Repost from the old site.
Some Black folks been busy lately trying to bury the word “nigger” once and for all – recent months have seen symbolic funerals and burials of the n-word by mainstream Black organizations. This movement probably stems from the OJ Simpson trial in the mid-1990’s, when “n-word” was substituted for “nigger”.
Nowadays, nigger is as taboo as can be.
Can you say, “That racist jerk called a Black man, ‘Nigger!’?
Can we use the word nigger to describe the word widely used amongst Blacks themselves?
One may not use the word nigger under any circumstances.
This is strange.
First, it implies that nigger is either an obscenity or like one’s private parts, ok to be spoken or revealed in privacy but certainly not in public. But nigger is neither obscenity in word nor flesh.
Second, banning the word nigger implies that it is so horrible, and that Blacks are so sensitive, that even the sight or sound of the word will drive these oversensitive Black souls either to tears or to rage. Now, Blacks have never struck me as a cringing, hypersensitive race of inhibited crybabies.
The Black man can take an insult. Why not – we kept him in a cage for centuries, only let him out to be policed like an animal in an open air zoo for another 100 years, finally liberated him via bullets and water hoses 40 years ago, and oppression and discrimination yet linger.
Through it all, the Black man has stood up and taken it like a man. By implying that Black men can’t bear to see the word nigger without dissolving into wimpy tearfulness, we insult their masculinity and fortitudinous nature.
Now that we have settled the absurdity of killing, let alone burying, a word, let us see how we may resurrect the comatose patient.
Who should be allowed to use the word?
Obviously, Blacks will keep on using the word themselves, as is their right. Further, Blacks can decide how, where and why they use the word, if at all. It’s only fair to give Blacks ownership over this word, which is really their word.
Blacks are perfectly correct that Whites should not use this word, and don’t give us that phony, “Well, Blacks use it, so why can’t we?” nonsense.
Semantics is a subfield of Linguistics. In Semantics, we say that words mean whatever people who use them say they mean. End of story. Nigger has one set of meanings when Blacks use it and another set when Whites use it. That’s not Black hypocrisy; it’s the way humans use language.
Should racists be granted the right to use the word? No, they use it as a weapon to attack others.
I would like to request that we resurrect the word for journalistic and historical writing integrity. If a non-Black calls Blacks niggers, let’s write out the word. Forget this weasel-word “n-word”. We should have the right to say, “In the South 50 years ago, most Whites referred to Blacks as niggers.”
What are we accomplishing by refusing the write the evil word? Are we preventing its spread in society, sort of like a disease control agency?
Let’s let non-racist creative writers, journalists, social scientists, historians feel free to use the word, sparingly, like seasoning on food, as needed.
How about one more case? Why can’t we put the word nigger in the mouths of racists? Why can’t we refer to David “Send the niggers back to Africa” Duke? Or Newt “Cut the niggers off welfare” Gingrich? Or James “Niggers are stupid” Watson? Or Philippe “I like to measure nigger penises” Rushton?
Let’s boil down some of these racist arguments just a bit and give them some nigger-seasoning.
Why do the same racists who love to rant about supposed Black genetic stupidity love to rave on about Black basketball skills? What’s the real message here? How about, “Niggers sure are good at basketball! They better be, cuz they sure ain’t got no brains!”
What’s the real message of the scientific racism that says that Blacks are genetically stupid, that this stupidity is irremediable by any environmental means, and that attacks any signs of Black intellectual progress (Like, for instance, this vile and wicked blog, recently referred in an New York Times piece by Amy Harmon as a “popular science blog”)? Isn’t it really, “Damn, niggers are dumb!”
Why don’t we call the Jensens, Murrays, Rushtons and Lynns, the “Niggers sure are stupid” academics? After all, that’s the poison they are selling, right?
Have you noticed that endless obsession that the media has with Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe – formerly Rhodesia – used to be run by virulently racist White criminals who were then evicted by a Black liberation movement.
