No, it’s not racism at all to say that whites can’t say the n-word.

Why?

Because we’re not part of that group. I don’t know if you’ve ever served in the military, but here’s an example: calling a sailor a “squid” is considered an insult…unless it’s another sailor who says it. I’m retired Navy, so I can call a sailor a “squid” and that sailor will likely take no offense at all…because he and I have shared experiences that side-walking sandcrabs (which is how we sometimes refer to those who have never deployed on a ship at sea) can never know. Another example is “bubblehead”, which is to submariners an insult unless it’s another submariner who says it. I’m not a submariner, but having been on a sea trial of a submarine, I can promise you that they have experiences that non-submariners can never know.

Same thing with Marines. I can’t call a Marine a “jarhead”, because if a non-Marine says it, it’s an insult (and I’m likely to have my face introduced to the Marine’s fist)…but if a fellow Marine says it, no offense is taken because the two Marines have shared experiences that non-Marines cannot know.

It’s not just with the military. If two women are talking with each other in a joking conversation, one can say, “You are such a slut” and most of the time, there will be no offense taken. However, if you or I call a woman a “slut”, well, stand by, because the s**t’s about to hit the fan. Why is this so? Because women know what it’s like to be women…and their shared experiences are something that us guys can never really grasp.

There are racial examples, too. I know a lot of Filipinos, and there are names that they can call each other without offense being taken, but if I called them by any of those same names, they would take great offense…because I can never know what it’s like to be Filipino.

So it goes with the n-word: any two blacks in America will have certain shared experiences that you and I cannot know.

That is why it’s not racist to say that you and I cannot use the n-word.

On a side note, I’m going to publish this as a standalone article so that others can get the same message.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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