The level to which a word can be negative and hurtful is dependent entirely on the receiver, not the speaker. I’ve heard repeatedly that the n word is so negative because of its history. Understandable and I don’t necessarily disagree. However, if you haven’t had those experiences (slavery, demeaning/dehumanizing behavior that you were the victim of) then its simply doesn’t apply. Example: dead baby jokes are generally in bad taste. They’ll bother you much much more if you’re a mother who had a child die of SIDS than they will if you’re a 15 year old boy who just doesn’t like dark humor. Your experiences matter and very few people alive have a history that can validate the incredible reaction to someone using the n word. Also, having a word with this kind of power only gives that power to immature idiots who are just looking for a secret weapon to use when they deem it necessary in an argument or heated situation.

Side note: I’m absolutely not advocating for people to use the n word. I am however tired of people feeling that it’s acceptable to physically attack someone because of a word. Particularly when they don’t have the history to validate that reaction, and particularly when the user is a feeble old person who can’t legitimately defend themselves.


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