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2 Years Nigga Free!!

Yep, I said it.  Anybody who’s known me more than three years knows I used to say “NIGGA” alot.  And I mean…ALOT!  “Nigga you stupid”, “Nigga please”, “Nigga Nigga Nigga”.  That was until a couple years ago at a bbq.  Everyone was having a good ol time eating, drinking, and laughing.  At some point, two of my good friends Norman and Kevin started a conversation about how they didn’t say that word.  I couldn’t recall ever hearing Black folks saying this before so I joined in the conversation.  I was partially intoxicated so I don’t recall all that was said during the conversation but I do remember being highly intrigued.  I also remember having a new higher level of respect for these guys after the talk.
I woke up the next morning and reflected on the conversation again.  I thought to myself, these guys are completely right.  Of all the names we could call each other, why Nigga?  I mean, I could refer to physical attribute when addressing you.  “Hey slim” or “hey baldie.”  I could refer to something that you’re wearing.  “Hey red-top” or “Excuse me blue jeans.”  Any number of nicknames.  “Hey Red”, “Hey Toon”, or “Hey Dreads.”  I mean, the options are limitless.  We, black people, can literally refer each other to any number of things.  But what do most of us use?  NIGGA!  The word that was created to describe us as less than human.  Less than a person.  Less than civilized. Just less than.
That word has so much hurt and pain attached to it throughout history for our ancestors yet we hold on to it as some sort of badge of honor nowadays.  Another thing that hit me was this.  We are the only group on the entire planet who adopts this kind of behavior.  There are negative slang words attached to almost every group alive.  None of these people take honor being called that word.  White people don’t walk around saying “Hey my cracker.”  Native Americans don’t say “Wussup my Savage”.  Jews don’t say “Holla at you later, my kike.”  So on and so on.  Why are we the only ones who do this?  We tend to adopt all the negative stuff people think about us and wear it with pride.  Don’t believe me…just think about it.  We constantly say “I’m a thug” or “Thug Life”.  “I’m a gangsta.”  “Pimp sh*t.”  “Real nigga sh*t.”  Literally we refer to ourselves as the scum of the society.  Why though?
We come from Kings and Queens.  Our history is a rich and proud one.  The problem is that most of us only know what they indoctrinate us with in school.  That it’s basically two time periods for black people.  Slavery and post slavery.  Like I said, I used to say Nigga alot.  But once I sat back and thought that word really means…I mean truly what it was meant to represent, I knew I couldn’t refer to one of my brothers or sisters of this world in that way again.  Now I usually call them “my brother or sister”.  Toward my elders I usually say “hey Queen or King.”  You should try it.  It really makes you look at the person differently.  Think about if you were going to fight somebody.  It’s easy to get in that mindset if you say “I’ma kick that Nigga ass.”  Now try it saying “I’m gonna kick my brothers ass.”  Feels different right.  Now imagine if you were walking around here with a gun.  You could shoot a Nigga and not think twice.  But it’d be almost impossible to say “I’ma kill my brother when I see him.”  Words do have power.
I cringe when I hear the word now.  I cringe for my grandmother and mother who grew up in the 20’s -70’s.  I cringe for the pain they had to bear when called that.  I cringe for the connotation that came along with that label for the carriers.  Now I’m not saying I don’t ever say it because, let’s face it, there are some real Niggas out here.  But I reserve it for those rare instances I encounter one.  I also will correct someone who calls me that.  Not disrespectful or anything.  I just let em know now to call me that.  I was sitting at happy hour not too long ago and I was really “people watching.” (Being nosey, really)  I honestly couldn’t believe how many men I heard saying “NIGGAAAA” and how many women I heard saying “BIIIIITCH” to one another.  Bitch?  A female dog.  Not sister.  Not Queen.  But Heyyyyy Biiiiitch.  It’s not a wonder that much of the world looks at us like we’re an insane group of people. I really wonder why my people do this.  Why are we the only group of humans that do this?  I have to stop cause I feel myself getting more and more sorrowful as I’m sitting here.  Until next time…Peace and Love my Brothers and Sisters.  One Love. 

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