Ah shucks. I’m blushing. :)
Given the sad history of slavery and racism that exists to this day, I think it is perfectly acceptable for African Americans to use the N word if they wish but never accepted for non-blacks to use it. Why? Because when a black person uses that word, they are transforming and making it a statement of power. It’s taking a pejorative and turning it’s meaning around, thereby taking away it’s power to hurt. When the pejorative is being used against them by a non-black, it’s validating the pejorative, not transforming it. Given how the N word is steeped in a tradition a slavery, I believe it’s never okay for non blacks to use that word. However, I’m open to a compromise. How would blacks feel if whites get a pass to use the word freely once we give them what we promised and never delivered: 20 acres and a mule. When that day happens, we can re-assess whether its acceptable to use. I would hope that blacks get a perverse thrill at using a word they know we can’t use. And given the reality of slavery & racism today, don’t you think that’s the very least we can give them? As a white woman who was appalled at the Zimmerman verdict, I’m beating the drum for 20 acres and a mule and of course, for justice for Trayvon.