Lots on my mind; time to get it out...

This is a small piece of myself that I'm now willing to share. Handle with care; contents will break under pressure.

29 July 2010

8. A rose by any other name....

* Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by language... STOP READING NOW!

So if you don't know or you haven't talked to me recently or haven't seen me recently, I have become totally immersed in this natural hair thing.  Well one of the many things that keeps coming up is the word "nappy."  Well if you're English this doesn't mean a lot to you - you probably just look at a nappy as a baby diaper.  For the Black community in America, however, from what I know nappy is a word spoken with much contention.  It's a word spoken by Black women with much disdain.  Well... at least that's what I thought.  But as I stalk the natural hair blogs, natural hair forums, and YouTube channels more and more I hear women talking about embracing their naps, being nappy and happy, and what have you.

But it got me to thinking.  People talk about the re-appropriation of words all the time.  Some how in the last 40 years rappers have turned the derogatory use of the word nigger to everyday slang in the Black community.  I don't know how many times a day I hear, "What's up my nigga?" or "Nigga please..." or any phrase where you could use the word "guy" but in place of it choose "nigga" instead.  And the same goes for the word bitch.  In normal conversation, females of all races and ages repeating the phrase "That's my bitch!" and "Yeah, I'm a bad bitch..."

And in each case the affected party when asked why use such offensive terminology will reply, "We're just taking the word back.  Using it in regular conversation takes the power from it"

And to this I reply - "GET REAL!"
So you claim by using a word we take the power from it, huh? Well answer me this:

Regardless of how in touch with your nappy roots you are, when the girl with the long, loose silky, curly hair says your hair is nappy are you seriously not just a little incensed at what she may be implying?  Even if you call every one of your best friends your "main bitch," when that guy in the club calls you a stuck up bitch because you wouldn't give him any play, you aren't even the slightest bit offended?  No matter how long you've been using the word nigga, when the White guy across the street (who is clearly a skin head, adorned with a stars and bars vest) calls you a nigger you're telling me you aren't gonna be even a little pissed.  (And eff all that "-er" vs. "-a" we all know its the same...)

But don't mind me this is really just some food for thought.  I'll even play devil's advocate a little....

Remember when Snoop was trying to "do better" and claimed he's stopped banging and smoking weed, and in his songs he started using the word nephew instead of nigga.  I mean we all knew what he was doing, but since we knew what he meant did it even matter.  And on social networking sites I don't know how many times I've seen the words "ninja" and "bish" (which is totally made up by the way) being thrown around, in place of nigga and bitch respectively... but since it's clear what is meant does it matter what you say...?
If slave owners used the word flower instead of nigger, would we be calling them "flowas" in contemporary times...

But I could be totally off base... I mean in the end they are just words. Right?

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