N****r. N****r. N****r. N****r. N****r. N****r. N****r. N****r. N****r. N****r.
This is how I imagine n****r looks, lined up in white people’s psyche waiting for their lingual calling. I envision them imprisoned critters plotting an escape. In doing so, they descend from a stupid part of white people’s brain, squeeze themselves between the ridge of the mouth and the tip of the tongue before the vocal tract gives them sound, and the open mouth grants their freedom. No matter how liberating the function, the result is insulting, and sometimes insult can lead to injury. Thus, the lip service ain’t always worth the ass whooping.
This is evident in the clip below where a belligerent white man flagrantly screams "n****r" at a black man -- who is standing on a Chicago train platform, minding his business -- and gets knocked the f**k out.
Racist in #Chicago drops the n-bomb on brotha minding his business and catches the Blue Line to FadeTown. #TrumpsAmerica #Resist #3rdRailFade #Nah #PunchANazi2018 pic.twitter.com/vFuc9n3a42— BushMaster Flex (@theori) July 13, 2018
Clearly, this was “The Wrong N***a to F**k With.”
"N****r" was first used in 1574 and derives from the Latin word niger which references the color black. Like most things, it was hijacked by white people, distorted, then used to racialize enslaved people. As the slur made its way to America and evolved alongside racism, it took on a highly offensive connotation. When used by white people, it represents a sense of racial superiority and hate to berate blackness. And though black culture has reclaimed, redefined and refuses to be called a n****r, white people can't seem to let it go.
This past week revealed more ignorance of what should now be common knowledge: don’t be calling black people n*****s. Period. Papa John's founder John Schnatter found out the easy way when he casually used the word during a company conference call, reportedly stating, "Colonel Sanders called blacks n****rs.” Subsequently, Schnatter will be replaced as chairman of the pizza company. He has since apologized.
N****r is no longer socially acceptable, and clearly, white-skinned people should know this, but they don’t.
There are many lessons they could learn from:
Restauranteur and TV personality for Paula Deen had spent 35 years serving soul food and dishing out racist insults before her use of n****r was discovered in a 2013 lawsuit deposition. “Well, what I would really like is a bunch of little n*****s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around," the former Food Network host said, according to the lawsuit. In a swift stroke of white stupidity, Deen’s culinary cosmos crumbled around her. Both Walmart and The Food Network severed ties with the Confederate chef, sending her back to humble beginnings in south Georgia. Deen was weepy as she tried to redeem herself during an interview with Matt Lauer. However, her white tears tasted way better than her n****r pies and white lies.
Paltrow defended her tweet, stating “Hold up. It’s the title of the song.” Madonna apologized after hashtagging #getoffmydickhaters.
But, of course, neither situation turned out well for either white lady. The Twitterverse came for both their asses:
When is the last time you've seen actor Michael Richards, who starred as Kramer on the sitcom Seinfeld? His acting career has been on pause ever since a recording of his racist rant found its way into the public sphere. In 2006, Richards felt slighted as two black patrons talked through his stand-up comedy routine. The goofy actor lost it, and "n****r" flew off his tongue as if he was Confederate general and slaveholder Robert E. Lee. His career hasn't been the same since.
Man down, where you from n***a? / F**k who you know! Where you from, my n***a? / Where your grandma stay, huh, my n***a? / This m.A.A.d city I run, my n***a.
White woman, black people are not your n***a.
Lamar interrupted the set to teach the clueless dame a thing or two about using the word, but sometimes a foot in the mouth is equally deserving of a foot in the ass.
N****r is racialized in the history of American culture. The white tongue has spewed the word to denigrate and disenfranchise an entire race of people and to distinguish themselves from them. So let’s be clear: it means one thing and one thing only falling from white lips. And at no point does it sound right or endearing. These asinine incidents confirm a desire to maintain the status quo and highlight the abuse of white privilege. White people remain so infatuated with white supremacy; they will use n****r to their detriment, be it a loss of income, popularity or even a few teeth.