Monday, April 25, 2011

Journal Entry from the Guy Who Created The N Word

Today's post was not written by me, however, I found it extremely insightful, albeit chilling in its ability to shed light on what describes as "probably the most offensive word in the English language." Please read and share your thoughts on the post. If you don't mind, also share your thoughts on the N word. Do you use it?


If anyone ever reads this diary entry, it’s important for you to know that I’m a white man. It is more important for you to know that due to childhood polio, I’ve never had the luxury of being able to use my legs. I have endured much teasing, horrific stares, and blatant disrespect. Today, however, I’m filled with pride, reflecting on my ancestor, 14 generations before me who created the word, nigger. Just today, in Starbucks, I heard some young men in business casual attire using the word to refer to themselves and their friends in a conversation. To know that the word my predecessor created hundreds of years ago is still being used today fills my heart with joy. I bet if he had a journal, it’d read something like this:
I’ve always wanted to leave an indelible mark on the world…you know, something that can’t be erased or forgotten. I tried a few things…
I used violence to capture a people from their homeland and forced them to be my slaves. But, the Egyptians had slaves far before I did…so that’s not original.
I sold them on auction blocks and ripped their families apart without recourse. Not so original either. (My children may have to allow them to be free in order to save my family and myself. Sort of the same thing that happened to the Pharaoh who dealt with Moses and all of those plagues. We’re really struggling with this originality thing.)
What about raping their women to satisfy my lustful desires while simultaneously propagating my slave coffers, thereby increasing my wealth? Eh, seen it before.
Hmm, what if I create a term that can be used to denigrate the people who I’ve subjected to unmitigated torture, incomprehensible suffering, and legalized brutality? Yes, I think I’ve got it.
And they shall be called: NIGGERS!

Didn’t I tell you he was a genius? His plan worked better than he could have ever imagined. This phraseology was widely accepted at its inception and I’m quite proud of it to say the least. The term spread throughout the slave holding states and even caught on quite well up north. Slave auction advertisements even went from saying “African Slaves for sale” to “Niggers for sale.” Unfortunately, some literate mulatto named Frederick Douglass sparked a revolution of sorts, followed by other niggers like Marcus Garvey, Thurgood Marshall, Martin King and Malcolm X. They didn’t like people calling them niggers anymore, and made respectable strides in getting us to stop calling them niggers (publicly at least). Then, there were rumblings that niggers had taken up the practice of actually calling themselves niggers. What a relief it must have been!! Initially, I 'm sure my great x10 grandfather was a bit shocked that a man would call himself a nigger. I mean, the term was meant to cast horrible aspersions upon a people he wanted to remain at the bottom of society. When we say nigger, we're saying “shiftless, ignorant, hopeless, laughable, less than human.” So I find it strange that these folks refer to themselves in that fashion. Let’s plug it in and see if it makes sense. Here’s a plausible scenario of a typical discourse between two of them.

Scenario 1: Hey Mike, this is John. Call me back when you get a chance.
Scenario 2: Hey Mike, this is your nigger John. Call me back when you get a chance.
Scenario 2 Translated: Hey Mike, this is [shiftless, ignorant, hopeless, laughable, less than human] John. Call me back when you get a chance.

I love it. Makes no sense, but I absolutely love it.

Oh wait, I should mention that they’ve taken my family’s word and now it’s a different word. Drop the “er” and add an “a” and you have the new and improved “Nigga.” This nigga is the descendent of the nigger who my family bought and sold like livestock just a few generations ago. We’ve decided to stop calling you this word (publicly) because it’s no longer politically correct and admittedly inappropriate. Nevertheless, I’d like to thank you for keeping it alive. I’m glad we don’t have to use it anymore, because quite frankly, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But, when it comes from you, I feel much better about it. So, I congratulate all you niggers and niggas. Your leaders say that people like me used to be known as “Jim Crow.” And now I’m “James Crow, Jr., Esquire” because I evolved into a more latent and less obvious hate monger. Well, you’ve evolved as well! You are now the “nigga” formerly known as “nigger.” Or, maybe you are “Nigga, Esquire.” I’m glad you like the word and I’m sure you’ll keep it alive. (Note to non-nigger readers: Niggers are good at keeping things alive, i.e. “hope”). I’d hate for all of my hard work to go to waste.

Some of the more uppity niggers have told me that they’ve stripped the word of its power by using it themselves. If so, then why are you offended when I use it? I mean, we’re all equal, right “brotha?” Clearly, if you don’t want me to say Nigger/Nigga, you must find some inherent flaw in the word. I thought it had a new meaning? Don’t be mad “my nigga.””

I must say, I am baffled by why you refer to yourself as a Nigger/Nigga, but I can relate. I’ll tell you a story about how I became the Crippled Monster. When I was growing up, due to my affliction, some of the less compassionate kids in my neighborhood called me “the crippled monster.” The name hurt my feelings, initially. But after a long period of strife and fighting, I found it easier just to adopt the name and started using it myself. My mother (much like the African-American civil rights leaders) begged and pleaded for me to stop. She told me “You’re not a cripple and you’re certainly not a monster.” She even went to my school and got into a huge fight with the principal for allowing people (teachers included) to call me this name. This was a great source of embarrassment and sadness for her. I, on the other hand, became comfortable with it. I suppose after everyone calls you a certain thing for such a long time, you start to believe that’s what you really are. Deep down inside, sometimes I really feel like I’m a crippled monster. So, I understand you, niggers. Maybe deep down inside you really feel like the niggers/niggas you are. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? Exactly. I guess this diary entry was more about me than those who call themselves niggers. I wonder if any self-proclaimed niggers will read this someday and feel my pain. Wait a minute, niggers can’t read. Never mind. Goodnight.
-The Crippled Monster (or The Crippled Monsta’)