Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Throwing Around the N-Word at Work

Every Black person has to decide whether or not—and how—they will incorporate the n-word into their life. Ignore it as much as possible? Embrace it as a term of endearment? Attack those that would dare utter the word? What to do? That’s a decision we each make in our personal lives.

But, I’ll tell you… I can’t stand to hear Black workers throwing around the n-word in the WORKPLACE. Why? It bothers me because there is no reason to utter that word on your job. Even if you say the n-word in private situations, there isn’t a single excuse for using it at work. Period! Only an absolutely ignorant and self-loathing Black person would toss around such a word in front of their White coworkers and members of management.

Unfortunately, nearly every time I’ve heard a Black person LOUDLY using the n-word in the workplace or referring to someone LOUDLY as their “ni**a,” the person was always under 30 years of age. And, every time the word was uttered it was clearly for show. It’s a very unfortunate way to try to get attention.

Yet, after a Black person says that word, you can just see how they are hoping to recieve a positive reaction from their coworkers. It’s almost as if flinging around the n-word makes them believe they will be seen as so-called keeping it real, being down-to-earth or being so-called “cool.”

When I’ve watched how Blacks respond to another Black person using the n-word, the reaction seems to be split between shock and eye-rolling at the person’s ignorance or maniacal laughing that the person was bold enough to say such a thing at work, especially in the presence of Whites—if that was the case.

When I’ve watched how Whites respond to a Black person using the n-word at work, the reaction has been split between seeing the person become visibly uncomfortable, changing the subject or pretending they didn’t hear the comment at all or maniacally laughing at the Black person making the comment. I state laughing “at” the Black person because a White person cannot laugh “with” a Black person, when the n-word is involved.

For those of us using the n-word at work, how do you think this behavior makes you appear to your White and other non-Black coworkers? Do you think it increases the level of respect they have for you and other members of your race? Do you think they will want to invite you to work on their projects because you uttered the word? Do you think you’ll be next in line for a promotion or pay raise? Do you care what others think about you flagrantly throwing around a word that is loaded with such historical venom as to be one of the most powerfully hurtful words in existence?

If someone is willing to admit to this behavior, please post a comment and let us all know why you choose to use the n-word at your place of employment--and/or in front of Whites.

Anyone with general thoughts on using the n-word at work, please post a comment.

3 Comments:

Blogger H. Lewis Smith said...

The N-word shouldn't be flowing from the lips of anyone, regardless of their skin color. I suggest forwarding the following information to those you know who are users of the n-word:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP2U0jmZjec

http://bmia.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/common-sense-vs-intelligence/

6:49 PM  
Anonymous aerogrow kit said...

well i dont know why they are obsessed with n word

2:28 AM  
Blogger S. Mary Wills said...

I came across people doing this all the time in the DC Metro Area. I don't know if it's more of a regional thing. But, it was shocking to hear. I've even seen Black male employees calling tech guys "my nigg*," when the guys would come quickly to fix their computers. It's crazy and I don't get it!

4:59 AM  

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