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|Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2003 - 11:53 pm: |
ABM, while Yukio is formulating her answer to your question, may I interject my thoughts on this subject, which would be that "nigger" doesn't conjure up a specific visual image the way the metaphors you mentioned do. And the derogatory words you cite have become obsolete in their usage because they hark back another era in the black experience."Nigger" endures because it is an abstract term, one that can mean whatever the user wants it to mean. "Nigga" is a derivative of "nigger", but it is not necessarily interchangeable with it. We are, of course, teetering on the slippery slope of semantics when discussing the entomology of this fascinating word. An interesting aside about Puerto Ricans is that they are a nationality, not a race, something a black Puerto Rican once told me as he reminded me that there are "white" Puerto Ricans, too. Maybe that can account in part for the special relationship between African American's and their Puerto Rican brothers of color.
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