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Reviews from
Must You Say Nigger?


essay

  43 total reviews 
Comment by
vwilks
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Hi Michael Cahill
If there was a sixth star, you would have it for this piece. Let me just say that I am very glad that you did write your thoughts on this issue. I am a black woman, and according to your piece, I, too, am a racist because whenever I see my young or older brothers standing on a street corner saying that word to one another, especially if they are wearing those sagging soggy pants, doing nothing, wasting time, I feel the way you feel. Superior. I, too, hear myself referring to them as "NIGGAS."
I think we all have a bit of prejudice in us that needs to be checked. Maybe in my case, I should pray for my young brothers who sling that word around instead of judge them.

You did a great job writing this piece, and it was very brave of you to express your feelings and then share them. Great job.


 Comment Written 11-Feb-2017


Comment by
Jeanie Mercer
 
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Congratulation on the wonderful and well-deserved recognition of this essay! It is certainly well written and makes points that I agree with.

Have you noticed there is an added comma in the title that you must not have meant to be there? "Must You Say, Nigger" is punctuated as though "Nigger" is someone you are talking to. Don't you mean it to read, "Must You Say "Nigger"? This is one of those cases where punctuation makes an important difference. The title as it's advertized jars me in the several places that it appears.

My best wishes,
Jeanie Mercer


 Comment Written 18-Jun-2015



reply by the author on 23-Jun-2015
    OMG! You are the only one that noticed it. I had a funny feeling looking at it, but it never registered with me for some reason. Goodness, it does change the meaning, doesn't it!!
    I've fixed it, thanks for the great catch.
    I'm so pleased you enjoyed this. Thank you so much, mikey
Comment by
Xylok
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
compelling story and gripping throughout. quite indeed. you wrote... I understand that using that word is a way to defeat its original meaning.

I wonder if an even better way of defeating its original meaning or its popular meaning if they're not the same thing, would be to not be bothered by it in the first place. Isn't it your and other people's disdain for the word that gives it its power? Well, that and the fact that people keep adopting it as a word to use anyway whether those they say it to find it reprehensible, or worthy of 'derision' as you put it, I suppose, but if the word nigger is being used by someone who is using it to mean 'friend' is it such a bad word worthy of derision, despite its glorious context? If he's using it to describe a person with brown skin is it so bad? If he's using it in a write like this one, does he really need to put a caveat in the author's notes concerning himself with the offense others will take from his message? If he's using it to say a brown-skinned person is a bad person, as it is stigmatized to mean, and as some outright define the word to mean, is it even inaccurate if the person IS bad, or is raping someone at the time with full intentions of murdering them as well, or is it just a timely, poignant descriptor same as calling him a brown-skinned person with low morals only more efficiently, or is your larger point that the color of the person's skin shouldn't be mentioned as if it factors into his behavior in the first place, in which case I hear ya, same as I often complain about news articles that read Black Man guns down White Cop, seemingly the media hoping to instigate a racial war to instigate the popularity of media coverage thereof, but that's my cynical side and who really knows why they wrote it that way, you know? If someone calls me a honkey, or a cracker, or ghost, or paste or chalk or whitey or Hitler or ugly or dumb or worthless or retarded or wigger or nigger I am not bothered personally by it; my only concern is for them, that their lives are likely difficult ones to lead, and I seek to find out if they are indeed sad in life in general, seek to find out why they think what they think, in case they have a point, or are on to something, in case it's me who has to do the double-checking, and learning, the noticing, instead of the teaching, and after I hear them out, I decide for myself, or myselves in my case, if I agree or not, and I go from there, but I don't whine or complain or get violent or try to look tough or stand up for others' rights by calling the person names back as I figure each person can afford themselves their own rights, can choose to simply blow off such things, can accept that the world is replete with a wide variety of people each with many philosophies not all of which by a long shot all mesh together and agree in spirit, often exact opposite philosophies, and that's regarding any topic, from whether abortion is right or wrong to capital punishment to whether Star Wars is better than Star Trek to whether something is a tree or a kite to etcetera.

If you want to call me a nigger, I say go right ahead. Feel free. Doesn't mean I am one, and even if I were one, wouldn't mean I have no value, and even if I had no value, wouldn't mean I couldn't make some myself, couldn't change, couldn't hope, for no matter how much you hate me, I will always love you more.

I get where you're coming from, in a sense, detesting the word and so forth, but I think the problem is more about people, and less about words. Same as money; how much is it REALLY worth, you know? Anyway, great post, thought provoking, obviously, and well written, and even heart wrenching and highly emotional in parts; a glimpse of your interesting, gentle soul. Thanks for posting!


