Don’t Call Me No “nigga” Neither!!!

Posted on July 7, 2013 by

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By Bro. Mxolisi T. Sowell / Ozo-Sowande

Don’t call me nigger, whitey
Don’t call me whitey, nigger . . .

Some of us are old enough and enlightened enough to know that the foregoing words are from a song released in May of 1969 by Sly and the Family Stone.

Further, some of us are experienced and advanced enough to know that the debate about the worth or worthlessness of the despicable “N word” is something that we need to put to rest – eternally!

A recent CNN program, hosted by Don Lemon, included some folks making the effort to explain the difference between “nigger” and “nigga”.

The “er” version was said to be the derogatory expression that most commonly comes from the hearts, souls, teeth, tongues and lips of non-Black persons seeking to verbalize their utter and unceasing contempt for the very existence of the African branch of humanity. It is most likely their attempt to crush or lynch the spirit of self-worth and equality in those of us toward whom they hurl that venomous, provocative epithet.

The folks on the CNN program were unanimous in their feeling that the word “nigger” needs to disappear from all conversation. Of course, we know that will take humongous measures of heart, soul and spirit transformations in folks having evil and ignorance permeating every cell and fiber of their being.

That task will likely be made all the more difficult due to the fact that too many uninformed, uninspired, unliberated Black folks use that term in addressing one another — with all the venomous disrespect and provocation that evil, anger and ignorance can muster!

Further, the task is complicated by the fact that some well-intentioned Black folks, in their efforts to minimize or neutralize the pain and poison that always rides on the “nigger” vibe, are embracing the term “nigga” whose vibe, they claim, is seriously diminished in terms of negativity and can even be used — (believe it or not) – as a term of endearment.

The 1969 song goes on to say:

Well, I went down across the country / And I heard the voices ring / People talkin’ softly to each other / And not a word could change a thing.

The 2013 reality is that no positive change comes by way of the term “nigga”. To imagine that it does, brings to mind the observations of ASAR Dr. Carter G. Woodson, relative to the devastating impact that the systematic racism of U.S. society and culture can have (has had) on too many sons and daughters of Africa, leaving them to always be looking for the “back door” or creating one for themselves whenever one cannot be found.

In this case, it reflects the sad fact that too many of our folks are embracing this verbal “back door” — (another “door of no return”): A door through which they might enter more softly into the hate-driven venom and disdain of too many individuals and institutions of this society that plague our well-being; a door that leads to the creation of mutations such as “nigga” by which the pain and poison of the original can be disguised, multiplied and scattered far and wide as the vibe of misery that loves company, and passed on to continue infecting future generations.

A wisdom that is nearly universal in the cultural traditions of the world, including our African/African American traditions, teaches: Words have power! Additionally, nearly every tradition, in one form or another, teaches: Say what you mean & Mean what you say!

In the powerful light of this wisdom, as well as the experience of seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing the results of endeavoring to live fruitfully without honoring it, let’s commit ourselves – along with the CNN panel — to do all we can, in every way we can (and teach our children!), to banish both terms from all thought and expression . . . forevermore!

But there are some N-words that we should do all we can, in every way we can, to proliferate abundantly in thought and expression in our families, communities, and the entirety of the World African Community:

Niece . . . Nephew . . .  Neighbor . . .  Nubian Sisters and Brothers . . .

By any means Necessary.

But don’t call me no nigger!

And don’t call me no “nigga” neither!

Ankh, Udja, Seneb!!!

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