Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The N-Word And Society's Fear

As time moves on many issues continue to pop up. One is the use of the word nigger. Well some people say nigga to make it sound better. The word nigga was originally used as a derogatory term for blacks, but then at some point in time black people tried to make it positive. The problem with making it positive was whites could not use it. The reason whites could not use the word was because they made it a derogatory term in the first place. However, no matter who uses the word, it still remains a problem.

The last time the word nigga was talked about was a couple of years ago when rapper Nas, aka Nasir Jones, thought about naming one of his albums after it. Now it's being brought up in the media again because of it's presence in the book "Huckleberry Finn."

This book is what some people consider a classic  and almost everyone has to read it during their time in school. If you don't know what Huckleberry Finn is about, it features a little white boy who befriends an old black man during slavery times. What makes the book very special is it's depiction of that particular period of time. It gives a glimpse of the way whites lived and the way blacks had to live. It also uses the word nigger a lot, because that was what whites called blacks back then. This book was written in 1884 and depicted the time period of around 1845.

However, while it's clearly portraying how people acted in a certain period not everyone can handle the word nigger. That is why as of next month a new version of the book Huckleberry Finn will be published. In place of the n-word will be slave. I don't understand how that's better, but Gribben, the 69-year old English professor who is writing the introduction to the updated version, has been replacing the n-word with slave for years.

The crazy thing about this is the word nigger (or nigga) is not the real problem. After all many people had to read books like "Crazy Lady" while in school. That book had lots of cuss words. It also dealt with how we treat mentally challenged people. The real problem is society's fear. We believe that if we can make something, such as words that remind us of racism, different then it will seem as if that problem never existed. It's the same reason why gay marriage is not legal everywhere. We have a fear that if gay people can have real freedom, then traditional families will all of a sudden disappear.

While many are going to continue to talk about the issue of Huckleberry Finn, the real question is how do we deal with this fear that society has? Should we continue to change things that have carried forbidden words since the beginning of it's time or should we be comfortable with facing our messed up reality?

No comments :

Post a Comment