The Meaning of Nigga

Larry Wilmore was canned from Comedy Central for saying Nigga at the Correspondent Dinner. Now the N word is deemed by black people in America as derogatory. However, the word Nigga is derogatory to white people. It is interesting the anger that this word meets. They have a hard time with the fact that there is a word out there, that empowers black people and that they are not allowed to say it. It upsets them. This lack of “freedom”. They feel that slavery was ok, that in fact black people enjoyed it as Pat Buchanan thinks. However, the thought that white people might not be able to say a word, the lack of freedom in any way shape or form is very very offensive. Their ability to be “politically incorrect” which is akin to speech terrorism, their ability to inflict harm through words is as important as the ability to have guns, which were also the tools by which many were subjugated.

The reason Larry Wilmore was fired, is because the use of the word Nigga connotes power. It connotes power to black and white people because it acknowledges the history of the word as well as how far black people have come. The fear to the white people of not being in power, of not controlling the masses is scary and Larry put that front and center. You see, all other words used for black people in America mask the history and the changes happening in the black community. The words Black, Colored and African-American, are not accurate at best and strip back the history of American Blacks at worst.

You see, the American Blacks are a minority of the black people around the world. There are millions and millions of black people in Africa and South America and Caribbean. Yet the history of American Black people and their culture is very distinct. Thus when someone says black, they could mean black from Africa or Caribbean or America and American Blacks cannot be confused with all those other black people.

Further more, saying African-American by definition cannot connote race, although it does. Becaue let’s say someone is white from South Africa living in America. They are African-American, but if someone saw them and heard that, they would freak. Or if they are Moroccan or Egyptian living in America, they are African-American too. Also, black people in America, have never been to Africa. They have no connection besides skin, and even that after hundreds of years of rape by owners and mixing is no longer that black. So to call them Black or African-American just doesn’t work. But Nigga does.

Nigga acknowledges their race, even if it is 1/32, black, they were “niggers”. It acknowledges that awful word used to dehumanize them and then it turns it, because it shows the transformation from nigger slave, nigger without rights, nigger without voice, to an American Nigga: a rapper, an athlete, a judge, a congressman, a doctor, a president.

When Larry called Barak Obama “my nigga”, he used it specifically to call to attention not the African roots of Barak, or his color, those things are irrelevant. He called him “my nigga” to call to attention the rise of the slave from property to leader of the free world. And the white man at Comedy Central, threatened by it, decided to show his power and take the voice away from Larry. Barak had made it, but we as a society, still have a while to go, until we are at equality and all the white people recognize and admire what it took for black people in America to go from “nigger” to “nigga”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.