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Staying away from both versions of the ‘N’ word

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By Ben Carlson

A quick show of hands: How many of you have ever used the version of the N-word that ends in “ger?”
If you’re like most, you won’t raise your hand even if you have. That word, in its “ger” form, has been rightfully demonized as a remarkably hateful, ignorant and ugly word. Further, there is no statute of limitations for past transgressions — just ask deposed cooking queen Paula Deen. To make matters worse, a guilty plea for its use carries with it a lifelong sentence as a racist with no hope of parole.
Now let’s have a show of hands for the other variant of that word, this one ending in “gga.” Given this area’s demographics, chances are fairly small that if you’re not a young person singing along to a Jay Z or Eminem tune, you almost certainly don’t know the real difference between “ger” and “gga,” and haven’t used the latter, anyway.
Nor should you, unless as a white person you have been accepted by the black community as someone sympathetic or in touch with current black culture and its norms. Then, and only then, is that use allowed because at that point it becomes a term of endearment, or at least that’s what I’ve been told, particularly between blacks.


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