Not for black people though, Ta-Nehisi Coates was referring to whites and why they should be excluded from using N-word. At least, Coates believes by abstaining from using the word, they could pick some things. The writer of We Were Eight Years in Power did not only offer a suggestion but provided a basic explanation of why white people should be exempted from using the N-word.
Coates first explained that in our culture, while some people are permitted to use some certain terms, others are exempted from it. For example, while his wife calls him ‘honey’, he does not expect other people to use the same emotional appellation for him. On his father being called Billy by older members of his family alone, he adds, “That is because the relationship between myself and my dad is not the same as the relationship between my dad and his mother and his sisters who he grew up with.”
Commenting on the American society, Coates argued that being white in America gives you access to everything and you are also taught you own everything. He explains further, “It is fact that the laws and culture tell you this.”
For him, the experience of being a hip-hop fan and not being able to use the word ni**er is actually very, very insightful. It will give you just a little peek into the world and watch people do things that you cannot do, that you can’t join in and do.
So do you think there’s a lot to be learnt from Coates’ suggestion on whites refraining from using the word?