You can’t, can you?
Maybe you’re a racist and have no problem saying it.
I cannot hardly type it. I definitely cannot say it. I stood alone before my desk and made myself try to say it. Is there an uglier word than the N-word?
Perhaps the C-word, but even that word, though intensely vulgar and uncouth, lacks the connotation of the N-word. What is it about a word, a mere assembly of letters, four consonants, two vowels, two syllables?
Language means something. The N-word means something.
Derived from the innocuous Latin word niger meaning, literally, black, it evolved into negro, the Spanish and Portuguese word for black. It first appeared in Merriam-Webster in 1864 as a synonym for negro with a note indicating “derision or depreciation”. Forever more it possessed a negative connotation.
Whoever penned ‘Sticks and Stones’ must have never heard the N-word.
The N-word stands symbolic of a shameful and hopefully dead or dying chapter in our nation’s history. Today there is a new N-word on the block, another group that is the new black, as well as the old black, ironically enough.
Let us talk about the most oppressed group in America—the unborn—and the language that makes this possible.
Language facilitates dehumanization.
Growing up in the south, I heard the N-word a lot, always in a certain context, and always with certain associated trappings. You know what I’m talking about.
To this day, I remember the redneck chick from high school, sporting the American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God t-shirt emblazoned with rebel flags, and her definitive statement, “I don’t have a problem with N-words, I think everybody should own one.”
Clearly, she was taught this, along with the enabling verbiage.
Would she have the same attitude absent the appropriate dehumanizing language?
The laundry list of dehumanizing terms for the black race was the grease on the skids, not the catalyst but the collaborator of oppression. We didn’t buy and sell men. We didn’t whip and chain women. We didn’t lynch people. We bought and sold and lynched Spooks, Darkies, and of course, N-words.
It is this connotation, this collective memory, that taints the N-word, rendering it unspeakable, except for in a few specific cultural contexts.
Language is powerful.
This is not a new concept.
As nations and armies came to grips with man’s inherent reluctance to killing his fellow man, they were forced to overcome this psychological(spiritual) resistance. Dehumanization is but one means to this end.
Though I’ve never killed a father or a son, a husband or a brother.
Maybe I’ve killed a Raghead.
During World War Two, we fought Krauts and Japs or Nips. In Korea, we killed Zipperheads. In Vietnam, we fought Gooks or Slopes. Today we fight Terrorists or Haji. Language facilitates conditioning.
If I can demean your enemy, make you think him less than human, then I can make it more likely you’ll engage to kill. Lest you think this trickery is confined to us imperialists in the west, our current enemies battle Zionists or Crusaders or even Kufr (Infidels).
Has anything changed the world more than the spoken word, with the ability to communicate ideas, motivate men, or inspire movements? In the same way, a continuous linguistic barrage degrading the essence of a group’s humanity has no choice but to register an effect.
Black oppression and language share a sordid cohabitation. A new cohabitation emerged from recent decades.
Language facilitates abortion.
The abortion industry rests on a mountain of untruth.
I could never kill a baby. Of course not.
Years ago, I paid my then-girlfriend to get an abortion (thankfully she didn’t go through with it).
We had a problem and I needed her to take care of the problem. I was perfectly willing to view the problem in vague terms, terms that made me comfortable in taking care of the problem, because to not take care of the problem presented me with even more of a problem, primarily the loss of my livelihood as I saw it.
The untruth that many have convinced themselves of, that we’ve impressed into the minds of millions of victimized women, is the absence of humanity in the womb.
Language is the vehicle. Let’s couch this living, sentient human being in the coldest, most sterile and medical-sounding terminology possible.
It’s a zygote.
A clump of cells.
Maybe not too different from a polyp or a cyst.
The language denies the humanity rendering it acceptable to remove.
“I had a procedure to remove a zygote,” sounds infinitely better than, “I paid a man to rip my unborn baby to shreds with a pair of scissors.” For many, denying the humanity is the only acceptable means of alleviating the guilt of the procedure but deep down…
They know. Of course they know, or perhaps they come to realize at a certain point.
Millions of women bear the burden of having facilitated the murder of their defenseless child while convincing themselves or allowing themselves to be convinced of the lie of medical appropriateness. I cannot imagine the horror as they come to terms with this reality.
The most intellectually honest pro-abortion advocates agree with science and acknowledge the humanity of the unborn. They just make the dreadful but decidedly logical leap that the mother’s humanity and rights supersede that of the unborn.
But for a multitude, it’s a denial of humanity that facilitates the slaughter under the oft-repeated slogan, “My body, My choice.” As a clump of cells, a zygote, a fetus, but not a person, the slogan makes perfect sense.
It’s no coincidence that when a mother, possessing all of the untaught love for her child that cannot be explained away, views an ultrasound of her unborn child, of the fetus, she will almost certainly NOT go through with an abortion. The ultrasound defies the language.
It’s a clump of cells. Hear the heartbeat.
It’s a zygote. See the fingers and toes.
It’s a fetus. It’s sucking its thumb!
No sane and undeceived woman would willingly slaughter her baby. As such, let us call things as they are, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel.
Language reminds us.
The fetus is just the new N-word on the block.
But really, it’s not. It’s all the same thing. As much as the unborn supplanted the black race at the pinnacle of American oppression, they actually didn’t.
Is there still a race issue in America? Look no further than the fetus to answer that question. No issue epitomizes black oppression more than the oppression of the unborn as abortion IS a racial issue.
Fetus, zygote, clump of cells…spook, darkie, N-word.
Sadly, they’re the same more often than not.
Episodically, more black babies are aborted in New York City than born alive. Black women make up a hugely disproportionate number of women who have abortions. Planned Parenthood targets black neighborhoods which is not surprising. Its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a eugenist, one who advocated for the culling of the black race through controlled breeding (abortion) to the betterment of collective society.
We see, in abortion, the tragic marrying of language and murder, the perfect blend of verbiage and deception. The unborn is the not-so-new black. The fetus is the not-so-new N-word.
I pray for a day when we forsake the F-word in much the same way we eschew the N-word today.
I pray for a day when our language would align with justice. Until then…
Repent—the only adequate language I can find in response.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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