Dear Street Sage,
Can I say “nigga”? Preface: I play a lot of basketball, or “street ball” as some would say. Yesterday, I played with seven black men who frequently said “nigga”. Often, I am called “white boy”. I never say “nigga”. I call them by their names because I interrogative myself. Yesterday, I earned respect for my game and they just called me “Bob”. But here in the 21st century, where should people stand on the word “Nigga”. It’s popularized in black culture and used often, should I feel it is taboo or can I use it as a show of respect, familiarity in proper context?
~ “White” “Boy”
Dear “White” “Boy”,
No. I do not think you should be using that word. Give it a try around these particular men if you feel you have enough cred with them. You may get your ass kicked. You may not. Either way, that’s the only real way for you to find out. Or if they call you “white boy” again then try…”don’t call me white boy, I don’t call you nigga”. See a reaction, respond accordingly. If these particular men are ok with you using that word, people in the street may not be. Be aware of your surroundings. Even in the 21st century the word “nigga” is still offensive, racist, and disrespectful. You are correct in saying that it is popularized in black culture, again I will point out, you are not black.
I don’t think anyone should be using that word anymore. That’s just my opinion.
– Street Sage