Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More about the "N" word

After getting a few tweets about my use of the word,  I got to thinking about what makes it one of the most polarizing, offensive words in America. But it isn't just that word. What makes any word so powerful?

The truth is, it isn't the word. It is people. People make innocent words hateful. They make words offensive. People make words powerful.

However, it isn't the user of the word that makes it powerful. It is the person hearing it who assigns a words worth. A word is only hurtful if you allow it to be hurtful. A word is only offensive if you allow yourself to be offended by it. It is only powerful when you give it that power. And when you give words power over you, you give the users of those words power over you.

We shouldn't get mad at those who use hate speech. That is exactly what the perpetrators want. Our outrage gives them power.

As a society, we need to stop allowing words to have so much power. We need to stop the censorship and stop trying to keep all of our dirty little secrets in the closet. Allowing ourselves to have open discussions about these words and these issues would strip them of their power to hurt us.

Isn't that worth the conversation?

What do you think?

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