Nigga continues to be an incredibly controversial word. Quite frankly, I think arguments over who gets to use this racial slur are ahistorical and pointless. The only way in which the use of this word can transcend its slave origins is when it is used by those who culturally, economically and socially came to be defined by that word —

As it’s meant to represent black, it means only black people can say it.

It takes a specific mindset to understand the psychology and history of this particular word. I do not understand why non-black people try so desperately to connect with a word that barely even constitutes a noun. I do not understand why non-black people want the right to express anti-black sentiment without learning the weight of suffering and racism behind it.

Nigger was meant to represent
the absolute nothingness of
black identity —
it was meant to isolate, stratify, and marginalize
a group of people, spiritually and physically
from the rest of the world.

The Age of Enlightenment marks the establishment of racist ideologies that define our times and marks the beginnings of the use of this word. This word when it was first uttered, alluded to a master versus slave relationship between white and black, based entirely on institutions of racism, or the segregation of non-white and black populations, defined by anti-black sentiments. According to social Darwinism practices — similar to basic color theory of art — black denotes an absence of value, light, and identity.

Black is to nothing as white is to purity & virtue.

Nigga used amongst black people and used by black people as identification is heuristic. There are many issues unique to the black community to the point where the problem has become abstract and is addressed as such. Nigga can be seen as representative of all these worries, frustrations, and setbacks. The continued use of the word nigger is not meant to serve as a solution to these issues, but is a unique way in which one of a black African descent and socio-economic status, can express themselves. The ability for black people to say nigga is not a privilege — nigger is a history; it is evidence of our social complexities, struggles and exchange.

It is borne out of racism and it is unfortunate that we,
as
black people, have the capability of empathizing
with the concept of nothingness.
Only black people can say nigga.

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