African Americans from all walks of life-ranging from doctorate degree owners, academia professionals, ministers, politicians, or corporate executives, to ill-educated people-share a commonality when it comes to the n-word: They are mesmerized by its hypnotic influence. Some Black intellectuals look at the history of race and the term n**ger as a basis for arguing against burying the "N" word. They contend that Caucasians have used it as an instrument of fear and inferiority for years, while blacks have taken the term and transformed it into a cultural construction that should only be used by blacks.
However, one must ask: How do African Americans come to accept a word, such as the n-word, as endearing and affectionate? Are these Blacks who embrace the n-word suffering from a mass delusion-put more bluntly-BRAINWASHED? It would seem so as brainwashing someone is to mentally enslave them to one's desired will or way; the n-word-and all of its associations, attachments, and history-is the key mechanism used in keeping African Americans mentally enslaved.
The n- word was used to dehumanize African-American ancestors; the idiom instilled fear and terror in African-American ancestors' hearts and minds, and brought physical harm into their lives. N**ger is more than an expression of contempt, more than an instrument of fear, inferiority or even hate. It is an expression of absolute indifference-which leads to disrespect-toward a race of people. Victims were mutilated, castrated, skinned, roasted, burned, hanged and shot. White people traveled from miles away to engage in the lynching and would, as often times reported, frequently walk away with souvenirs-including rope, ashes, buttons, toes, fingers, ears, teeth and bones.
Over the course of centuries, the minds of African Americans were totally seduced and virtually forced into accepting an image of themselves that was counter-productive to their mental health and well being. This image was tagged as a "n**ger." So why on earth would a group of people be so moved to take the word "n**ger" and transform it into a so-called cultural construction that should not be used by anyone-especially Blacks? A true and justifiable answer to this question has yet to be availed.
During the post-slavery era, no program has existed to manage the past and present massive psychological, economic and social stress endured by Blacks. Because of this fact, a strong argument can be made towards African-American pathologies encompassing such issues as black on black crime, the abnormally high incarceration ratio of blacks, drug problems, poor school performances, and self-hatred, to name a few. These same stresses and psychological deficiencies are passed down through generations of African Americans through use of the n-word.
To understand the present, we cannot ignore the past. Not to say that the descendants of those who committed such horrible, oppressive deeds should be held accountable for these transgressions, but if we are to grow in stature, we must rise above the level of ignorance regarding elements of an obnoxious history.
Far too many Blacks look upon the n-word as nothing more than a slur and/or negative context. Remaining in a state of denial (regarding the seriousness of the term), indifference, or ambiguity to the term's meaning does not alter the fact that the minds of many African Americans are still securely imprisoned in the racist value systems of a subjugated past. As well, the minds of Africans Americans and their youth will remain in this delusional state until they free themselves from the greatest affliction of all times: the n-word.
Mind manipulation is no joke; it is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly. A mentally enslaved person is, of consequence, a slave physically-for as a man thinketh, so shall he be. Mental enslavement is the worst thing that could happen to a human being-death, by far, seems to be a better offering.
The hypnotic spell can be broken. However, Africans Americans must desire change and be willing to change. James Baldwin said: "History does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do."
"N**ger" cannot be sanitized in any form to make it an acceptable term because of its malevolent history-not unless it is possible to undo all of the violent and wanton atrocities perpetrated upon the subjugated, all of which is embedded in and communicated through this term. "N**ger" is a symbol certifying that brainwashing has worked, that if an ideology is continuously stamped into the psyche of a people, they will voluntarily apply it to themselves. African Americans must elect to break the "spell" of mental enslavement. The first step: eradicating the use of the n-word.