#154 - Can I Say the Word 'Nigga'?

October 5, 2022

Is It Okay to Use the Word 'Nigga'? I guess it depends on who you ask

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[00:00:00] Is it okay to use the word "nigga"? This is a question I get all the time. I also meet a lot of people that are afraid to say the word "black" when referring to Americans that look like me. So let me clear up the confusion for you guys. But first, the word "nigga", n-i-g-g-a, this word comes from the word "nigger", n-i-g-g-e-r, which is a racist slur, used to degrade black people. And just so you know, the word "nigger" and "nigga", like, they're the same word. It's just these days, we say "nigga", right? And the word "nigga" is used by some black people as a casual expression or a term of endearment and even an insult. It just depends on the context.

[00:00:39] Now, notice that I said the word is used by "some" black people. It's not used by all black people. Some black people hate that word. They never use it. They don't like when other black people use it, you know? So it just depends on the person. It's not everyone. Now, thanks to hip-hop music, a lot of people think this word is cool and you know, they think it's sexy and they want to use it all the time. And that's fine, bro. You can say whatever you want, but you need to understand that if you're not a black American and you use this word around black Americans, you can find yourself in a complicated and possibly dangerous situation because many black people find this word extremely offensive when the person who's using it is not black.

[00:01:17] So my recommendation is that you do not use this word. Ever. Now, the word "black". This word is used simply to describe Americans that look like me, Americans who are descendants of the African slaves who were brought over here hundreds of years ago. Now, I'm not sure when or why, but these days, some people, not black people, but some people consider the word black to be racist and offensive. But in my humble opinion, it's not racist at all. I mean, we call most people of European descent "white" because of their skin color. So I don't know when it became racist to call people of African descent "black". Honestly, I think this is just identity politics. People trying to control the words you use in order to create the illusion of progress and equality.

[00:02:05] Now, some people say that "African-American" is a more correct term to use when referring to black people. But I am not an African-American. My parents are not from Africa. My grandparents are not from Africa. My great grandparents are not from Africa. I have nothing in common with African people, and not all Africans are black. So if you ask me if you want to refer to Americans that look like me, you can refer to us as black people the same way you refer to people who look like Joe Biden or, you know, the cast of Friends or something like that. You refer to people like that as white people without thinking twice about it, right?

[00:02:42] So there's nothing wrong with calling me a black man. I am a black man. I'm really not black. None of us are black, white, brown, yellow or red. It's all bullshit. But we use these words to describe reality. We need these words to describe things, right? So it's just the way it is. It's just the way it is, right? Now, the word "African-American". This word is also fine. You will hear black people use it. You'll hear people of all ethnic backgrounds use that word. And it's totally fine, too. But if I were you, I would never use the word "nigga" with anyone. There is no reason for you to use that word.

[END OF EPISODE]

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[00:00:00] Is it okay to use the word "nigga"? This is a question I get all the time. I also meet a lot of people that are afraid to say the word "black" when referring to Americans that look like me. So let me clear up the confusion for you guys. But first, the word "nigga", n-i-g-g-a, this word comes from the word "nigger", n-i-g-g-e-r, which is a racist slur, used to degrade black people. And just so you know, the word "nigger" and "nigga", like, they're the same word. It's just these days, we say "nigga", right? And the word "nigga" is used by some black people as a casual expression or a term of endearment and even an insult. It just depends on the context.

[00:00:39] Now, notice that I said the word is used by "some" black people. It's not used by all black people. Some black people hate that word. They never use it. They don't like when other black people use it, you know? So it just depends on the person. It's not everyone. Now, thanks to hip-hop music, a lot of people think this word is cool and you know, they think it's sexy and they want to use it all the time. And that's fine, bro. You can say whatever you want, but you need to understand that if you're not a black American and you use this word around black Americans, you can find yourself in a complicated and possibly dangerous situation because many black people find this word extremely offensive when the person who's using it is not black.

