A couple of weeks ago a video of an East Meck student saying the N-word was spread around the internet. His usage of the N-word not only caused a stir in school but a stir in people’s heart. From my own perspective, the N-word being used only shows the ignorance and disregard people have about the impact of this word.
When most people let the N-word come out of their mouth that don’t think about what it means or who it hurts, and this video only reinforces that claim. People have come to the students defense by saying that “he was only joking” or that “he’s good guy,” and those things may be true, but that doesn’t negate the impact of the word. Millions of people hear that word and the first they think of is oppression and hate. This is why so many people take issue with him saying the N-word especially in the manner that he did. It makes the N-word seem like it still doesn’t have a negative connotation.
In light of this event, many people have come up and shared their thoughts and opinions on the N-word. With more and more people sharing their thoughts, I’ve heard people say things like “people should just ignore it” and that “racial slurs aren’t serious.” While people are entitled to their opinions, I disagree with statements like these. I don’t think we should ignore it because the N-word isn’t a word that can simply be “ignored,” by choosing to not acknowledge when the N-word is said. When we do this we allow people who abuse this word to get away with no repercussion but also we forget an important piece of America’s larger history.
America’s treatment of black people has been historically unfair and the N-word is indicative of this. Disregarding the impact of this word allows America to continue its tradition forgetfulness. It allows us to forget about the hardships black people went through during slavery, the civil rights movement, and even now in the face of police brutality. This is why the N-word impossible to just “ignore.”
Those reasons also show how this student saying the N-word is more than just an East Meck issue but a social issue. Social issues affect everyone whether we like to act like it does or not, and the issue of the N-word happens to be one that affects all of us.
I’ve always believed that no one should say the N-word because situations like these prove how no good can come from anyone saying the N-word. Just like any other predicament similar to this eventually we will all forget and act as if it never happened. However, before we forget we must evaluate the impact of this student saying this hurtful word. Situations like these will continue to happen but our response should not be the same.