Words Have Meaning, Especially the N-Word

by E. Bernard

You say it’s a word…that’s what fools think, or at least convince themselves to think.

It’s more than a word, and if you say it’s a symbol, anyone of us will tell you it’s more than a symbol.

Yes, it’s a word you can’t say.

“A line I can’t cross,” you tell us.

Some of us say it’s a gate that acts as a barrier.

Others says it’s a password.

Either way, that word, that symbol, that iron gate protects us inside a place you all built.

And that place you created was Hell.

Here, you all tortured. Here, you all brainwash. Here, you all ripped our families apart. Here, you all killed.  Here, you all enslaved us.

Yet despite this; despite carving this place out with the tools of oppression,

we reversed engineered them into the tools of liberation.

Of all the tactics used to dominant us, the first tactic was to strip us of our names and label us.

Call us something that took away our humanity.

Yet, as you all were the ones that acted like animals for centuries, we took that word as a sign of pride…as an opportunity to distinguish ourselves from the actual animals that attempted to lord over us.

That is why you’re daring to say that word now.

That word is empowerment.  That word reflects on the atrocities committed by your ancestors.  That word defines our rebellion against the inhumane and our perseverance to keep humanity alive.

That word is a lingering embarrassment stuck deep your psyche.

But if forgotten, we risk recycling the primordial hate that created that place, so we must remember this word.  We must remember the roots of this word and its purpose today.     

Yes, we are turning this hell into something beautiful today.

And you’re invited, so long as you don’t say it.

And you’re invited, so long as you understand that word is the first tool used to demolish heaven to make room for Hell.

Now you know…that word and how it’s used, measures the distance between this place becoming enlighten or turning barbaric again.