Ahem. Clears throat.
I know its been about four months since the last post and No I wasn't locked up, nor did I get some bald headed scallywag pregnant forcing me to leave the country. I just been chillin son. I'll try to be better at sporadically kickin the truth to the young black youth...and the overemployed thirtysomethings wasting company time on social media like its a resume builder. I promise. I'll try more often to get you some introspective shit, but for now, on with the show.
The other night Suge Knight, the big gangbangin Blood / founder of Death Row Records / ni**a that people used to care about before he got Tupac killed , was quoted as saying:
"A lot of times when people say the n-word, I like that better than African American. We're not from Africa. We're black. Even Africans don't call themselves African.”
While my honest to God first thought was "this mutherfuckin nigga trippin,'" I later revisited the seemingly nonsensical statement and thought about it in more detail. I mean shit....I use the word all the time, and even when other races say it in a non malicious manner I shrug it off, despite my desire that it be "ours" exclusively.
I mean its not like I'm gonna fight a nigga cause he said nigga...not "adult me" at least. Why am I not offended by my own culture's prominent use of a word that was so hurtful? Probably because I know the history. I know that sometimes the only way to not be hurt by something is to accept, or pseudo accept it. Every black person knows slavery existed and that this nasty, dirty word was the impetus behind a lot of the mistreatment our ancestors endured. It we act un-phased by it they can no longer use it to hurt us, right?
Pac said it best. Nigga. Never- Ignorant- Getting -Goals -Accomplished...and while this was some ol' bullshit created after the fact, I like the spirit of this. Pac was smart enough to realize we originally accepted the word as a defense mechanism and said, fuck all this....we're gonna make it work for us. We did with this word, what we did to the pig entrails, scraps and chitterlings they used to feed us because it was the leftover, most undesirable part of the pig.... we made it delicious and made them ask for our recipe.
Same thing with the N-word. We made something great from this hurtful thing...we gave it style and substance...and now, EVERYBODY wants the recipe... (Unless its during a job interview or a loan review. lol).
The way we used to be scared when white people said the word, well not only are we going to make them scared when we say it, but we're also going to make them scared to say it around us. We essentially deebo'd the word. I'm not agreeing with Suge knight by the way, because that nigga is still trippin. What I am saying , however, is that to embrace something is to understand it, and while everyone may not break it down to the same minute detail, i can say that collectively, that we as a people "get it." We understand the N-word for what it is, and the only real reason not to use it, is respect for our elders who felt its hurt firsthand. Most of them, however, will be dead soon, so we good my nigga.
I say all that to say this, the problem isnt with us using the word "Nigga." The problem is us worrying about our usage of the word "Nigga."
Let me break it down like miley on a molly at a Juicy J concert.
Women don't call each other "my nigga," which would cause one to think they are inherently more mature, or culturally sensitive than us; they view our colloquialisms as "silly boy stuff" and blame it on our lack of sensitivity, not realizing it is really rooted in rationalism. These same women, however, have taken similar power over the word "bitch," refusing to be defined by its negative connotations and ascribing to it a sense of fierceness. "Don't call me a bitch, im am That bitch!" or "Queen bitch."
This I also understand and applaud the ladies for being so clever. What don't understand is the haphazard throwing around of a different word, which is not so well understood, yet used far more frequently: Red Bone. Women and men alike tend to associate with the "lighter is brighter" theory, putting "lightskinned , or mixed race girls, aka 'Red Bones' , possibly called so because of their historical proximity to the Red river, mix with Native American blood and the fairer skins tenancy to turn red in extreme temperature conditions, on a type of pedestal elevated above their darker skinned counterparts without understanding why. Worse still, they don't even realize what they are doing while they're doing it.
According to Don C. Marler, author of the book "the Louisiana Redbones," a red bone is a "person of mixed racial heritage who is a member of a group which defines its relationship to the dominant culture in a certain way. Physical characteristics are varied but typically include a dark skin, often with a copper hue, high cheekbones, dark eyes, dark straight hair, and no single body type. Less often they are of lighter skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. In those persons with some Negroid genetics Negroid features may be evident, such as darker skin, curly hair, wide nose, and thick lips.
Aint this a bitch. So yall just gonna take the "redbone subculture" which formed in opposition to the oppressive dominant culture and use it as a symbol of your own superiority, basically oppressing your darker skin counterparts? Re-read that definition. Not only is this the exact opposite of what so called "Bad red bones" proclaim to be today, it is also flat out embarrassing.
The ancestors of our Caucasian friends oppressed us so in turn we are going to try and pull an okie doke, saying "hahaha, you're right, but those black jokes are funny and they dont apply to me because I'm light right? hey, look at the girl over there, shes dark. Not like "US." Jokes on you because whites in the antebellum south didnt care if you passed a paper bag test, they didnt like you either. You were a lightskinned nigga. Nigga.
The self forming of an internal caste system is a prime example of catty, crab in a bucket mentality and an excellent use by the oppressor of the divide and conquer strategy. I call niggas my niggas and they give me daps and hugs. You call your darkskinned sisters dirty black bitches and get eye roles and shrugs. Yall need to be yelling black girls rock, but instead, yall call each other hoes, fight over hues, and we call you Thots.
T.h.o.t.s. Originally derived from the acronym for "That Ho Over There.
Lets break it down even further and I'll tell you what it really means:
This Hides Our True Selves, & This Hurts Our True Sistas...but These Hoes On That Shit... and they wonder why we dismiss em."
One things for sure, this Fresh Prince needs a queen, not a THOTiyana Ali.
We need to stop worrying about the words and look at the actions we're portraying. Abolish the N-word? Nah. We need to abolish this culture of self hatred and perceived lightskinned superiority. If not, at least I can say I tried to help my people out and as a consolation prize they'll be plenty of redbone thots for my niggas.