Let’s not play dumb. Let’s not pretend that it isn’t as loaded with hate as it was in 1818 and in 1938 and in 1968. It was historically used by white people to dehumanize African Americans. It was used to keep us in our place, to remind us that we didn’t measure up.
That deep-seated bigotry annoyingly remains part of the psyche of some African Americans who use the N-word, while others say it in an attempt to reclaim and strip the word of its power.
Regardless of how or when its used, the N-word still hurts and offends large swaths of African Americans. Yet every time debate of the word pops up, there are many white folks who feel entitled to explain its objectionable import away.