 Comment Written 18-May-2015


Comment by
emrpoems
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Well written in honesty. Nigger refers to an attitude and not a race. Anyone can have niggerly ways but I would say the vileness comes because of how it originated back in the old slave days. Where we are nigger is for any offending black person. Coolie is for the Indians, Honkie for the whites etc
Congrats on your win


 Comment Written 18-May-2015


Comment by
mrsmajor
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Michael,

I didn't read this when you posted it, as I don't read Prose that much...but when I saw that you had won the contest...I just had to read your piece.

I must say your words brought tears to my eyes, because of it's truths...you have written a piece that allowed your own conclusions to be made, based on the very essence of the word, and how it made you feel.

The past is still the future in this country, how I say that may not makes sense, but it does to me.

I don't think its possible to understand why that word is used...not for someone not in the same box.

My husband, a well educated professional man, used that word, while with his friends, perhaps not as the young may be doing...but it was a word of togetherness, acknowledging what they were called by so many, even long before he even understood what it meant...

They were men that had success in front of them, yet often met up with the word, through the eyes of those they had to deal with...never spoken but there

No its not a word that should be used, but its also a way of feeling the togetherness of its use...its like saying.. so call me a Nigger if you want, I know who I am...and I love every part of my being.

Thanks so much for writing this, no, I had no problem with it..as I don't have problems with the truth...and I don't think anyone should have been bothered by your words..Thank you so much for writing this...it was something that really touched my heart...but them, I'm just some old lady.

6 stars my friend, and then some!

Even that word means different thing to each Black person...but to me...I know full well who I am, and so words can never hurt me...

Big Hugs, and some love too..(Richard has fallen in his permanent sleep, so he won't know)...lol

Victoria


 Comment Written 18-May-2015


Comment by
Contests
 
 

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A seven star rating from the Contest Committee for the recognition this post has received from the FanStory community. While this was not a Contest Committee decision, the committee recognizes this achievement with a seven star review.


 Comment Written 18-May-2015


Comment by
RGstar
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I completely understand you, my friend. I have thought about this many times over, and even inquired about with people I know. I have never used it one way or another but suffered from it a couple of times when young. I think, though not a professor of the subject; ask yourself the best way to defuse anything that that is mentally disturbing? Make yourself immune to it. Many who would use that word to attack, no longer can for it would mean little. Perhaps by defusing the word so it has another meaning, to that which was meant, then it is not so potent in the wrong hands. Reverse psychology. We have seen such with the Flu Jab, for example, where the virus is injected to the body in causing a reaction and the body creates immunity. Immunity from the word has taken this turn as well as being a fashion trend, yet I feel the underlined sequence means the word is no longer as potent as some would like.Personally, even with the words pacification, I, like you still react to it by the reason for its usage, especially why and who.
Good write.
Best wishes,
RGstar


 Comment Written 17-May-2015


Comment by
Aussie
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I'm really pleased you wrote this; needed to be brought out into the sunshine. My grandmother was aboriginal. I have seen much in films about American Negroes, dreadfully treated not unlike how the Jews were treated before Hitler decided to put into action the Final Solution. It does say in the Bible that the blacks will rise up. I am not a Bible-basher, still, I think all oppressed peoples AND ill-treated animals will have their day. Blessings my friend. I did vote 4U. ****** six virtual stars.


 Comment Written 16-May-2015


Comment by
Muffins
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
As a black person, I can say that this word is ,as you stated,"the vilest word ever to exist in any language." It was used to separate and denigrate. And you are right about young and old( yes, I've heard so called old school people use this word with each other) taking this word and using it as their own; taking away the power from "the man". But, what they don't understand, is that this word is ignorant, hateful and bloody. Owning it is not a prize.

I'm careful to throw out the racist card, but as Dr. King said of white people who remain silent," their silence is just as painful as a rock thrown or the shout of "nigger." This is not the exact quote, but the meaning is there.

I wish we could blink our eyes like a genie and erase the creation of that word but we can't, so the best thing we can do is educate. This is a hot, touchy subject. The views this essay received proves it. However, a writer's job is to write about things that we,Joe Public, rather keep lock in the closet.

Your sincerity, confusion, and understanding rolls through this essay like waterfall. I appreciated it and enjoyed reading it. Thank you.


 Comment Written 14-May-2015



reply by the author on 15-May-2015
    "Owning it is not a prize". That is great insight there. What wonderful comments. I couldn't agree more. Your words would make a great piece all by themselves. Thank you so much and for the stars too. mikey
Comment by
Judy Couch
 
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Excellent
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You did very well with it. It is an issue that needs to be addressed. I think you're right that we're all prejudiced but not just against black people. We're prejudiced against anyone who doesn't agree with us or who thinks differently than we do. Fortunately, most of us don't go around killing those who don't see things like they do.


 Comment Written 12-May-2015


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