Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

Home » Ferguson » Why You Still Can’t Say Ni**er

Why You Still Can’t Say Ni**er

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Yes, folks, its 2015 and I’m still seeing this question being asked by ignorant white racists who, for some reason, feel a burning desire to be given permission to say, nigger.

The ironic thing is the fact that they want permission for it. I’m having difficulty believing that they think that there is any penalty for doing so, beyond being called a racist imbecile, which, if they thought about it for more than a second, is exactly what they are revealing themselves to be by simple virtue of the fact that they want to say the word.

What is the point of asking why you can’t say it when it is quite obvious that you already refer to black people in your mind as niggers? What’s the difference between saying it and thinking it?

But, I’ll try another tack. I’ll use an example from my own life:

My family is of Greek origin. I had a woman working for me some years ago who had been born in Greece. When I came to work in the morning, I’d often greet her by saying “Hiya Greek”, to which she would respond in kind. It was a playful way of reminding ourselves that we had a specific connection, in this case, one of heritage. It suggested a similarity in our past, our cultures and our way of looking at the world, nothing more. It was more playful than meaningful.

If someone else in the office would have referred to either of us by saying “hiya Greek”, it would have been quite inappropriate, since that person, being of a different ancestry, would sound out of place, almost as if they were making a derogatory comment. Neither of us would have appreciated it. Keep in mind, the word “Greek” in and of itself has no negative connotations, but if a non-Greek used the term to refer to us, it would make us wonder why he chose to refer only to that aspect of our existence. We would assume that it was meant derogatorily.

The word nigger, as if anyone needs to have this explained, has severely negative connotations to it, going back to the fact that it was the word of choice used when referring to black slaves. No one who breathes oxygen should be unaware of that fact.

For that reason, when a black person calls another black person nigger, they are doing the same thing that I did with my employee, which is to playfully recall a secret, shared history. It’s a verbal “wink and nod” between two people who have a deep-seated similarity. Others, of a different heritage, simply have no business trying to insert themselves into that shared history, nor to question why they can’t.

Other than that, if you really want to call people nigger, you are already as much of a racist as you can possibly be. Actually saying it won’t make you more so. You’ve already revealed the depths of your ignorance and insensitivity.

How proud you must be…

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