Home Opinion #Opinion: What is the big deal with the ‘N’ word

#Opinion: What is the big deal with the ‘N’ word


I was surfing the web and the N-Word was trending on twitter, I followed the conversation and realised Obama did the abominable! He said the N-word. OMG!!! But wait, I do a double take, the man is BLACK! Why is there so much hassle over this issue? What will we call this, it’s obviously not racism? What complicated word could we give this blunder?

I wrote an unpublished post that read “What is the big deal with the N-word” but I couldn’t bring myself to publish it. In summary, it reads that a word has the power you give it, and that if we stopped focusing on the negative aspect of the word, we would overcome the power that word has on our actions, but it didn’t feel right.

I went on to research and realised that the word “Nigger” Is deeper than I can even come to understand. That one 6 letter word connotes “Slavery, castration, dehumanization, torture, violence” I could go on, and no amount of modernization can take away the pain and impact of that word on the black history.

I cannot even say, I empathise. Between last night and this morning, the post has come to haunt me because it’s not so black and white, but as a young woman looking forward to a brighter future, a better Nigeria and a better world, I am at crossroads. But I still stay positive.

There is a double standard to the word, Blacks can say it, and White people can’t. Over the years the word “Nigger” has evolved to “Nigga” meaning friend. But we all know that in the midst of black people, a white man can never call a black man his “Nigga”. That said, what is the way forward?

I don’t believe we can totally erase the pain and memories the word “Nigger” brings with it, but I know we can control the way we use and think of the word. The problem is even after years and years to come, it would still never be right for a white man to say the “Nigger” word, because of the memories that their race brought with it and Because Jay Z said it doesn’t mean Taylor Swift can use the word, but we can neither say black people should not use the word so that white people will stop using it, that’s just dumb

I understand that in the past, because of the context in which it was used, a lot of people will take offence to the word. But if we black people don’t move past it, then what do you expect of the whites. Obama was right when he said “ It’s not just a matter of being polite and not say nigger in public” it’s a matter of understanding that the word nigger doesn’t qualify black people, not anymore! We only start moving forward when we are no longer affected by the words that once broke us.

I am Ezinne Osuagwu, and if you call me by any other name, I will not pay you any heed, if you offend me, I might reply, or I might not. Let’s just say I pick my fights carefully. But if you call me Ni***r no matter how meanly you use the word, I’ll probably flip you a finger and walk away.


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