Some people like to use the excuse that “words are just words” and yet no other race would be comfortable being called their degrading racial slur, so why do people think they should be able to do the same to Blacks?
The N-word is the word “nigger”, one of the three truly taboo words left in Standard English in 2013 (the other two start with c and f). It means a black person but has behind it hundreds of years of white racist contempt, particularly when it comes out of the mouth of a white person.
Timeline (when words first appeared in writing):
- 1550s:Negro, probably from Spanish or Portuguese, where it simply means “black”.
- late 1600s:nigger
- 1800:nigger in the woodpile
- 1840s: nigger-brown (shade of brown)
- 1878:nigger heaven (upper gallery in segregated theatres)
- 1896: nigger toes (Brazil nuts)
- 1925:niggah (in black use)
- 1944:nigra (possibly worse than “nigger” itself)
- 1967: a thousand place names in the US still have he word “nigger” in them.
- 1969:nigga (black use)
By the late 1700s, at the latest, the word had become racist. The…
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