Years ago there was a groups of Asian women of differing origins playing cards at my house. One of them let fly a disparaging statement about “Chinese.” A Chinese woman puffed up and challenged her saying that and I was genuinely concerned that I might have to break up a fight when the offender said, “Why not? My grandfather is Chinese.” The cloud dissipated, she had the blood, it was OK for her to say it.
I mention it because it seems universal that it’s OK if you’ve got the blood, but is it? I suspect, but I don’t presume to speak for black people, that the word may have gone into near common use by black people in and attempt to remove the sting. Does it? Although the word is rarely heard in my circle the internet informs me that people think ending the word with an “a” makes it acceptable. I see white people using it that way and find it to be cringeworthy.
It is is not a whataboutism when I ask, if it time for black people to retire the word? That is a question that I don’t expect an answer to here. Personally I hate the word because I’m old enough to remember it’s use with full force venom that younger people using the word don’t.
When I was young, people of various European origins used words like (forgive me for this) dago, spic, whop, mick, kraut, etc. Indeed, I went to high school on the edge of an area known at the time as Dago Hill, now it’s called The Hill. White people have put that so far aside that many young people are unaware that those words were used, and not always in a friendly manner. I think it time for the N word to be added to that scrap heap. Not just by white people.