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Why we can never clean up the infamous N word

The N-word ( Nig*er) carries a long and painful history of racism, oppression, and dehumanization, particularly against Black people. Its use perpetuates harm, reinforces systemic inequalities, and can deeply hurt individuals and communities.

Cleaning up the N-word would require addressing the underlying social, cultural, and institutional issues that perpetuate racism and discrimination.

One of The Nation of Islam scholars, Dr Wesley Muhammad in a lecture, described “ The Nig*er “as America's “Frankenstein”.

America's Trans-Atlantic Slave trade created a Frankenstein out of the African people when they were robbed of their culture, name, and religion.

The analogy of “Frankenstein” can be aptly applied as the transatlantic slave trade and the subsequent system of slavery created a monstrous reality for African people, one characterized by exploitation, brutality, and dehumanization. The forced assimilation and erasure of African cultures and identities can be seen as a form of societal “Frankenstein,” where the resulting creation is a grotesque distortion of humanity.

The concept of Frankenstein originates from Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel “Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus.” The story revolves around Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a grotesque creature through an unorthodox scientific experiment. The Black community historically has been the result of experiments in all aspects of American history to the present day.

The use of the N-word in entertainment promotes self-hate. The repetition of a word, especially a racial slur like the N-word, can serve to reinforce its negative connotations and perpetuate its harmful effects. When a word is repeatedly used, particularly in contexts that normalize or trivialize its impact, it can contribute to normalizing discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.

It's essential to recognize the power of language and the impact that repetition can have on shaping attitudes and perceptions. By challenging the repetition of derogatory words and promoting more respectful and inclusive language, we can work towards creating a society that values diversity, equity, and mutual respect.

Racism in all media platforms that permit the racial use of the N-word can perpetuate ignorance and self-hate. When the N-word is casually used or normalized in media, it can reinforce harmful stereotypes, attitudes, and power dynamics associated with racism and oppression.

Black-owned media platforms have a responsibility to consider the impact of the content they produce and promote on their audiences, particularly when it comes to issues of racism and discrimination. By actively challenging stereotypes, encouraging empathy and understanding, and fostering respectful dialogue, media platforms can play a crucial role in combating ignorance and promoting positive social change.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, taught that Black people should see themselves as gods rather than Negroes as a means of empowering and uplifting their self-perception and identity.

His teachings emphasized the importance of self-respect, self-love, and self-reliance among Black individuals and communities.

By encouraging Black people to view themselves as gods, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad aimed to counteract the negative stereotypes, oppression, and inferiority complex that had been imposed upon them by society. He believed recognizing their inherent divinity and worth would inspire them to strive for excellence, take pride in their heritage, and assert their rightful place in the world.

Additionally, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s teachings emphasized the idea of self-improvement, discipline, and community solidarity as essential elements of personal and collective upliftment. By rejecting the derogatory label of “Negro” and embracing a more empowering self-concept, he sought to instill a sense of dignity, purpose, and agency among Black people, encouraging them to reclaim their identity and shape their destinies.

Many within the Black community advocate for separating from platforms or influences that perpetuate self-destruction or harm. This can include rejecting media, ideologies, or behaviors that promote violence, substance abuse, negative stereotypes, or internalized oppression. Instead, there is a focus on promoting positive messages, behaviors, and environments that uplift and empower individuals and communities.

This responsibility often involves promoting education, self-awareness, and community support systems to address underlying issues and challenges. It also includes advocating for social and systemic changes to create more equitable opportunities and environments for all community members.

The change from using the N-word starts with self-awareness, reflection, and personal accountability. Each individual has the power to choose their words and actions, and by recognizing the harm and disrespect associated with the N-word, they can make a conscious decision to refrain from using it.

This self-awareness involves understanding the historical and cultural significance of the word, empathizing with those affected by it, and actively challenging its normalization in society.

Furthermore, individuals can lead by example and encourage others to reconsider their language and attitudes towards racial slurs. By promoting respectful and inclusive language, fostering empathy and understanding, and advocating for social justice and equality, individuals can create a more respectful and equitable society for all.

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