Why Do They Use The Word But I Can 't? Essay

1117 Words Dec 8th, 2015 null Page
“Why Do They Get to use the N-word But I Can’t?” Growing up, I was always taught that the N-word was never an acceptable thing to say. I was always told that it was extremely offensive, and made it completely off limits for my vocabulary. When I would hear the word, I always associated it with something bad, worrying that whoever said it, would wind up getting in trouble. As I grew older and began listening to more rap and hip hop, I often wondered why Blacks could say the word, but White people could not? I simply disregarded the question, and continued to practice not saying it. After reading this essay, I realized that the question still existed in my mind. I’m happy I chose to react to this essay, because now I have a small knowing of why Blacks do not appreciate White people using the word, and it makes perfect sense. In Geoff Harkness writing, he addresses how the N-word is offensive, and also how Blacks view it when referring to each other. Harkness explains how the N-word may be offensive to Blacks when Whites use it due to the past. He mentions how the N-word was applied to slaves as an insult, and also represents the Jim Crow era. Still today, people often apply the word to Blacks in a negative trend. Something that surprised me in Harkness’s writing was how when Blacks use the N-word, they mean it in a completely different way. They often refer to a friend, and use it to show a type of affection. I understood where the author was coming from simply because I am…

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