Zimbabwe did all right for quite some time – in fact, throughout the 1980’s, it was regarded as a model of democracy, good governance and multiracial harmony, and it weathered the African famines of the 1980’s quite well – until it started seizing the land of White farmers in the 1990’s. And why did it seize the land of the White farmers?
Because land reform was a necessity, but Britain had quit funding the “willing buyer, willing seller” fake land reform that never really worked well anyway, since so few White farmers were willing to sell land. 5,000 White farmers, a tiny percentage of the population, had almost all the good land, all stolen at gunpoint from Blacks decades earlier.
Meanwhile, Blacks had the worst land, and only tiny plots of it anyway, such that they barely had rocks to eat.
They were overcrowded onto this crappy land, so it naturally started to erode. The racist Whites then derided the Blacks for “poor nigger farming methods”. The racists then blamed the livestock of the Blacks for the erosion, and stole 1 million head of “the niggers’ (ill-disciplined) cattle”. The real cause of the land erosion was the racist feudal farming system.
After the willing seller, willing buyer game ended, it was replaced by a project whereby Zimbabwe tried to come up with money to buy out willing Whites. But an economic crisis occurred (caused by an IMF structural adjustment and the free marketization of the economy) during the 1990’s and Zimbabwe lacked the cash to purchase White farms.
Whites weren’t selling anyway, and the Brits were backing them to the hilt. Angry Blacks who had fought in the liberation war began clamoring for the land to which they were entitled.
Mugabe, suffering a crisis of legitimacy at the time, gave into them. Hence, the “land invasions” began. The media rails about how “all of the land went to Mugabe’s cronies” – the message here: “Niggers are lying, cheating thieves”.
To some extent, this is true (that land went to cronies). Initially, the land reform was decentralized and handed over to local party officials, which was actually a good idea. Unfortunately, the local officials promptly turned it into a spoils system, just like the corrupt cronyism we see in every African country!
For some reason, the cronyism of Mugabe’s party was worse than that of the rest of Africa, which is ignored by the imperialist media. The important point here is that Mugabe was not really involved in this corruption.
After a while of this, Mugabe got ahold of the process, and now most of the land is just going to poor Black farmers.
The next part of the media lie is that since all the land went to Mugabe’s buddies, the poor Black farmers crowded into the cities, where Mugabe promptly took them on in a fake urban renewal campaign called “Drive Out Trash”, which was really just a campaign to destroy the homes of his political opponents and render them homeless.
First of all, most of the land is now going to small Black farmers, so there is no need for landless Black farmers to crowd into the cities. This is why small rural farmers are one of Mugabe’s main support bases, the other being the Shona tribe, the largest tribe in the country.
Second of all, the unfortunately named “Drive Out Trash” campaign was really just an urban renewal campaign where horrible Black slums were destroyed to make way for 120,000 much better government housing units. The urban renewal campaign is going on right now and much nicer government homes are replaces squalid hovels. The urban renewal has been hampered by sanctions, though.
True, the land reform has been chaotic, as land reforms often are in the beginning, especially when too much land reform is done too quickly. The old system has been crushed, and the new one often has not yet gotten going yet. The result is sometimes one or more years of famine harvests.
But all this BS could have been prevented if Britain and the White farmers had gone along with a sane land reform program in the beginning.
At the same time, after Zimbabwe had been devastated by a decade of IMF-led imperialist looting, combined with terrible droughts of the 1990’s, Mugabe logically told the IMF to go to Hell, and refused to pay off his debts.
With the land invasions and the IMF nose-thumbing, all Hell broke loose in US and UK imperialist circles, especially in the former colonist, Britain, where the press went nuts and has never recovered. Devastating sanctions were quickly slammed on Zimbabwe. Foreign investment plummeted by 99% and Zimbabwe was essentially locked out of the world banking system.
Even UNICEF is in on the brutal punishment – whereas in other African lands, AIDS sufferers get $74 per sufferer per year, Zimbabwe only gets $4 from UNICEF. Then Mugabe, as AIDS devastates the land, the “dumb, murderous nigger Mugabe” morphs into “genocidal nigger Communist Mugabe”. Really it’s just an AIDS epidemic devastating the country, as it is wrecking surrounding nations.
