Piers Morgan has got people talking.
In an article published on The Daily Mail, the former CNN host explains how he believes the onus is on Black Americans to end the use of the N-word. He wrote:
A 6-letter noun in the English language which the dictionary defines as ‘a contemptuous term for a black or dark-skinned person’.
It’s such an inflammatory and offensive word that for any high profile white person to publicly use it, without abbreviating to ‘N-word’, is rightly tantamount to professional suicide and personal opprobrium.
I don’t use it; would never use it. But it has become astonishingly ubiquitous in modern American society.
According to a new data survey by social media analytics Web site Topsy.com, it will be used, either as ‘n****r’ or ‘n***a’, 500,000 times on Twitter today.
By comparison, the words ‘bro’ and ‘dude’ are only used 300,000 and 200,000 times per day.
These shocking statistics form part of a powerful study in today’s Washington Post.
Headlined ‘THE N-WORD’ – even the Post shies away from actually saying it – it concludes: ‘The slur has become more prevalent in American life, but remains as divisive and complicated as ever.’
The reason it is so ingrained in pop culture is that many blacks, especially young blacks reared to the soundtrack of N-word splattered rap music, use it in an ironic way.
They’re aware of its history; they know from their parents and grandparents that arrogant, dumb, racist whites used it as a wicked, derogatory insult against their black slave forebears. And they enjoy the freedom of being able to say it now in the knowledge that it’s become taboo for whites to do so.
I understand this, and empathise.
It’s the same ironic reason many gays call each other ‘f****ts’, why supporters of an English football team called Tottenham Hotspur, which has a large Jewish following, call each other ‘Y*ds’, and why some ardent feminists like to use the word ‘C**t’ with impunity.
I get it.
But I don’t like it.