The n-word - Critics. opponents. Defenders Essays

The n-word - Critics. opponents. Defenders Essays

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The n-word is considered one of the most vicious racial slurs in the English language today. True that the n-word is closely associated with slavery and the oppression of blacks. Even after the abolition of slavery the word still haunted African Americans, especially in more segregated areas; where blacks were viewed as inferior to whites. In recent years the n-word has become less of a malicious slur in parts of our country. Public figures who use the n-word run the risk of losing their jobs. However, since the 1960s African Americans have coined the term “nigga”, when addressing one another. The rise of hip hop culture also enhanced the use of the word-they felt as though they are using the word as a term of endearment. Critics of the n-word say that the word should not be used in any context; even if it is being used by African Americans to address one another. Opponents say in short that the word hurts people in a unique way, that the word only hurts the person, even blacks, using it-it demeans them. Defenders say that the word has lost its sting; it has changed its meaning over time. Here’s the issue: Should the n-word be completely abolished from the English language? Or is it acceptable for African Americans to use the term to refer to one another?
What brought me to this subject matter, was that I read a headline saying NAACP held a mock funeral to bury the ‘N’ word. I laughed at the wording not the context, but it drew my attention. This title led me to many articles talking about the abolition of this word. The first article i came across was, The dirty little secret about the ‘N’ word by Rev. Joseph Lee Peterson. In his article he talks about his experience with the use of the word. He recalls hat the word wasn't used ...


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...N Word: Who can say it, Who Shouldn’t and Why,” Jabari Asim traces the word back to African Americans in the late 1960s. He argues the word no matter who utters it has “abetted our systematic dehumanization”.
They is more than enough sources out there to draw conclusions from, I feel like I have read ample information about this topic and heard from both sides. My question still stands Should the n-word be completely abolished from the English language? Or is it acceptable for African Americans to use the term to refer to one another? The only factor weighing my Opinion is free speech. When you take away the publics right to voice something, wither through music, their writing, or their art, you strike at the very heart of freedom for which america is suppose to stand. I think I will continue researching more articles, more so on the free speech aspect of the word.

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