The land invasions were a predictable mess, and a few Whites were killed.
These deaths have been insanely blown out of proportion by a leering media. In Britain, the media fairly screams “White genocide!” You can imagine the clamor on White Nationalist sites. In truth, a whole nine White farmers have been killed over an eight year period. The death of one White farmer yields vastly more breathless Western prose than the death of 30 Zimbabwean Blacks.
Another media obsession is “Mugabe the dictator”. Mugabe is authoritarian, but as such folks go, he is pretty lightweight. The opposition leaders regularly give interviews in which they call for armed struggle against Mugabe’s regime or invasion by imperialist countries. It is amazing how this “evil dictator” allows those who call for his very head to speak out and run free.
The West has funded the opposition, which has little support, for years now. The opposition is totally tied to imperialism, and pushes an extreme free market program that is not only the last thing that Zimbabwe needs right now, but is the very thing that caused so many problems for the nation in the 1990’s.
The opposition has led a number of violent campaigns, and some of their leadership has been arrested and beaten. The Western media has gone nuts over these minor transgressions.
The opposition has also historically allied at various with the White farmers in Zimbabwe, White apartheid supporters in South Africa, and the vicious, apartheid-supported RENAMO guerrillas in Mozambique. Obviously, they are rejected by the vast majority of Zimbabweans.
The main opposition party was clearly involved in a coup attempt that involved killing Mugabe in alliance with UK imperialism, but a court of the Mugabe “dictatorship” somehow refused to convict the plotters.
Truth is that the opposition is essentially run and funded by UK and US imperialism. Zimbabwe sees the UK and US as enemy nations, and in fact they are. As such, I would argue that the opposition are in effect traitors and spies for openly working the enemies of the nation. Mugabe is too kind. I am amazed he even lets the opposition walk around free at all.
Mugabe the “dictator” has held several elections, which are now monitored by international monitors, and monitors have upheld all of the results. At the same time, opposition protests caused the “dictator” Mugabe to cancel several proposed Constitutional amendments.
The sanctions are the cause of almost all of the economic decline and ruin that the country has suffered since 1999. There is no a priori reason to suggest that Zimbabwe should be the most devastated country in Africa. The nasty racist suggestion is: “Niggers can’t run a country.”
In particular, the suggestion is worse: “Niggers are so stupid and childlike that they are incapable of running a country and quickly destroy any country given to them. Look at Zimbabwe. It was doing great when the nigger children had White grown-ups to take care of them. Then they threw Whitey out and tried to run it by themselves and look what happened.”
The sneaky riff: “Niggers destroy any country they run. The only way that Nigger Countries can succeed is if the niggers are colonized by superior Whites.” The particularly nasty aspect of this vicious line is that it both supports White colonialism and White apartheid at the same time.
Another line is taken by many “race realists” such as the noxious crowd over at GNXP.
It is interesting that these “race realists” are almost always from the more “superior” races and rarely from the more “inferior” races.
Anyway, these folks take the objectively racist line that the chaos in Zimbabwe is because: “Niggers are too stupid to run a country!” IQ scores in Africa are then used to prove that idiocy is what is killing Zimbabwean Blacks.
It is true that, as James Watson noted, IQ scores in Africa are usually markedly low. These IQ scores are valid. However, IQ scores in Zimbabwe are about 67, which is precisely the African average.
The other African nations, despite their low IQ’s, seem to muddle along, and at least are not experiencing Zimbabwean disaster. Minus crippling sanctions, Zimbabwe would be expected to muddle along about as well as any African nation.
Another problem is that much of the chaos in Zimbabwe is being caused by one of the worst AIDS problems on Earth. This is conflated by imperialism’s media to mean that “socialist Mugabe is slaughtering his people.” Truth is, it’s mostly AIDS that is killing them, not Mugabe, and there is not much Mugabe can do about AIDS anyway.
