In a conversation that I had with a close friend, we discussed people using the word Nigga/Nigger and what it meant. There is this new age argument that Nigga now means friend and is a term of endearment. But is it really? Is a word that has the power to elicit your deepest rage and greatest affection at the same time, safe? While I am a typical American in that I believe in freedom of speech, I am not naive enough to think that it does not come with a price.
Here is the issue at hand and please except my colloquialism.
If you are in a fight or an argument with someone, will you curse at them while also calling them brother, sister or friend at the same time. For example, will you say “F*** this brother, Friend I”ll kill you”. Or perhaps “This sister’s a b****. Have you ever heard someone say “On my mama, I’m killing this brother/sister/friend”. And if someone was holding a gun in their hand, how often do you think they will say “I’m about to pop(murder) this brother/sister/friend. However, in our freedom of speech and in our claims that we are taking back the word Nigga, let’s see how the same conversation plays when we switch the words.
“F*** this Nigger, Nigger I’ll kill you”. “This Nigger’s a b****”. “On my mama, I’m killing this Nigga” “I’m about to pop this Nigga”.
Replacing the words brother/sister/friend with the word Nigga, makes these sentences come alive. They now make sense. Saying “On my mama, Im killing my friend” will cause confusion for anyone hearing that because our understanding of the word friend has a positive connotation. You don’t call your enemy a friend. Most of us have a love for our brothers and sisters in that we will never have the intent to cause them harm. However, it’s easy to hurt a Nigga. And that is the problem.
The word Nigga in itself is a form of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is when information that you are being presented with contradicts with what you already know. You hold two or more contradictory beliefs about something which causes psychological distress. Just because someone decided to drop the “er” off of Nigger added an “a” and called it Nigga, does not make the word any less hateful.
If someone hits you, then later apologized, your wound would heal and you would no longer feel it. But if that same person called you worthless and said that you should have never been born, they could never take back those words and they will stick with you, long after your bruise healed. So remember the power of life and death are in the tongue, and too many have died being called a Nigger/Nigga.