“My Nigga” – I’m Not Your Nigga

A few weeks ago while out socializing with friends I was referred to as a ‘nigga’. It wasn’t meant maliciously or disrespectfully but at the same time it was meant.

At 26 years of age you’d expect this would have happened to me before. But no, this was the first time. Never in my life had I before been directly referred to as a ‘nigga’.

For sure in the past I’ve been called a nigger, a black cunt, a black bastard, half cast and a whole host of derogatory titles but this was new. This caught me off guard!

I didn’t know how to react. It was meant as a term of endearment but I didn’t see it like that. I saw an individual apply a label to me. One I didn’t want.

Here’s how the exchange went:

Man: Yo Nigga, get your ass over here a minute!

Me: What? Me?

Man: Yeah, you nigga! Come on!

Me: Okay but I’m not a ‘nigga’!

Man: Well what are you then? (Laughing)

Me: I’m an Eoin – my name.

To me, nigga, nigger, or however you want to frame it, is an extremely disrespectful label. One that was tagged to our ancestors for generations as a mark of disdain, contempt and their overall worthlessness.

Niggas were lynched, niggas were enslaved, niggas were executed in the street like rabid dogs. But over the years, and through great sacrifice, we managed to relinquish this title. We protested, we fought. We sacrificed lives for this. All so we wouldn’t be niggas.

Gradually we became Negros, then colored and finally black but somewhere along the line we lost our way. We decided it would be a good idea to take the label that many of our brothers and sisters died in order to remove and use it as a ‘so called’ term of endearment.

Even after much searching I still fail to find the endearing qualities hidden in the word nigga.

Furthermore I don’t want to be referred to as a nigga and I know I am not alone in expressing this sentiment. I don’t want to be talked to as a nigga because I am not a nigga.

I am me – a mammal – a human being -an individual.

Not A Nigga.

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