Blacks did not destroy Zimbabwe – sanctions did. Zimbabwe was doing fine on its own for 19 years until it started grabbing the White farms. De facto White Supremacist countries like the US and UK then went nuts, slammed devastating sanctions on Zimbabwe, and it’s been screaming in the ruins ever since.
Viewed in this light, the destruction of Zimbabwe ended up being coded as a deliberate White Supremacist plot-scam to make Blacks look like genocidal incompetent children that need White adults to take care of them. I do not think imperialism intended the message to come out that way, but that’s how it comes across.
Even worse, the line is: “Look! Niggers are so stupid and incompetent they can’t even grow food!” Black people grow food all over Africa, and have been growing food for centuries. They don’t necessarily grown enough of it to feed their countries, but they do ok.
Africans are resourceful and hardy folks; humans have been there for 120,000 years and they have never gone extinct yet. Fire and tools came out of Africa, and 73,000 years ago, when a volcano killed almost all humans on Earth, only a small band of 600 or so survived and kept the human race going.
Guess where the holdouts were? Africa, near Mount Kilimanjaro. Afterward, these Africans underwent explosive evolutionary changes called the Great Leap Forward, probably invented art and language, and exploded out of Africa to colonize the entire planet.
Yet these same folks are so stupid they can’t even grow food! Come on.
There is yet one more snarky and wicked riff running through this whole imperialist aggression. It’s a lesson to the “niggers in South Africa”. It says, “Listen up, South African niggers! Look at Zimbabwe! This is what will happen to you if you try to do a land reform with those white farmers in your country! We will destroy you just like we did Zimbabwe! Don’t even think about it, niggers!”
Now, South Africa, which we will deal with below, desperately needs a land reform. 50,000 White farmers occupy 80% of the nation’s farmland. Millions of small Black farmers either scratch in the dirt like chickens or gave up the plow for a teeming urban hovel. Crowded onto poor land, small Black farmers have created an ecological catastrophe by deforesting the land. The resulting erosion has created huge gullies and dust storms.
In the end, there is no reason why Zimbabwe should not at least be able to do just as well as the rest of the Africa. Zimbabwe is a disaster not because it is run by Blacks, but because economic warfare has been declared on it.
Now let’s look at South Africa. Yes, the crime rate is very high. But it is in general much higher than the rest of Black Africa. Now why is that?
The racist line is: “Niggers are animals and criminals. They murder, rape and steal anything in their path, and their innate criminality destroys any country. They especially like to prey on White people because they are so hateful and racist towards Whites. And they love to rape White women because their own nigger women are so damn ugly. Look at South Africa, and look into the heart of the nigger criminal beast.”
But South Africa is anomalous. Decades of criminal White apartheid against Blacks built up mountains of hate and resentment amongst impoverished Blacks, who seethed with rage as the Whites lived in luxury while Blacks wallowed in miserable slums.
The insane gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa, and the Black face of the poor combined with the White face of the rich, insures racial-based redistributionist crime, often violent crime, for the foreseeable future. Barring South Africa’s unusual circumstances, we should not expect its crime rate to be much worse than the rest of Black Africa’s.
Once again, the nasty subtext: “Niggers need apartheid. The nigger can’t make it on his own. He’s an animal and he needs the White man’s paternalistic boot on his neck in order to survive and not destroy himself and his land.” As in Zimbabwe, it’s yet another argument to bring back settler-colonial apartheid and White rule.
Let’s take a look at another “race realist” obsession: Haiti. Haiti is said to be “the only Black country in the Americas” and it is rightly described as a devastated place. The subtext: “There is only one nigger country in the Americas and they have of course destroyed it.” But this is not the case.
First of all, most of the Caribbean islands are primarily Black or mulatto, including Cuba. A number of these islands are still colonies, but others are not. And while Dominica, Jamaica and Grenada have plenty of problems, they are not Haiti by a long shot.
