Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The N word

Parents need to teach their kids about the birds and the bees. They also need to teach their kids the rules of the N word. It's way too important for them to just figure out on their own. I had this talk with my boys recently. Here's a summary of the rules of the N word in case you're not from the ghetto.

N---er is a the worst racial epithet in the English language and one that must never be uttered. Saying it will likely result in: getting kicked out of school, fired from your job, losing friends, offending people. etc.

Nigga (plural: niggaz) is an acceptable word to refer to someone in a casual ghetto setting. However, it's very important that you follow the rules of use:

#1 You have to pronounce it right
#2 You have to use it in the appropriate context (ghetto setting or among close friends).
#3 You can't be white.

Now since my kids are only half white they will probably qualify for nigga. But they have to be down with the homies first. Like, if they were really dorky I don't think they could pull it off. But they're not. :)

A little while back a teacher (Paul Dawson) was suspended for calling a student "nigga". I feel so bad for the guy because he was totally "lynched" by the media for it. He almost understood how "nigga" worked. He got rule number one right. Just not two and three. Poor guy.

Anyway, this isn't a commentary on the appropriateness of the word- I'm just explaining facts about it. Although if I were to give my opinion I would say that I'm OK with nigga because in my humble opinion it softens the blow of the N word.

Also important: The word niggard means a miser. And niggardly means stingy or miserly. Both, perfectly normal English words which also must be avoided under all circumstances due to the potential (likely) misunderstanding that will ensue. Just ask David Howard, a mayoral aide who was asked to step down for using that word.

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