It’s Not Just a Word

Manny Zamora, Copy Desk Editor

A word that was first used to address
and identify African slaves during the
nineteenth century has now become one
that is commonly used among people of
almost all backgrounds. Just from that
fact, you can see a very clearly defined
problem. To put it plain and simple: the
use of the “N Word” is not acceptable
in any way or form, by anyone. This is
a word with a quite ugly background,
and changing the “er” to an “a” does not
make it any better. It is racist and ignorant to use these and any other variations of the words.
As I’ve previously mentioned, the
word was first used by white slave owners who needed a way to distinguish
slaves from free white men. After the
abolition of slavery, it was used as derogatory term to degrade the African-
American community. It has since
been turned into a word which is heard
throughout Rancho and the world. It is
really surprising to see people use this
term like its nothing, and no one questioning it. It’s hypocritical, to an extent.
It would look horrible to an African-
American person in the late nineteenth
century hear their own people use the
word toward each other.
Another problem is that people feel
as if the word is exclusive to only some
people. This is not right. If one race
is not allowed to say it, then no one
should. Nevertheless, no one should
say it at all. Many people create things
called “The N-Word Pass’’, which personally just seems like a joke, but jokes
do tend to get out of hand. It is very
questionable to hear people say “you
can’t say it because you’re not black”
because it doesn’t matter who you are,
the word remains racist.
One might argue that I’m not black
so why should I be talking about a race
that doesn’t concern me? It concerns everyone. Racism isn’t something that is
race-specific, it can happen to everyone,
regardless. Furthermore, I would hate
for people to go around saying “wet-
back” or “beaner” casually. It wouldn’t
be any better to hear “cracker” in the
halls, or any other race-specific derogatory term during lunch. It isn’t accept-
able, especially in place like our school,
which is shared by students from a variety of backgrounds.
The solution to this is simple: be
more conscious of what you are saying,
as it can be offensive to many people.