The reasons Haiti is a wreck is due to its ultra-reactionary mulatto ruling class that has confiscated almost all of the wealth of the land since independence, in cooperation with frankly White Supremacist White countries like France, the US and Canada.
The elite have the army and cops and they have been slaughtering the people to keep their feudal stranglehold over the place for 100 years now.
France is still furious about independence in 1804, when Black slaves, under Desallines, rose up and killed all 25,000 White French slavers and their families on the islands.
Except for the kids and some crazy people, every one of those Whites got what they deserved. If you don’t want to get killed by an enraged mob, don’t enslave other human beings.
To this day, 200 years later, White Supremacist France demands reparations for this admittedly bloody episode. If the Haitian Revolution was a genocide, then maybe we need to think of whether or not mass killings are always such a bad thing. The Haitian Revolution was one of the most righteous uprisings in human history.
Unfortunately, as so often happens, the revolution was quickly usurped by a bunch of fake revolutionaries, who ended up turning it on its head and putting a version of the old system back in.
There were a group of light-skinned Blacks who were often freed slaves and had allied with the White slaveowners. These Blacks quickly wormed their way into power, installed feudal brutality over the wretched masses, and it’s been that way ever since. One more stolen revolution. Now this Haitian ruling class, in collaboration with imperialism, continues to keep Haiti under the boot.
Aristide was elected with 92% of the vote (despite fervent meddling by the comically-named US National Endowment for Democracy – NED) and a mandate to redistribute things a bit – a tiny bit, mind you.
He tried to raise the abysmal minimum wage, gave a million kids a lunch a day (probably their only meal) and built more schools in eight years than had been built in the previous 200. The people experienced real, tangible gains under Aristide, the best they had seen in two centuries.
For these crimes, imperialism (the US, France and Canada) destroyed Aristide and forced him to leave with a gun at his head. The imperialist operation may as well have been called Operation Enduring Sweatshop.
The only solution for Haiti is armed revolution. The army of the ruling class needs to be overthrown. Then the ruling class themselves need to be informed of the new program and encouraged to go along.
Those that do not need to be arrested, and then either thrown in prison or re-education camps, kicked out of the country or as a last resort for some of the most bloodthirsty and criminal Duvalierists and Tonton Macoutes, shot. Their hands are dripping with blood anyway, so it’s not like innocent people would be persecuted or killed.
A dictatorship of the proletariat may be necessary for a while, or at least a democracy with a well-armed revolutionary army, police and citizenry. This is one thing Hugo Chavez has right – arm the people and revolutionize the military.
Until that happens, Haiti will continue to be Hell on Earth.
When racists use arguments like these against Blacks and Black nations, they are not really talking of “Blacks” or “Black countries”. We give them too much credit when we say they are talking about Black people or nations – they are not – they are talking about niggers and nigger countries. Let’s shove the n-word in their mouth, leave it there for all to see, force them to eat it, and make them tell us what it tastes like.
Admittedly, we are taking some risks with this approach, namely the risk of legitimizing the term nigger. But most sane people already understand the difference between Blacks’ use of the word and Whites’ use of it. I don’t see why we can’t extend things a bit.
Note: Inspiration for this post came in part from a Michael Eric Dyson show on the radio. Dyson is a brilliant and gifted Black academic (though a bit too lenient on rap culture). Check out this great book, The Micheal Eric Dyson Reader , for more.
This guy is one smart dude and he will get your brain moving! A bit hard to read, but a lot of my readers can handle him, I think. Awesome stuff. I wish all these racist and White nationalist idiots who rant on about how stupid Black people are could read this most challenging Black scholar.
Thanks also to the outrageous Black blog Look at This Nigger for additional humor and inspiration along the same theme.
- Elich, Gregory, Zimbabwe and Pan-African Liberation
Elich, Gregory, The Battle over Zimbabwe’s Future
Elich, Gregory, Zimbabwe’s Fight For Justice
Gowans, Stephen, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and the “Politics of Naming”
Gowans, Stephen, Zimbabwe’s Lonely Fight for Justice