[Marxism] Earl Ofari Hutchinson: No Defense For The "N Word"

Jeffrey Thomas Piercy, El Pato Comunista mqduck at sonic.net
Wed Nov 22 00:57:13 MST 2006

> "Yo Nigger, What's up?" It wasn't the first time that I heard my son
> greet one of his friends with that word. In the past, I ignored it. I
> knew it was the way many young blacks talked to each other. The word,
> nigger is part of their hip jargon. They aren't particularly troubled
> by the odious significance of the word. This time I was. I asked him
> why he used it. He shrugged and said that everybody uses it. "If
> that's true," I asked, "then what if one of your white friends calls
> you a nigger? Is that OK?" He was silent.

I thought that was the point. It was (and sometimes still is) a word 
used against blacks that they stole and redefined as positive (or 
neutral, or sometimes negative). It's their word now and we're not 
allowed to use it anymore.

It's a fascinating transformation, in my opinion. It's of course not my 
place to say if it's right or wrong and even if it were I probably 
wouldn't say one way or the other, but I do think it's foolish when I 
hear people, black and white, talk as if it's an accident of pop 
culture, as if today's youth don't realize what they're saying. Of 
course they do. That's the power behind the word. I'd love to hear it 
analyzed from an anthropological/linguistic perspective.


More information about the Marxism mailing list