Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Inasmuch as I have used a certain word a few times in this blog, I though I should stop and define it for the benefit of my readers who have most likely never encountered it the way I use it.
As a boy, I could have gotten my mouth washed out for using the word 'nigger'. During the era of Race Riots and forced desegregation, it was a word so charged with emotion that just using it could incite a riot. I myself thought of it as a pretty demeaning appellation, so I saw no reason to use it for several decades.
In recent years, however, especially after reading the series of biohistorical novels by Mildred D. Taylor, I've come to realise that the word 'nigger' best encapsulates the experience of someone who is discriminated against because he belongs to a suppressed class. The word itself comes from the Southern English pronunciation of the pidgin word for black-skinned person, nigga. It has also been pronounced nigra, and originates in the Latin word for black. All of this goes back to the fact that black-skinned people have throughout recorded history been taken as slaves in battle, and that this custom persisted centuries after the custom died out among the other races. In fact, it persists to this day, with the black slave trade curtailed but still active in the geographically diminished country of Sudan (which name, by the way, means 'black person' in the language of those who continue to take them as slaves--Arabic).
But being a nigger doesn't necessarily have anything to do with slavery. Niggerhood persisted by custom in the American South for many decades after slavery was abolished, and wherever the Police State raises its ugly head, niggerhood inevitably will be found as well. Niggerhood is simply the state of belonging to a class, the members of which are considered to be not worthy of the rights and privileges enjoyed by members of the ruling class. The recent rhetoric in Washington, for example, to the effect that members of the Tea Party ought to be "taken out and shot" for opposing Obama's debt-raising scheme, indicates that in the mind of the ruling class, even legally elected members of this newest class of Niggers don't really deserve to belong--nor, apparently, even to live. It is typical of the suppressing class to seek to kill members of the suppressed class who 'get uppity' and try to find a legal way to express their human rights--in fact, the whole notion of lynching is based on this characteristic.
So, my dear readers, be advised that I use the word "nigger" not in any specific racial sense whatsoever, but merely as shorthand for "member of a suppressed class" whether that suppression be political, economic, or social in nature. In fact, niggers will invariably encounter suppression in all of those forms, should their identity become known.