The Truth About the N-word

Morgan Wilson, Staff writer

The N-word has always been a racial slur used to demean African Americans against their basic human rights. Oftentimes, individuals do not understand the origin of the slur and use it in their everyday language as a form of communication to their peers. But, there are also cases in which the N-word is used by racially bigoted individuals in a malicious manner towards African Americans. The fact of the matter is that everyone needs to understand that the N-word is a racist slur that should not be in one’s vocabulary for any reason. 


Originally, the N-word was directed towards enslaved Africans by slave owners. As humanity was stripped from these individuals, so did their right to a proper name, with the N-word filling that spot. The word was the only form of acknowledgement that slaves were given during the beginning of history. If anyone uses this word in today’s age, it is a direct form of disrespect towards African American heritage and black history. Throughout the years, African Americans have taken back the word in a way that is less offensive and used as empowerment within the community. The Scroll asked black students on campus how often they hear the word by white students at school. Freshman Dom Reeves expressed how, “it’s used everyday, in class and outside during lunch and brunch. It was even bad last year in junior high.” When asked how it made them feel, collectively everyone agreed that it was uncomfortable and aggravating. “But I never know how to react, I know they understand it’s racist but I feel like no one will take the time to listen” said sophomore Leah Taylor. 


In today’s time, the N-word is used in a plethora of music genres, movies, and shows. Because of this, individuals think it’s okay for them to use in everyday language. Although it may be used more frequently within one group of individuals does not mean it should be acceptable to continue throughout all of society. In order to determine how often this happens on campus specifically, The Scroll interviewed a number of students to get their take on the topic. Freshman Bailey Posey, expressed that “Listening to it in a song isn’t an excuse, if it can’t be in conversation why can it be repeated in a song?”. Sophomore, Isaiah Barrow, added that “it’s not okay for anyone to sing it, it’s just as hurtful and negative as saying it in a normal situation. At the end of the day they still know they’re saying it, whether in a song or in a typical conversation”. When asked how they react to the slur they said “I never know how to react, at first I’m taken aback then I’m filled with anger.”


In light of this information, it is clearly an issue of morals and ignorance. Although it has been normalized, there is still time for students to educate themselves about the historical meaning of the word. At this point, there is no excuse to continue uninformed and uneducated as it’s only hurting more people on campus, online, and in everyday life. Saugus must be a safe environment for all students and the use of racial slurs has gotten far out of hand. Take the time to reflect on the times you’ve felt uncomfortable on campus due to the foul and disrespectful language used everyday.