Chapter 36: Nigga vs. Nigger vs. “…….”

We, as people, possess the greatest power on the planet.

That power is the power of words.

If we only, truly knew the power of the tongue, we would treat the fruit of it with such care. Each sentence would be measured, weighed, analyzed and considered like the movements of a surgeon. It is that serious. Everything we have, good or bad, are the results of words. That said, let me use my words to make my position clear on something:

I am not a nigger and I am no one’s nigga.

Sitting eating lunch at a healthy eatery, I was hearing music that was anything but nutritious. The hook of the song used nigga multiple times. Didn’t pair well with my salmon burger.

#1 – I am paying customer, I do not want to hear profanity in the music of the place of purchase.

#2 – Why is this cool? Nigga…?

 

Let’s review –

 

Nigga is “derived” from the ethnic slur of nigger.

Nigger (which will not be dignified by being called a word) was “derived” as a slur from the Latin word Niger which means “black”.

I am proud to be called black.

The color black is what you get when you put together every hue of every shade of every variation of any color ever known or seen or will be discovered.

Black soil is the richest, healthiest soil to cultivate. It’s full of the minerals and nutrients that are vital for healthy harvests.

“Black” skin is full of melanin, resists sun damage, glows when healthy and DOES NOT CRACK.

Nigger, however, means none of these things. Nigger means:

– Stupid

– Incompetent

– Inept

– Ignorant

– Worthless

It became the phrase of choice to dehumanize an entire group of humans. My nigger became synonymous with ownership the same as my dog, my horse, my farm etc.

It is the name that was slapped on the oppressed by the oppressors. It took the place of the rich, beautiful and vibrant culture and identity that the black man had before colonization.

There were no niggers in Africa.

There were people who had the power of harmonization with the land and nature. Not “untamed” but rather in a synergistic relationship where even though there was war, it wasn’t the mass carnage that is brought upon by an imperialistic mindset.

Kings and Queens, government, parliament, structure, heritage, community, family, Umoja, culture, celebration.

No, not one nigger in Africa.

Nigger has been a fiery hot skin brand that has had the purpose of searing the souls of black people brought in this country. When you use a brand, you do so with the intent to permanently mark and identify something that was as something else.

Nigger as a term is more binding and damaging than any shackle that could be physically placed on someone. The power of words.  Eventually the shackles came off the body, but mental shackles remain. Shackles allow for a pre-determined degree of freedom of movement by the persons who are holding them, that is the scary part.

Somehow, somewhere, that language has been embraced among Black Americans to where it is tossed around in and throughout our communities as if we created it.

It is as if this debilitating language, which is as old as this country is, all of a sudden lost it’s power, it’s purpose or meaning.  Understand this, words don’t lose their power, we lose respect for their power.

Not only that, the term has been stylized to “nigga” and not a few argue a contradictory argument that that term has been been changed from a negative to a positive.  We took a word, changed it and now it’s “our word.”

Since when does poison act like a vitamin?

Motor oil will not function like coconut oil in my body if I cook with it no matter what the bottle says. It will kill me.

It’s like saying if you breathe in enough carbon monoxide that it will eventually act like oxygen in your system. What happens instead of being revitalized is that you fall asleep.

People claim to be woke but have been sucking in the CO and sleep walking themselves to death. The ironic part is CO poisoning occurs in poorly ventilated areas where no clean breathable air is introduced.  It’s odorless, colorless and tasteless…just like words. No detectable power until they take full affect where you get sick and/or die.

Thinking nigga is somehow a repurposed term that is positive and progressive even though it came from an irredeemable, damning term is the equivalent of finding a pair of  slave shackles like the ones below below and wearing them as this dope new jewelry.

Pic: Shackles from my trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture

I am a “we can do better” man. Yes the oppression seems worse now than ever because the nation clearly sees in the videos and cases  the obvious bigotry and racism that is still present yet she still emphatically denies what is going on. That said we can do better….we have to.

We do better in our relationships.

We can do better in our music.

We can do better in our investments and finances.

We can do better in our communities.

We can do better in our families.

I don’t dumpster dive or swim in sewers or hot tub in cesspools. I will not contribute to the narrative that something that is purely evil can be changed into something good. That is in my opinion true ignorance.

This is something I feel strongly about and all I can do is apply, write and apply some more.

I am proud to be someone’s friend, homie, homeboy, fam, guy, king, brotha, partner, your boy, your man, my dude etc. Too many words to use to give in and settle on recycling an evil term that should have died a lonely, cold, miserable death a long time ago, not be plugged into life support.

I look at it this way, regaining true power is when something that was put on you to take your power is cast off. All of it, not a fingerprint or a hair of it remains. The scars become marks of valor from battle when that which tried to kill you, define you, and crush you fails because you know who you are and who you aren’t and act like it rendering that old joint powerless.

Yeah, I was created in God’s image and likeness.  Don’t call me outside my name.

 

 

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