Every race has its quirks. Things that, if you are part of that race, you acknowledge as, if not necessarily an omnipresent thing, something that is recognisable to your race. Each race also has its insults, words that relate to them, their people, in some sort of derogatory way.
For the predominantly dominant Caucasian, most words that are related to race come from a position of weakness, the words generally having been thought up by those they have oppressed. For literally every other race – with perhaps the exception of Oriental Asians – the words of insult have come from the oppressor.
Whether it be in war, segregation or rule, the various terms that have been directed at others in times past, are now for the most part, frowned upon in Western society.
There are many an ethnic – it really is not a white issue – comedian who will use insults related to their own race and others, using humour as a way to highlight and combat ignorance. Funny and acceptable. After all, the most potent weapon those narrow of mind have is the complacency of the good.
As far as I know, the only race who have adopted the most negative, derogatory term utilised to address them is my own black race. The ‘N’ word as the liberal masses like to call it, is used with such reckless abandon amongst the hip hop community, one would think its history was glorious.
I have heard the argument that by adopting the word ‘we’ own it, thus negating its power. That is so much shit. No other race has adopted the most vile and abusive, subservient label given to them!
Spelling it with a zed makes little difference. There is no positive spin on the word. It makes no sense to embrace it. The problem with embracing a term with such a history is that, as much as some would have you believe otherwise, words have power. People have died for ideas; for words. The connotation of that word is wholly depressive, negative, damning and insulting. To embrace it is to, on some level, believe its meaning, that of being inferior and beneath those who would refer to you thus.
As much as one would like to think that Malcolm X, MLK, Rosa Parks and all those people on both sides of the Atlantic who stood up to oppression and abuse, would be happy for their people to be more recognised and appreciated, they would not, I am sure, defend the use of the word that marked them out as less than human. Only a fool would think they would.