Racial Slurs

People are starting to use racial slurs in their daily lives through conversations and even in an educational environment. It seems to be very common in the teen and younger societies but when looking deeper into the topic, racial slurs have become increasingly more popular. This is because of how exposed teens are to these words in their everyday lives, through school, social media and even through music. Using racial slurs is perpetuating stereotypical treatment among minorities.

Racial slurs have been prevalent in America for many years. The racial term “Nigger” derived from many different types of languages. Such as the latin and spanish  terms “niger” and “negro” which both mean the color black. By the 1800’s the term “nigger” has become known as a derogatory term used against African Americans. Every ethnic group have experienced their fair share of slurs. Over time the vocabulary of americans has changed.

Stereotypes can be found anywhere, and even as a form of communication among teenagers. Now a days with social media and different forms of technology, vocabulary has been changed and adapted. Slang, which is commonly used by teenagers, is changed throughout generations. Words like “nigga” or “cracker” are slowly being accept and used to refer to people.  There was an article that talked about such terms by the Teaching Tolerance organization that read, “Much of the commercial hip-hop culture by black males uses the n-word as a staple. White youths, statistically the largest consumers of hip-hop, then feel that they can use the word among themselves with black and white peers (HMC)” The n- word is used among friends and is usually accepted by people of the african american culture but now when different races use it, it is not taken as lightly. With music and things of the sort that boundary has been blurred. It is an insult that, overtime, has been transformed into a term of endearment.

“Nigger”, “Nigro”, “Nigga”, all forms of the same derogatory term used against blacks. With the amount of minorities and blacks attending public high schools. An article titled Racial/Ethnic Enrollment in Public Schools says,  “From fall 2001 through fall 2011, the number of White students enrolled in prekindergarten through 12th grade in U.S. public schools decreased from 28.7 million to 25.6 million... number of Hispanic and Black students enrolled during this period increased from 8.2 million to 11.8 million students. (MAB)” With the number of blacks and minorities that attend high school increasing, slurs like nigga, etc. are used more. Even if the term is not used in an “offensive way” the term is still prevalent in their vocabulary.

When asked, teens might say that certain racial slurs are okay if they’re used by someone  of that race but when used by someone who’s not... it becomes an issue. But on closer inspection, racial slurs are racial slurs, period. Using them on your own race does not make it any better or justify it anymore/less. Overtime teens have been exposed to so many racial slurs that they have learned to overlook and and those words have made their way into their everyday vocabulary. The true definition and meaning behind offensive terms such as “nigger” have faded and are less offensive because of the fact that they’re becoming a form of endearment among people and have begun to be accepted into people’s daily lives.

Works Cited:

1. http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-40-fall-2011/feature/straight-talk-about-n-word

"Straight Talk about the N-Word." Teaching Tolerance. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.


2. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cge.asp

"Racial/Ethnic Enrollment in Public Schools." National Center for Education Statistics. Common Core Data (CCD), n.d. Web.


My Revisions:

In this 2fer revision my main focus was to fix any grammar errors especially spelling and things of the sort. I also went over the comments that were made on my google doc by peers and Ms. Pahomov and then incorporated them into this revision of my 2fer. I also worked on my conclusion and worded it better. 

Comments (4)

Brittany Cooper (Student 2016)
Brittany Cooper

his makes me look at it in a stronger opinion. A counter argument that can be made is that people are becoming to comfortable with saying the derogatory term to the point where it is in a person vocabulary by default. You could argue that one who is not educated about his or her full african american heritage would not know the meaning behind the terminology of why the word is offensive

Avery Monroe (Student 2016)
Avery Monroe

nice job, I don't really know how this changed my understanding because I really agree with what you wrote. I think that an argument would be that a lot of people are starting to use these slang words now, so it shouldn't be considered so bad. For example if black people can say these words and think its acceptable other people will think that too.

Osman Bangura (Student 2016)
Osman Bangura

1.) This has expanded/changed my understanding by showing me that people are very sensitive on the topic of race.

2.) How do you know whether or not it has begun to become accepted or whether people began using it as a cover up to bury racial prejudice?

Tamira Bell (Student 2016)
Tamira Bell

Adowa, your essay touches a current topic that is very heated. I really respect that you decided to criticize racial slurs because they are highly offensive and should not be used. The only thing is that I wish that you gave a little more history on the term 'nigga/negro/nigger'. Also I wished that you would include more racial slurs from other cultures, not just the African American culture. For example, you could have talked about asians being called 'chinks', or muslims being called 'terrorists', or even whites being called "crackers".

A counter argument to your essay could state that racial slurs are acceptable now because times are changing and they are not used in the same manner that they were in history. You did a great job Adowa.