Hate crimes and changing terminology

· Sep 7, 2001 Tweet

Two hate crime incidents have occurred in Madison during the past month. It is extremely disturbing such base hatred and mythical stereotypes still persist in our community. I would like to address the language that has been used by the perpetrators of these crimes and the violence that has been at the root of the crimes committed.

I am a fair-skinned female. Many of my friends have been African-American and Asian-American. The word “nigger” was impossible for me to stomach until I was about 20, and that was after years of my best black friends calling me “nigga” in personal affectionate terms. There has been a movement, starting in the black community, to take what has historically been an offensive term and change its etymology to mean something to the equivalent of “dude.” The primary reason “nigga” has been transformed is to take the effectiveness of its use from white bigots. “Nigga” is becoming an effective slang amongst friends used in a positive way. Today it connotes an individual with strength of will, a close friend, someone you trust and respect.

Hatred of people who do not share the same pigmentation as you is a misguided and precarious mental state to be in. You are wasting your energy, and missing the opportunity to be a member of American society, which is created and sustained by people not just from this continent, but from all over the world.


This article was published Sep 7, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 7, 2001 at 12:00 am


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