[00:01:17] So my recommendation is that you do not use this word. Ever. Now, the word "black". This word is used simply to describe Americans that look like me, Americans who are descendants of the African slaves who were brought over here hundreds of years ago. Now, I'm not sure when or why, but these days, some people, not black people, but some people consider the word black to be racist and offensive. But in my humble opinion, it's not racist at all. I mean, we call most people of European descent "white" because of their skin color. So I don't know when it became racist to call people of African descent "black". Honestly, I think this is just identity politics. People trying to control the words you use in order to create the illusion of progress and equality.

[00:02:05] Now, some people say that "African-American" is a more correct term to use when referring to black people. But I am not an African-American. My parents are not from Africa. My grandparents are not from Africa. My great grandparents are not from Africa. I have nothing in common with African people, and not all Africans are black. So if you ask me if you want to refer to Americans that look like me, you can refer to us as black people the same way you refer to people who look like Joe Biden or, you know, the cast of Friends or something like that. You refer to people like that as white people without thinking twice about it, right?

[00:02:42] So there's nothing wrong with calling me a black man. I am a black man. I'm really not black. None of us are black, white, brown, yellow or red. It's all bullshit. But we use these words to describe reality. We need these words to describe things, right? So it's just the way it is. It's just the way it is, right? Now, the word "African-American". This word is also fine. You will hear black people use it. You'll hear people of all ethnic backgrounds use that word. And it's totally fine, too. But if I were you, I would never use the word "nigga" with anyone. There is no reason for you to use that word.

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • What do you think about people using the word 'nigga'?
  • What's an offensive word that's used in your country, and what is it's origin story?
  • Is there a better way to describe and classify people than their skin color and ethnicity?
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
Download the VIP
Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

[00:00:00] Is it okay to use the word "nigga"? This is a question I get all the time. I also meet a lot of people that are afraid to say the word "black" when referring to Americans that look like me. So let me clear up the confusion for you guys. But first, the word "nigga", n-i-g-g-a, this word comes from the word "nigger", n-i-g-g-e-r, which is a racist slur, used to degrade black people. And just so you know, the word "nigger" and "nigga", like, they're the same word. It's just these days, we say "nigga", right? And the word "nigga" is used by some black people as a casual expression or a term of endearment and even an insult. It just depends on the context.

[00:00:39] Now, notice that I said the word is used by "some" black people. It's not used by all black people. Some black people hate that word. They never use it. They don't like when other black people use it, you know? So it just depends on the person. It's not everyone. Now, thanks to hip-hop music, a lot of people think this word is cool and you know, they think it's sexy and they want to use it all the time. And that's fine, bro. You can say whatever you want, but you need to understand that if you're not a black American and you use this word around black Americans, you can find yourself in a complicated and possibly dangerous situation because many black people find this word extremely offensive when the person who's using it is not black.

[00:01:17] So my recommendation is that you do not use this word. Ever. Now, the word "black". This word is used simply to describe Americans that look like me, Americans who are descendants of the African slaves who were brought over here hundreds of years ago. Now, I'm not sure when or why, but these days, some people, not black people, but some people consider the word black to be racist and offensive. But in my humble opinion, it's not racist at all. I mean, we call most people of European descent "white" because of their skin color. So I don't know when it became racist to call people of African descent "black". Honestly, I think this is just identity politics. People trying to control the words you use in order to create the illusion of progress and equality.

[00:02:05] Now, some people say that "African-American" is a more correct term to use when referring to black people. But I am not an African-American. My parents are not from Africa. My grandparents are not from Africa. My great grandparents are not from Africa. I have nothing in common with African people, and not all Africans are black. So if you ask me if you want to refer to Americans that look like me, you can refer to us as black people the same way you refer to people who look like Joe Biden or, you know, the cast of Friends or something like that. You refer to people like that as white people without thinking twice about it, right?

[00:02:42] So there's nothing wrong with calling me a black man. I am a black man. I'm really not black. None of us are black, white, brown, yellow or red. It's all bullshit. But we use these words to describe reality. We need these words to describe things, right? So it's just the way it is. It's just the way it is, right? Now, the word "African-American". This word is also fine. You will hear black people use it. You'll hear people of all ethnic backgrounds use that word. And it's totally fine, too. But if I were you, I would never use the word "nigga" with anyone. There is no reason for you to use that word.

[END OF EPISODE]

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