For African Americans, there’s no word that symbolizes collective racial injuries and sheds light on the totality of White violence than the N-word. Yet, a group of White sorority girls shouted the word as if it were nothing while singing along to Kanye West‘s “Gold Digger” in a recent video.
The controversial clip of Alpha Phi Sorority sisters dancing and singing the racially charged word at the University of New Hampshire was instantly condemned after it was posted to social media, the New York Post reports.
A university spokeswoman said the sorority will not face punishment, TMZ reports.
But the student anti-racism Facebook group, “All Eyes on UNH,” called out the disturbing event, sparking more commentary about just why white people can’t stop saying the word.
“The girls sing the N-word without thinking of the implications,” the group’s post reads. “This is a showcase of ignorance and that the Panhellenic Council should do better in combating racism. The first step is addressing willful ignorance.”
Indeed, for many Blacks, the term summons memories of lynchings, bombings, slavery and countless decades of bondage. The word has inflicted so much pain that the NAACP had a symbolic funeral for it in Detroit in 2007.
Yes, Black people have reclaimed the word in an effort to rewrite a grave wrong in America, changing the”er” at the end of the word to “a.” Yes, Black artists have given a new power and creative energy to the term through music.
But social media users point out that the loaded term is still inextricably linked to black suffering. Users really drove the point home that certain groups should not take the saying of the word in a song as a license to repeat it, especially in the age of Trump-era racism and after the tragedy in Charlottesville.