If you live in a white family and white neighborhood, there comes a point where you’re “introduced” to black people at.
Seriously. Unless you’re born underwater, you’re not growing up around fish, either.
How old were you when you saw your first black person?
I met my first black person when I was 12. No, really!
I really couldn’t see what the big deal was. I though the totally different color of skin was shocking and weird, but this guy was no different from me other than that.
But, it was he who pointed out the “niggers” that lived 4 houses down from them. Described their behaviors and mentalities. And, it was 100% accurate.
It took me a while to adjust to this narrative that “nigger” means the speaker hates black people.
For me, the word nigger was meant to be used not to insult black people, but to demonstrate to black people that you know they’re not all the same. There’s black people who are no different from me, and then there’s niggers. So many black people I met after my initial “introduction” seemed apprehensive, and this all disappeared when I mentioned niggers, having never directed the term towards said person the rest of the time we’d been acquainted. The feedback matched. They were glad I knew the difference…
To me, it seems like another form of revisionist history, to refer to the word “nigger” as bad… Yes, it identifies a bad collection of qualities wrapped in black skin… But it’s not, and never was, an interchangeable word for black people meant to be insulting…
I never hated anyone I referred to as a nigger. I just realized they were a collection of bad things I didn’t want to rub off on me, and neither did any of the black people I knew…
The “new” definition of nigger has also been taught to me by black people…
Not a single old, fat, white, racist man has been involved with my exposure to the word nigger and it’s ever evolving meaning.
And I’ve been raised in the south! I’ve never left!
Yes, I’ve heard it a lot from old, fat, white racist men… But, none of them presented it to me formatively. I already had my own definition and use of the word.
Maybe I had a unique experience.
I find it weird that we would stigmatize a word that makes it clear that I know the difference between rotten people and good people, which just happens to also include a reference to skin tone. A unique categorization.
A unique categorization that actually has a few positive social uses…