I found his response particularly interesting, because from his perspective when a white girl uses the term it’s not that serious – her hair is just messy; what’s the problem?
But if a black woman said her hair was nappy, he would know exactly what that means immediately, and it would bear very little resemblance with what the white woman was trying to say. The question then becomes: should they just not say it because it is a negative word that blacks are working on accepting, or should they just say because it just isn’t that deep?
I’m sorry whichever way you slice it: it IS that deep, and it’s way too negative for me to feel any different. I mean check out the pictures throughout this post. Nappy = bad is the message being sent out with every single image, so how in the world can we sit back and accept that?
Then there is the question of space and boundaries. I think Everydayfeminism.com put it best when they discussed why white people can’t use the word n*gga.
We have the privilege of having our voices heard and our presence recognized in just about every space there is.
Thus, we hate it when we are told that we are not actually welcome in a conversation.
But here’s what we need to understand: We’re the only people that get the privilege of access to whatever racialized space we want.
There is hardly a single context in the United States in which a White person (but particularly White, cisgender men) cannot assert themselves into a space and have their voice heard.
White women can hopefully begin to (though never fully) understand this when you think about the ways in which you are denied voice and space by dominant men.
Though these oppressions cannot be compared, hopefully this comparison can help generate a little empathy into why it simply is not okay for us as White people to expect our voices to be heard in every conversation.
Just because we are not welcome to use one word in the English language does not mean that we are being discriminated against.
No, it’s not “racist against White people” to assert that certain things are off limits to us, as people of privilege.
There you have it: I agree that it is perfectly ok for us to have a list of things white people should not say because of who they are, and who we are. We are trying. I will go out on a limb to say that all races are trying to erase boundaries, and make everything equal, but for now that just isn’t our reality.
When you get spat upon, and told that you are a no good nappy headed piece of… (you know what), then you can’t easily brush it off, when in this day and age it continues to be used in a derogatory manner.
Dear white people: Let’s stick to ‘messy’, ‘dissheveled’ and ‘greasy’, shall we?
What do you guys think? Comment below!