Extra Credit

Watch and offer your thoughts about film, especially as it relates to your own experiences.  Push yourself and engage the film (make sure you talk about specifics from the film, providing details and examples from the film) – 20 points.  Last day to participate: December 7

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4 thoughts on “Extra Credit

  1. The first time I heard someone say the N-word was when I was in the seventh grade. The thing was, it wasn’t an African American student who said the word, but it was said by a Caucasian student. I was so confused on what was coming out of the student’s mouth. I knew what the word was because we would discuss the subject in class, but I had never heard someone say it outside of class. After the first time I heard someone say the N-word, the word seemed to be more common in people’s vocabulary. At first, the word would make me uncomfortable, but as I kept hearing it, I got used to it. The word became part of the norm. In my junior high, the students used the N-word excessively that we had to attend an assembly addressing the use of the N-word. The assembly lowered the use of the N-word by students at our school, but it was still being said excessively outside of school. Once I got to high school, it seemed like the N-word was the “cool” word to call others, regardless of your race. In the film, they mentioned how the fourth definition of the N-word was “to be cool,” and that’s exactly what the word was in my high school. There was a majority of Caucasian and Asians at my high school, and the N-word would be said by those students. The students didn’t care if they weren’t African American because referring to someone as the N-word made themselves and the other person they were calling cool. There were students who were very offended by the word, and they would argue, “What if I just called the Asians, ‘chinks,’ or all the white people, ‘crackers?’” Students would respond by laughing and saying, “But that’s not the same thing. You can’t just call someone a chink or cracker. It’s not socially accepted.” Hearing that response made me wonder, “Then why is the N-word socially accepted?” But like the film mentioned, the N-word is being used in all kinds of ways from different kinds of people; for example, music. I think music is a top factor to why the younger generations think it’s okay to say N-word.

  2. The word Nigga or Nigger is a very controversial one. For me I guess it’s never really been that big of a word to me like I understand the pain behind the word and older people in my family have taught me its history but I also grew up hearing my dad and is friends and my friends and people on the street say Nigga. I did grow up for a while feeling like if anyone used Nigga who was not Black it was my business to make sure they never did again and around that time I was going to a school that had racial tensions between black people and Mexican people and if they said Nigga they would say it in a hurtful way so that would brew a lot of tension and violence. But going to diverse middle and high schools it just did something to me because I called people Nigga who were close to me and it was like a brotherly term but as I began to make friends with people from other ethnicities I found myself calling them “my Nigga”. Two of my best friends today one is part Mexican and Black and the other is Asian and I refer to them and my Niggas almost all the time but my Asian friend won’t even really use the word because like he has said so many times he doesn’t really feel the need to use it and he understands where the pain of the word comes from and instead chooses to respect Black people by not really using it. There was an instance where I was at the Washington State football on Halloween when a White person came up to me and said the word Nigga and I’m not going to lie it stung somewhere inside of me but I understood where he was coming from with it so I didn’t react violently. I have had many times where I have been around White friends or people and I call them Nigga or they say Nigga to me but it was never in a hateful way and even though I have never been called a Nigga or Nigger in a hateful way by a White person (probably because of my size) it still does something to me inside when I hear the word come out of a White persons mouth. I am a pretty open minded person so I don’t usually have a problem with people saying Nigga as long as it is not hateful and I don’t really know if that will deflate the power of the word or not but for me it is just a part of my culture and the way I grew up with the word it is more of a term of endearment. I see it a lot a how you may have two words spelled the same but have two different meanings.

  3. I remember one of the first times I was called a nigga. Similar to Paul Mooney, I was a child being called a nigga by another African American. As I child I went to a predominantly African American private school. Growing up the word nigga was taught to us, African Americans, as a word of ‘love and affection’ in the black urban neighborhoods. I was taught by the neighborhood that “nigga” was like brother and the word “nigger” was used as a derogatory term. Like Mr. Mooney, the first time I heard it used as a derogatory way it really didn’t affect me because I was so used to hearing it. Now that I am older I have tendency to call my close friends of the same or different ethnicities as “my nigga.” One of my good friends is white and I call him “my nigga” almost all of the time but he has never used the word “nigga,” well at least in my presence. When I moved into the dorms I started to notice a lot of the Caucasian student on my floor use “nigga.” Hearing them use this word used so freely it honestly started to bother me especially after I started doing my own research on the history of the word “nigga” or “nigger” and how the word was used derogatory. The word “nigger” to me is basically saying I don’t have an identity and start to feel some of the pain that my ancestors felt.

  4. While growing up, for me the consensus was always that only black people can say “nigga”. Like Chris Rock said, white people were especially forbidden from using the word. An example in the movie that I found had a lot of truth is the difference between “nigga” and “nigger”. In school if someone said “nigga” they meant it in a friendly way, but if they said “nigger” then it was derogatory, it was as simple as that. I never used the term because I’m not black, although I am a lot closer to being able to say it than white people are because i’m brown. It wasn’t until I came to college that I met a friend that is black and he calls everyone “my nigga” so only around him did I started using it. Something that the documentary talks about that I think is big, is who gets rights to use the word. I think it is true what some of the producers and composers like Quincy Jones in the video say that if you buy the music then you are basically buying rights to use the word. This is because blacks aren’t the only ones buying hip hop and rap cds. Another thing that the video touched on was the “real nigga” issue. It is something that’s heard in almost all hip hop and rap nowadays, you have to drink and get high, and have big booty hoes and get arrested to be a “real nigga”. All of that however comes from ignorance like Stanley Crouch says and I think its true, however I think its cool how the word was taken from something bad and turned into something better by rappers. Its like when people say dope which means drugs, and applying it to something they like, “oh that shirt is dope”.

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