Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Really? Is This The Way We Should Speak 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?

I MUST KNOW…what in God’s name do you think can be gained by using such an offensive word among your White coworkers? 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?

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


Blogger H. Lewis Smith said...

Ms. Wills I share your anxiety and concern about blacks use of the n-word at the workplace. I concur with you they should not be using the term there or quite frankly under any circumstances, and therein lies the problem there is no if, ands or buts with the use of this word.

Either you do or you do, and to be quite candid there is no right time for use of the word.

I've written a number of articles relative to Black America and its use of the word and the following is one of them:

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would like to comment on that cz i had the same issue , my important documents start missing , things like salt were mixed to my drinking water and i realy was going through a hard time

6:50 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Personally, I have NEVER heard anyone use the n-word at work.

4:12 PM  

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