What it means to be a NIGGER
A few weeks back as I sat and watched the red carpet section of the Grammy’s I saw my fellow Virgo grace the camera with his wife donning a t-shirt that said “NIGGER”. Wait a minute rewind that back, I saw Nasir Jones better known as “Nas” and a group of supporters of different ethnicities in “NIGGER” Fashion. This is clearly a sign that the times have changed, television has become so liberal, when I was a child they would have blurred out the image at minimum to say the least. Nas was interviewed about his “message”, there were no censors over the word and things went relatively normal. I mentioned earlier that Nas is a Virgo because they are the thinkers of the zodiac and very strategic in their movements, so maybe Nas is titling his album NIGGER and grappling after the publicity that it is causing so that we can have intelligent discourses like the one we are about to have.
Wait one second, before you lose interest in fear that I am about take you on a historical voyage enduring the plight of black people and the socialization of the term Nigger and how we need to accept it to empower ourselves, I promise you I will not. This is not the typical discussion of whether this is a term of endearment or mental slavery. But to understand what the concept of the term nigger we must first look to one of the great writers of the Harlem Renaissance, James Baldwin.
Baldwin says, “What white people have to do is try to find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place. Because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man! But if you think I’m a nigger it means you need it. If I’m not the nigger here and you, the white people invented him then you’ve got to find out why?”
Baldwin paints us such a vivid picture when he speaks about the system needing a nigger. You see the term nigger is about an institutionalized inferiority complex. The system, those proponents of white supremacy need a nigger to belittle, they need a nigger to make themselves feel better than another group of people because they lack self-esteem. The nigger is needed in order to perpetuate systems of control, a hierarchy within this great land from sea to shining sea. Unfortunately today the term nigger has become synonymous with black people. However this is not the case, this is not the fate of black people; this has been the position of various ethnic groups in America. I will chronicle the stories of three niggers who have been bastardized by a system of oppression and blatant racism in this country without ever painting the picture of a black face!
If you are of Middle Eastern decent, or even look like you could possibly be of the Islamic faith after 9/11, I regret to inform you but the United States has declared you a NIGGER! Your rights were stripped from you; you became the victims of police brutality, random search and seizures, and you are always pulled aside at the airport for more questioning. Why is this; because you fit the “description”, you look suspicious? But none of this is true; it is merely the pigment of your skin and the religious affiliation that you are suspected of practicing which garners you such attention. You watch your faith and belief system ridiculed daily on television, you have become the butt of all jokes. You’re fearful when your children go to school because other children will torment them; forgive them for they know not what they do. You came to this country with hopes of reaching the American dream however you are now living the American Nightmare! The ultimate insult is no longer to be black but it is to be Muslim. Your beautiful, peaceful culture has been tainted by slander; you are now judged by the few who make it tough for the many. Welcome!
Tune in tomorrow to see who else is a NIGGER!