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Wambui Bahati

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The ‘N-Word’? Powerless!
by Wambui Bahati   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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I used to spend a lot of time being offended by almost every thing. What a waist of pure God source energy.

Here is what I think is important to note about the ‘n-word’:
The 'n-word' is just a word. I am not about to give my power over to a word. Therefore, the ‘n-word’ holds no power over me.

One can ‘n-word’ me all day long. I’m not sure what the one who would be doing the ‘n-wording’ would expect me to do.

I don’t use the ‘n-word’. However, I don’t use the ‘f- word’ or any of the ‘b-words’ either. I don’t use them because I don’t think they are necessary for me to get a point across.

Secondly, even here at the age of 64, I can still hear my mother threatening to do something awful to us if she ever heard one of her children cursing or using inappropriate language. I believe the thing that was so scary was that I was never sure what it was she was going to do. However, I was sure I didn’t want to find out.

I grew up in an environment where everyone I knew frowned upon the use of profanity. I don’t even recall my father, who was an alcoholic, ever using profanity. And, of course, my mother never used so-called inappropriate language when we were growing up. However, I do have to admit that my mother made up for lost time when her children became adults.

As an adult, I recall visiting my mother and wondering how she had learned to curse so proficiently. Perhaps she always knew, but chose not to when she was around her children.

When I started college, my dormitory roommate was just as unhip as I was. We used to spend hours in our dorm room practicing cursing in an attempt to fit in better with the more popular students.
There were some students who just had the gift of cursing naturally and instinctively. The so-called curse words would just roll effortlessly out of their mouths. At the time, I was impressed.

No matter how hard my roommate and I tried to sound cool with our cursing and fowl words, we just sounded phony and corny. I never achieved the ability to say profanity to the point where it sounded natural. So, I eventually gave up and decided to embrace my life as someone who just spoke normal, everyday, so-called acceptable English language words.

Today, in private, I’m pretty good with the ‘s-word’. I say it sometimes when I make a mistake, physically hurt myself in some way, or I hear about a new rule or law that just doesn’t make any sense to me.
I don’t use the ‘f-word’ very often. I don’t think I’ve ever used it around others – unless it was a really close friend or someone I felt very comfortable around. I use it to show how unbelievable something is to me. For example: “What the ‘f-word’!

My favorite inappropriate phrase to use — and, I don’t even know if this is even considered cursing. I like to say, “Oh ‘h-word’ no!” Do you get what I’m meaning here? The ‘h-word’ that rhymes with 'tell'. Is that still considered a curse word or a bad word?

In any case, I like saying “Oh ‘h-word’ no!” for laughs when I’m with close friends. I don’t just say it. I say it with attitude and with body movements and I wave my finger when I say it. I say, “Oh h-word, no!” when I’m trying to express that I’m not going to do something that someone wants me to do.

It’s my way of saying, “I’m not going for it!” Or, “I’m just not going to do it!” I suppose I could just as easily say, “I’m not going for it”. Or, “I’m just not going to do it.” However, it is more fun to wave my finger, rolled my head on my neck and say, “Oh h-word no!”

There have been a few occasions during my adult life when I have felt extremely hurt or betrayed by someone. The only release I got in the moment was deliberately and with passion calling out every explicit, fowl and inappropriate word on the explicit, fowl and inappropriate word roster. I even added some that I made up on the spot just for the occasion.

I have since grown spiritually and I would like to think I would never resort to having to scream profanities as a way to feel better. However, I cannot promise this because it was such a great way to release so much pain and anger without destroying anyone or anything. I do not judge or condemn others who resort to what we may refer to as fowl language at a time of deep emotional and/or physical pain.

Here are the big questions:
•    Who decides what is and what is not offensive?
•    Is the ‘n-word’ profanity, or is it just offensive?
•    Is the ‘n-word’ considered cursing?
•    Who can be offended by the ‘n-word’?
•    Can one be offended if someone thinks someone is offended by the ‘n-word’ who one believes has no right to be offended by the ‘n-word’?
•    Can one be offended over the fact that someone says they are not offended by the ‘n-word’, but one feels they should be?

The ‘n-word’? I am not offended by it.

I know that historically the ‘n-word’ carries an ugly and the powerfully sinister and hateful reference to people with dark skin like me.

And, while I believe that words are powerful. I also believe that words only carry the power that we, human beings, give them. Therefore, the day that I let any word or any group of words offend me — manipulate my emotions, I would consider a sad day for me.

I also believe that sounds carry vibrations. That certain vibrations or sounds have the ability to heal or to negatively affect one’s energy. It is for this reason that I choose not to spend time listening to words or sounds that, to me, are unpleasant sounds –- the same reason I don’t watch TV or enjoy violent or graphic movies.

We have given this ‘n-word’ so much personal attention — so much media attention — that we have made the ‘n-word’ a star. A star whose name we dare not say. To say the name — to admit you have said the name –- to write the name –- to even think the name can bring disgrace to one.

I can’t make anyone respect me. However, I can respect myself enough to not give them the power to make me feel disrespected.

I heard the wonderful, late Rev. Ike say, “Tell your feelings how to feel.” He said that people should say, “Feelings, you can feel any way you want to feel. But, I am going to feel good!”

I feel good! I used to spend a lot of time being offended by almost every thing. What a waist of pure God source energy.











Web Site: Wambui Bahati: Inspirational Motivational Speaker

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull
On this issue, which you written of very well, we agree almost to a fault. Although my father was a trucker, surrounded by foul talking men, I never heard him curse except mildly, even when around other men who liberally used such words. His mother was a schoolmarm and avid reader, so she may have had a lot to do with his demeanor. My mother never uttered a bad word, even though her brother was a lexicon of them. I followed suit finding that belittling people by words only made the person who spouted them seem ignorant and ill bred.

Like you, these words slide off my back like a too hot shower. I tolerate them for the moment but have to get out from under their scorn. Lately, one of my helpers has lashed out against her nemesis, the C-word, Caucasians! I've tried to explain to her that it is a very small area in the Middle East that has little bearing to my ancestors from Germanic origin, but she insists that these C-people are the cause of much concern. Like I said before, I just let it slide off my back and go counter with any N-words in some kind of retaliation. Except in my writing, where I love to use these words to color my language in dialogue.

Keep sending us your words of wisdom…

Reviewed by Jansen Estrup
Respecting yourself takes real courage in a culture which insists that you respect everyone and everything first. Respect means to put other people, other ideas, other things above or before yourself. It takes a very long time to unlearn those early lessons. One can hardly treat others as 'equals' so long as you think of yourself as 'lesser' - well done.
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