How Long Can We Control The Use of Nigga?

I’ve already prepared myself long before this article was written to deal with the potential backlash or slander from raising this question. How long can we as black people control the use of the word nigga? The idea of writing this article stemmed from several life experiences and the infamous scene in Atlanta. In the scene, a white guy says the word nigga to one black person but won’t say it around the others. I’m sure majority of my peers would instantly say that only black people can say the word and should defend its use for eternity. My only question to that point is, “Have you considered all aspects of the word’s usage before making your decision?”

Nigga vs. Nigger

In my opinion, these are two totally different words with different meanings. Like any other word in the English language, there are plenty of factors that can change the context of the word. It could be from the way the word is used in a sentence to the pronunciation and tone. By definition, nigger is an ethnic slur directed at African-Americans. Nigga is derived from the word nigger which actually meant the same thing at its origins. It was a misspelling of the word which developed into a term of endearment amongst the culture. The term and context quickly gained popularity. Historically, BLACK culture is POP culture. With that being said, the usage transitioned to other races. You know how everybody wants to be down but they don’t want to be really black. Well, they don’t want to be black until it’s convenient.

Does Brown Count?

Moving to NYC, I’ve realized that in the midwest I was in a bubble. The only people I ever heard using the word Nigga was black people. I’ve been called a “Nigger” by a few white people in my life in middle America which ended in a couple fights. New York City is a different breed. It’s a melting pot filled with black, white, and brown people. In NYC, the word is used by Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Spanish people. I was aware that they used it in NYC but never heard it in person. Artists such as Big Pun, Fat Joe, and DJ Khaled use the word with no issues in music as well. The only person to receive backlash publicly was Jennifer Lopez. But where does this place the other brown ethnic groups? Have we had a discussion about Native Americans and people from the Middle East?

Dear White People!

This is the most sensitive part of this article. Caucasian-Americans are the creators of the word nigger which has a negative connotation. The word used in a negative context by someone of this race is the only major problem with blacks right now. The reality of the situation is that white people use the word nigga all the time. Whether they are amongst friends or listening to a rap song, they are saying it. I do personally feel like the majority of America has become aware of the racial tension and are standing for what’s right. However, there is still a large portion of America that’s racist. From my own observation, the majority of the millennial Caucasians-Americans are not racist. Should they get a pass? My only issue is if you want to use something from our culture, you need to defend it as well. If you are mute, you are a part of the problem. Otherwise, your actions can be labeled as cultural appropriation. If that’s your motive, you will not receive an invite to the cookout. BYE!

Now that we’ve got some dialogue going, please share your thoughts with me. What are the criteria for determining who can say the word? Should we stop using the word ourselves? We can continue the conversation in the comment section or on our social media accounts.

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Stay True. Stay Real. Stay Black. – Trenton | Instagram/Twitter: @TrentonxPratt

Trenton Pratt22 Posts

Trenton Pratt is an experienced media personality hailing from St. Louis, MO. His journey as a media personality started back in 2012 with the development of a weekly YouTube entertainment series titled "The Vision." The YouTube series garnered over 70k views in only one year. Trenton's natural connection with the viewers led to him becoming a staple host at several live events around his hometown while he took a step away from the YouTube scene. Finally, Trenton's gravitating personality and infectious smile will be stepping back in front of the camera and behind the keyboard. He's still the same person... Just A Better Brand!

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