The debate over who can use the n-word and who can not use it has resurfaced. Journalist Piers Morgan has drawn controversy for writing that Black Americans should stop using the word if they want it to die.
"If black Americans want the N-word to die, they will have to kill it themselves," is Morgan's response to an article published on the front page of the Washington Post, called "Redefining the Word." The article examines how the racial slur is used (at a rate of more than "500,000 times a day on Twitter.")
Morgan understands that Blacks who use the word between each other use it as term of endearment and do not intend to degrade one another. "I get it. But I don’t like it," he says in the MailOnline. He continues:
And this is why: it doesn’t work. It has the complete opposite effect to the one that I imagine everyone who does this imagines it will have.
Far from ‘owning’ these words, seizing back control with the use of them, I believe it merely serves to empower those who wish to deploy them abusively — and encourage them to continue doing so.
Your average dim-witted, foul-mouthed bigot — and there are plenty of them as Twitter can attest — thinks: ‘If they use it, why can’t I?’
The conversation trickled over to Twitter, where singer John Legend sarcastically tweeted his disapproval for the essay. "ya'll better thank @piersmorgan for providing that simple, straightforward solution to racism. So brilliant. why didn't we think of this???," Legend wrote.
Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote. "Any 'good faith' statement with Morgan would begin with, 'I know nothing about this. I think I'll go do some reading before I speak.'" When Morgan called him "patronising," Coates responded and called him unqualified to write on the topic.
Morgan did retweet several users who said they agree with Morgan's sentiments.
"I agree w/ @piersmorgan I use n***a, but know the history behind the word. Idk if it'll ever go away, but it's on all Americans to change it," user @sterlingreed_ wrote.
User @HotterthanJuly also supported Morgan, writing, "I think Piers Morgan is empowering blacks with his article, not 'victim blaming.' He's saying WE have the power in our hands. And we do."
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_
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(Photo: IAN WEST/PA Photos /Landov)