Using the N-word safely

Webster’s definition defines the word “nigger” as a noun with origins from the Spanish word “negro,” which means black.

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:45pm
  • Opinion

Webster’s definition defines the word “nigger” as a noun with origins from the Spanish word “negro,” which means black.

The N-word is the only word in the English language that only one group of people can use without any negative repercussions.

I believe the use of the N-word is a personification of evil. That word has been used to denigrate and humiliate an entire race of people. I’m always offended when anyone uses it, regardless of race, color or creed.

It is hypocritical for celebrities such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg to say that word is OK among black people — but God forbid a white Republican says the word, and all hell breaks loose. I wonder why?

My parents didn’t use that term because they told me it was wrong. I believed it then and I see the wisdom more so now. How did the use of this evil word change from bad to acceptable? You even have white kids from the suburbs using that word as a term of endearment.

I have a suggestion. Instead of saying “You’re my nigga,” why not say “How are you?” I realize this sounds old-fashioned, but what phrase do you want your child to use?

One more time, we have changed the rules of the game. We moved the goal posts. We are then shocked when society becomes a little less civil.

The politically correct crowd and the elites don’t really condemn the use of the N-word. That would mean they’re being judgmental, which as we all know could hurt someone’s feelings. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?

How did we get to this point? Because we stopped caring about one another. We allowed gangsta rap to fill the airwaves with filth, and no one said a word except the religious conservatives who condemned it.

We as a society have failed our children, and we have failed ourselves by allowing pornography on TV, abortion on demand and a breakdown of the nuclear family. We have decided that moral relativism is acceptable, which means if it feels good, do it.

Unfortunately, over time we have become desensitized to the evil in the world and have become strangely silent.

I believe in absolutes. I believe in God. I believe in good vs. evil. I believe that hard work builds character. I believe in forgiveness, and I believe that courage is the greatest of human virtues.

For those who think that courage is a relative term, ask the survivors of 9/11 what they think. We should rise up and say enough, if for no other reason than to protect the children. But will we?

I pray that more people will.

No excuses.

Walter Backstrom is a Federal Way resident. Contact: