can understand. The points are well-taken and the wording is easy to follow. There are quotes from great people in our history including Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin and many, many others. Smith has mixed history with honesty, love with life, education with effects. This is a great book for educators, parents, managers, professionals, newsmen, and anyone else wanting an in-depth look at the N-word, the effects and the solutions. A MUST READ!!!!

    H. Lewis Smith has studied the idioms, meanings and the psychological impact of words, its energy and vibratory effects on the human mind for more than two decades. He has been a guest on several talk shows, The Power, The Exchange, Andrea Williams’ Jamin 98.3 and many more. To learn more about Bury that Sucka, please visit http://www.burythatsucka.com

  2. Abdelilah Boukili said,

    November 14, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    Smith, thanks a lot for the information.

  3. Steve said,

    November 15, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    Abdelilah,

    Regardless of a word’s original or alternative meanings, if it is predominately tied to diminutive associations, it is hard to revert back to its more benign nature. The n-word is such a charged term here in the US, I find it hard to even refer to it. However, that is because I am white; if African Americans and other blacks want to use it, more power to them. They cannot be as easily accused with racism for using the word.

    Oh yeah, thanks for alerting me about Anu’s response on the WHYS blog. I just replied back go her.

  4. Abdelilah Boukili said,

    November 15, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    Steve,
    Thanks for your comment.
    I take your blog as a reference. It was through you that I,for example, knew in August that Kevin was changing job to the Guardian.


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