Reflecting on racial and ethnic diversity

Instructed to participate in this interactive Washington Post video module made me think about how different everyone really thinks and feels about “the n-word”.

There was a specific video where two men had total opposite viewpoints on the word, but they had that same color skin. One basically said that his reaction to the word depended, almost entirely, on the source that the word came from. Where as the other man said that no matter where it came from it left a sour taste in his mouth if he said it and a burning in his ears if he heard it.

Another pair of ladies caught my attention because they were talking about how they feel it is the responsibility of the parents to let their children know about this word’s history. How it is not okay to just sit back and accept it being thrown around and used for everyday titles such as “dude” or “friend”. I don’t think I have ever thought about that before. The environment in which you are raised is another factor determining whether you have, for lack of a better word, desensitized yourself to the true meaning and emotion behind that word or not.

Overall, very eye opening to some of the ideas, feelings and emotions that I naturally never had to think about because of my lack of exposure to the word. Although confirmation that people of the same skin tone will have different opinions on the meaning and feelings behind a word, I still wonder why.

Why are these individuals, who think the word is okay to be said and heard, only accept it when it comes from someone of their same race? One would think that if you want it to be something of the past, then don’t use it in vocabulary today, right?

Set an example for the people who aren’t informed on the history or the true meaning behind the n-word. Monkey see… monkey do.


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