Small Word, Big Impact


Oriane Dancler, Reporter

Growing up, I always knew the n-word was something that would always follow me. No matter if it’s funny commentary with my friends, being called it or having to deal with ignorant people in the world who say it.

In my house, that word was never really something I would hear my parents say until later in life. I would never hear about people who weren’t black saying it until high school. It has been exposed and talked about all over the internet. Who’s the new celebrity saying it or who’s the next peer? Hearing about a peer or a star who says it hurts. I know they didn’t explicitly say it to me. But, the fact that they were comfortable enough to say it means they don’t respect the black community enough to not. Everything I thought I liked about the person gets discredited. 

The n-word is something I will always feel is meant for only the black community to say. We turned a bad word and we flipped into something of endearment and unity. It’s not something we use hatefully against a race unless it’s our own. It’s something that should stay with just us. When it comes from another person’s mouth, it feels hateful even if it isn’t meant that way. The history of the word is why it shouldn’t be used by other races alone.

I spoke to fellow senior Myriah Wigfall about the topic because she had recently spoken up to a peer that was caught saying it. 

Wigfall said she feels people outside the black community saying the n-word is completely inappropriate. 

“Hearing about other races saying the n-word makes me infuriated,” she said. “It’s disrespectful not only to the black community but to people’s ancestors who had to be called it negatively.”

She also called for people to learn about the deeper significance of the word and how it impacts others.

“People need to educate themselves and realize it is more than just a word. It isn’t something just funny to say, it means something to people,” Wigfall said. “There’s no reason anybody but black people should be saying the n-word — there’s no excuse.”

This word will always be around for generations to come. Whether it finally stays between the black community or other races still say it. Just remember the horrible history behind it. The reason the word was even invented for black people. Think about the people you’re disrespecting. By saying this one word you’re hurting everyone affected by it every day. It doesn’t make you seem cool or funny. 

Saying the n-word makes you look like the scum of the world.