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Black America Under Siege: Without and Within

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First off, not all of White America is racist; neither is all of Black America demented enough to refer to itself by the n-word.   Nonetheless, Black America is under siege both from without—external forces to the black community—and within—internal, destructive forces.

The passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act legally ended “official” racism; however, socially, racism lives on.   Even in this day and age, some 44 years since the passing of these history-altering acts, those still exist who harbor the mentality of a racist regime from days long ago.

Many may argue against this truth, however, one does not have to gauge too far into history to see that racism is alive and well.  The infractions are limitless: The endless list of political prisoners and Mumia Abu-Jamal readily come to mind as attestment to this fact.  Need further proof?  The shooting deaths of Sean Bell and Tarika Wilson; the unfair and unjustified treatment of the Jena Six; the DWB (driving while black) violations; the horrific kidnapping and torturing of Megan Williams; the incident regarding William McCay who was killed in 2005 while walking down a Kansas City, Missouri, street simply because he was black; and most recently, the Philadelphia cop beatings of three black men.  The notion that racism is dead and buried is, and has been, a misguided one. 

On May 2, 2008, Chief Douglas Zeigler, the head of the NYPD's Community Affairs Bureau and the highest uniformed black officer on the force, was off duty and sitting in his department-issued sport utility vehicle on a street in the borough of Queens.  Two white police officers approached the car and confronted him.  The encounter turned testy, and one of the officers tried to wrest open Zeigler's door even after the three-star chief identified himself.

Even though it seems quite dense and alarming not to recognize the head of their Community Affairs Bureau—which one cannot even be certain that the policemen were this ignorant—the problem is much broader than that.  The primary issue is the display of disdain, lack of respect and ill-acknowledgement of the rights of black people from other races, in general.   

During the days of subjugation, blacks were looked upon as inferior and sub-human—a thing to be despised and disrespected, thus, categorized as n**gers. By this term, blacks were branded as bestial and savage, innately inferior, fit by nature for involuntary servitude, and considered ordained by God himself for perpetual enslavement.  The term n**ger implies that blacks are a cursed people.   Past generations of slave masters interpreted the Bible as they felt, finding declaration for their acts to be in alignment with the undeniable word of God.

They believed God had condemned blacks, and would quote scriptures from the Bible to support their point.  To this very day, some racists still believe this as their truth.   Blacks who are self-proclaiming n**gers must understand that there are those who are more than ready and willing to take them at their word—and even more so ready and willing to treat them as such.

America’s historic origin of the n-word is vile and infamous. It began in indignity. It began in immorality.   Why would one think that its meaning could be morphed over time and take on a positive perspective? Simple answer: It cannot.  Like a scorpion turning its stinger on itself, there are many Black Americans who relish the thought of internalizing the n-word.   They rightfully so cry foul when being disrespected by non-blacks, but all in the same breathe, they think nothing of disrespecting themselves with the very same word—n**ger.   The consciousness and dignity of African Americans must rise and rid of the term forever.

Blacks scream “No Justice! No Peace!”; they march, rally, and protest; they call the police and mayor all kinds of names and demand their resignations; they voice outrage at all the injustices.   Yet they think nothing of the injustices they perpetuate upon themselves.  They disregard the continual slaying of their ancestors’ memories by affectionately and endearingly invoking use of the n-word. 


“Affectionate” users of the n-word claim that the manner in which they use the term defuses any of the heinous roots attached to the word.  However, these same African Americans conveniently overlook the paradoxical circumstances when they also use the word derogatorily in a fit of rage; at these moments, the true sub-conscious understanding and definition of the word rises to the surface, with all of its hate, degradation, and disrespect attached in full blossom.   By continually referring to self and one another as “n**ger”, blacks are keeping the dream of the slave mentality alive and oppressing their own people.

Indeed, we live in a nation that does not value all people as humans—a nation where many still look upon Blacks as nothing more than n**gers; and ironically enough, some African Americans still look upon themselves in the same light. 

No sense of racial pride, dignity, honor or self-respect is exhibited by the Black Americans who advocate use of the word.   They fail to understand the link between the social, political and economic problems of the Black community—which stem from the root cause: mental enslavement—and this infamous word.   

It wasn’t enough to strip African-American ascendants from their dear Motherland to drop them off in a hell on earth, involuntarily toiling the land of white slave masters.   No, there existed another more enduring, more heinous and devious agenda:   To destroy the minds of a race of people, rob them of their identity, and mold their ways of thinking and acting into the oppressed image the then America desired.   This objective was successfully accomplished in a most unconscionable, malicious, methodical and unimaginable way.   And now, African Americans have unconsciously fed into and are carrying out the plight, thus, making racists’ jobs a lot easier! 

Blacks were conditioned and programmed to accept the label of being a n**ger or subhuman, an undermining strategy to put blacks in their so-called place. Though the slaves were freed in 1865, 143 years later, many African Americans are still mentally enslaved through the use of this word.   They internalized the idiom, and would simply be lost without it; for some people, old habits are hard to break.


It’s surreal how in the past the slaves were forced to refer to themselves as n**gers, and today in this 21st Century, many of the descendants voluntarily acknowledge themselves as n**gers—to the point that they even use the term in music (particularly in rap lyrics) and dance to the self-coronation.   The KKK can truly pat its self on the back for a job well done.   They can now grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the masterpiece of buffoonery.   Meanwhile, obnoxious ghosts of KKK founders and originators of “the plan” are rolling over in their graves with thunderous laughter because their methodology truly worked: African-American descendants have embraced and accepted the idea of being referred to as n**gers—and all of its negative associations—just as they were disciplined and programmed to do.   

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H. Lewis Smith is the Founder/CEO of the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. and the author of the book Bury that Sucka, A Scandalous Love Affair With the N-word.
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