Is There A Double Standard In The Use of The N Word? "You Bet There Is" Says A Young Black Speaker And Author

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The n word is humiliating, degrading and offensive for most people in the United States. It is so controversial indeed that a young black author wondered if she should print it out in her new book "Don't Blame Eve: A Guide To Live Your Life, Your Way". She ultimately did, and the response was startling. As a young black woman, speaker and author, Jovanka Ciares wonders why the younger generations of blacks and Hispanics have accepted this word and use it as part of their vocabulary yet seem to be offended by it when someone else (especially of another race) says it.

After the recent incident in which former "Seinfeld" co-star Michael Richards shouted the n word at a group of young African-American hecklers at a comedy club in L.A., a huge controversy over the use of the word arose in the mainstream media as well as in the black community. The n word is humiliating, degrading and offensive for most people in the United States. It is so controversial indeed that a young black author wondered if she should print it out in her new book "Don't Blame Eve: A Guide To Live Your Life, Your Way". She ultimately did, and the response was startling.

As a young black woman, speaker and author, Jovanka Ciares wonders why the younger generations of blacks and Hispanics have accepted this word and use it as part of their vocabulary yet seem to be offended by it when someone else (especially of another race) says it.

"The word is so offensive that people from all walks of life refer to it as the n word because they cannot bear to say a word that brings so much pain to so many" Jovanka says. "However, some young people in the African-American and Latino communities use it to refer to one another. They use the word as if saying "brother" just as much as they use it to offend or insult one another".

Yet, if anyone outside of their group attempts to say the n- word to any of them, the controversy will not clear for weeks. Somehow, those young people have trained their minds to believe that the word does not offend if it comes from their own. Whether we think it is right or wrong, they have found a way to neutralize the negative connotations associated with that word.

Why then, is it acceptable for blacks to use the n word with one another but not for others to use it? Do these young people not know or not care enough about the connotations of this word or about its painful history? Do they only remember that the word is degrading when non-blacks say it? The reality of the matter is that no one should be throwing around this or any offensive word. But we cannot control what other people do. We can only control our own behavior and our reaction to what others say or do.

"When you allow another person to offend you with the things they say, you are in fact allowing the words they say to have power over you. If, in turn, we decide that this group of letters put together are part of a history that inspires us but no longer define us, the offenders have in fact lost their power over you and you win peace of mind and the power to control your emotions, impulses and attitudes."

Jovanka Ciares is an author and speaker who teaches women the attitudes, behaviors and skills they need in order to reach their fullest potential. For information call (917)-414-4816 or go to http://www.self-improvementwoman.com.

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