Yeah, I have a story to tell. 🤦🏽♀️ First, let me start with two very important definitions.
[ krak-er ]SHOW IPA
a thin, crisp biscuit.a firecracker.Also called cracker bonbon. a small paper roll used as a party favor, that usually contains candy, trinkets, etc., and that pops when pulled sharply at one or both ends.(initial capital letter) Slang: Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. a native or inhabitant of Georgia or Florida (used as a nickname).Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a white person in the South, especially a poor white living in some rural parts of the southeastern U.S.
[ nig-er ]SHOW IPA
USAGE ALERT ABOUT NIGGER
The term nigger is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. The senses labeled Extremely Disparaging and Offensive represent meanings that are deeply insulting and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense. It is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed, as in court or in a newspaper editorial: “the n-word.” Despite this, the sense referring to a “black person” is sometimes used self-referentially among African Americans in a neutral or familiar way. The sense referring to other victims of prejudice, especially when used descriptively, as to denounce that prejudice, is not normally considered disparaging—as in “The Irish are the niggers of Europe” from Roddy Doyle's The Commitments —but the other uses are considered contemptuous and hostile.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.a contemptuous term used to refer to a member of any dark-skinned people.Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of any racial or ethnic origin regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant, etc.a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by black people; a person who is economically, politically, or socially disenfranchised.
Now that we got housekeeping out of the way, I can tell my story and talk my shit. I was having a conversation with a white woman whom I have to interact with daily. We have a pretty decent working relationship.....until it comes to matters of race. She is not racist. HOWEVER COMMA.....she has no clue that she's been conditioned into certain mindsets that are, well, how do I put this.....WHITE PRIVILEGE AS FUCK!!! She is a culture vulture by circumstance. What does that mean? She grew up dirt poor in the rural South and was usually the only white girl and had all black friends. As a result, she only dates black men, only listens to rap music, and *drum roll* thinks she can use "nigga" because she isn't racist and dates black guys only. I frequently have to remind her that the Black community adopted the EXTREMELY offensive term and modified it for OUR use. It is NEVER okay for either version of the word to come out of a white person's mouth. N E V E R!!!!!! On several occasions we have had the conversation because she truly believes that she can say it because she isn't meaning it in a derogatory way. Here's the part where I lean in and speak to all the white people. YOU DO NOT GET TO DECIDE WHETHER YOU CAN SAY IT OR NOT, ESPECIALLY ONCE A BLACK PERSON TELLS YOU NOT TO!!! The sheer fact that someone black who is close to you, in any capacity, is asking you not to say it should be reason enough. That's it! And as much as getting her to understand why she can't say it is a headache, it isn't the story I have to tell.
I'll attempt to be brief since the build up was 3 years long. So we are having a casual conversation the other day and we are talking about how people say things during arguments that can't be unsaid and how hurtful that can be to relationships. We are agreeing that sometimes the nastiest things can be said unnecessarily. She then says how she hates when someone goes racial in an argument. Again, I agree with her. Now, this is where my face began to change. I just assumed, silly of me, that she meant she didn't like to hear someone call a black person a nigger in an argument. Y'all......this woman was dead ass serious and goes, "I hate when it gets racial. I mean, you can't get mad when you call someone a cracker and then they return the favor. How can you expect it to not get racial after saying that?" Y'all.......I was fucking floored. SHE. WAS. DEAD. SERIOUS. Ma'am, are you kidding me right now? Honey, where do I begin?! First of all, being called a cracker and being called a nigger ARE NOT THE SAME!!! I can’t even call them apples and oranges. It’s more like grapes and watermelons. Grapes and watermelons are both diuretics. But eating 1 whole grape won’t cause anywhere near the amount of shit as eating 1 whole watermelon. Second, if you choose to go racial in return that tells me you've wanted to all along but needed an excuse. This is a frequent phenomenon in race relations. It is a manipulation tactic. You purposely antagonize a person and when they seek to defend themself, which they have every right to do, you make them the aggressor by removing responsibility from your ACTION and placing it all on their REACTION. It is also a tactic of power and privilege. It is utterly disgusting. And for the record, I do not think racial name calling of any kind is acceptable, but let's be realistic about the weight of those words. Babies are dying because they were born brown. Fathers and mothers are burying their children because their skin offends and scares cowards. You can kiss my whole black ass if you think these words are equal.
I struggled with writing and completing this post because of a few reasons. While I prefer the truth over feelings, I never want to hurt anyone, be it intentional or otherwise. Then I had to weigh her feelings over mine and I reminded myself that I BEEN off that shit of suppressing my own feelings just to comfort someone else's. BEEN OFF THAT SHIT!!!! I refuse to do myself the disservice of needing to heal from something that I could address and handle! It was also hard because I believe had we met under different circumstances, she'd be someone I'd love. I don't mean romantically. I would love her like a sister or a close friend. I have been blessed to know how to love other women, genuinely, and wholeheartedly. There have been countless conversations and instances where I could see that she needs a sister/real friend to pour into her and love her. And I give her a surface level of that, and every time I think I can go deeper and give her more, she pulls shit like this and snatches me back into reality. And even still, I question if love truly is the cure.....