Nigger

A hundred and ten. That’s the amount of times Tarantino made Django’s characters mention the “n-word“.

When I was a kid, the Dutch translation of nigger, neger, was not a bad word. That’s not even twenty years ago. If you pronounce the word neger in the Netherlands nowadays, people think you don’t like black people. The word negerzoen, “nigger’s kiss” has been officially banned. Nowadays you call a chocolate cake with whipped cream a “kiss”. As if that makes sense.

Nigger sounds racist. Here in the Netherlands, it did not untill we learned about the fact that it does sound racist in the States. Fear came in. What if we hurt these people we don’t want to know about? They might come after us…

The term “foreigner” has suffered a similar fate over here. Can’t say it anymore. It’s allochtonous person now. I suppose that got introduced under the philosophy “if no one understands it, it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

Some words have become black sheep. They take the blame for our bad thoughts. We can’t admit the thought, so we ban the word. That solves it. I want to ask all word banners this: if your conscience is clean, why would you avoid a word?

The problem is ownership. Remember the feeling when someone calls you by a name you didn’t have before? Why do we have that? I think the word nigger was banned in the US because it reminds the user and his audience of the face that white folks owned the black folks. But that’s not the case anymore, is it? We need to let go of the past.

The fact that we banned the word means there is something we don’t dare to say. That there is something to hide. The difference of skin colour? Why would we hide that? It’s something else. A judgement. The true racist act is not calling someone by a name, the racist act is banning the name.

Here’s a word for all niggers out there. Some of you are my friends, I have no clue who the others are. But I do see that you have a different skin colour than I. That’s because I have eyes. No other reason. If I ever call you a nigger, I hope you will know that I don’t mean it I own you as a slave. I hope you’ll see inside my eyes that even though we may be different in many ways, we have one and the same soul. I was not born in a racist world, and I will not accept such thoughts as mine. If I ever call you a nigger, please know that this is an act of resistance against racism. I am not owned by judgements or fears. I will call you as you may call me: in a playful way.

Hidden guilt is your cage. Tarantino tries to free.

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