JOSHLYN PATRICK/ OFFENSIVE WORDS

DURING THE SLAVERY PERIOD WHITE PEOPLE USED THE “N” WORD TO OFFEND BLACK PEOPLE. THEY LOOKED DOWN UPON BLACKS. THEY THOUGHT BLACKS WERE IGNORANT MONKEYS. NOW SOME PEOPLE THINK IT’S OK TO USE A WORD THAT WAS ONCE USED TO DISRECPECT BLACK PEOPLE. IN MY OPINION, IT’S NEVER OK TO USE THE “N” WORD. I HAVE NEVER BEEN CALLED ONE, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT OFFENSIVE. I HAVE TO ADMIT I DO USE THE WORD SOMETIMES, BUT THAT’S A HABIT I’M TRYING TO BREAK. IF YOU’RE AN AFRICAN AMERICAN USING THE “N” WORD, YOU’RE BASICALLY DEGRADING YOURSELF, YOU DON’T RESPECT YOURSELF. I’M UPSET WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE WALKING DOWN THE STREET REFERRING TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR FRIENDS AS THE “N” WORD. IT’S DISRESPECTFUL. BUT THAT’S NOT THE ONLY DISRESPECTFUL WORD OUT THERE. THERE’S THE “B” WORD ALSO. I DO NOT WANT TO BE REFERRED TO AS A FEMALE DOG. AGAIN, I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT MY FRIENDS AND I DO CALL EACH OTHER THAT, AND THAT IS STILL A HABIT I’M TRYING TO BREAK. ALTHOUGH I MIGHT LAUGH WITH MY FRIENDS WHEN WE CALL EACH OTHER THAT, IN MY HEAD I’M THINKING WHY DO WE SAY THAT WORD. WHY AM I SOMEWHAT OK WITH MY FRIEND CALLING ME THE “B” WORD, BUT I GET UPSET AND WANT TO FIGHT WHEN A DUDE OR SOMEONE WHO IS NOT MY FRIEND CALLS ME THAT WORD. FOR EXAMPLE, ONE DAY I WAS AT THE PARK AND I WAS WITH SOME FRIENDS, AND THIS BOY TRIED TO TALK TO ME AND I DIDN’T WANT TO TALK TO HIM, AND HE GOT UPSET AND CALLED ME THE “B” WORD. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. I WAS UPSET, MAD, AND SHOCKED ALL AT THE SAME TIME. THE BOY LEFT AND I WAS JUST SITTING THERE THINKING THAT WAS SO DISRESPECTFUL, BUT THEN I THOUGHT “MY FRIENDS CALL ME THAT WORD ALL THE TIME”. IT MAKES NO SENSE. NO WORD SHOULD BE SO SACRED THAT ONLY A CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE CAN USE THE WORD. IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW YOU SAY, WHO SAYS IT, OR WHO YOU SAY IT TO, THE “N” WORD AND THE “B” WORD IS DISRESPECTFUL, AND NO ONE SHOULD REFER TO ANYONE IN THAT WAY.

FOR YOUTH RADIO, I’M JOSHLYN PATRICK, AND YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS COMMENTARY AND MORE ON THE WEB WWW.YOUTHRADIO.ORG

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