On Niggas

This thought recently occurred to me: black people are maintaining the label “nigga” in the minds of non-blacks. Think about it. In music, movies, TV shows, anywhere you see black people interacting with one another, what is the primary pronoun they use toward one another? “Sup, my nigga?” There are a few “Uncle Tom’s” here and there that despise that sort of language and refrain from using it. Otherwise it’s quite commonplace, as least from those within my view. It would be dishonest and irrational of me to say that in my mind, from a very early age, this is the label that I associate with black people, and not because I heard it from racists. How can this not be the case? I see the very same phenomenon occuring in my children. It’s not hateful in any way, at least I don’t think so, but it is a label that accompanies the viewing of black people. The more a group use a label for themselves with each other, the more it enters the psyche of larger society. If this should lose its association with black people, either black people need to stop using it, or everyone needs to start using it toward each other. Remove it as a pronoun, or make it a pronoun for everyone. If you want special pronouns, then those special pronouns will be associated with you. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Skyler J. Collins (Editor)

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on the official Everything-Voluntary.com podcast.

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