Based off of my very scientific studies of Yahoo article comments, I’ve noticed many posts in regards to the ‘N’ word along the lines of ‘it’s not fair. If they can use that word, we should be able to as well.’ I don’t think they actually want to use this word, but rather that they are disgruntled because they are not allowed to. I was watching an episode of Oprah a long time ago where she advocated for the discontinuation of the word because there were black people in other countries who used the word without understanding the history and context of the word. That was just one example in which others took the word for their own use without knowledge of its meaning. However, those in this country, for the most part, do understand the connotations of it, but some seem up in arms that they are simply not allowed to use it because they are white, and see this as unjust.
First of all, in regards to the ban of the word, you can never fully ban words from use. Words are fluid and ever-changing. The use of the word by blacks in America is a form of appropriation to take back a divisive word and change the meaning. To be fair, if whites wanted to be on the same level, it would not be through the allowance of their usage of the word. The same treatment would be in effect if they ‘took’ back the word cracker(which doesn’t have the same context or history), used it towards themselves, and then forbade other races from using it in the same context that they did. That would be the equivalent to what they are charging, except, those on these forums won’t actually do this because they can’t make that word cool. Instead, they will keep promoting the idea that it is merely unfair. No one’s stopping them from taking any words back, though.