My Two Cents about the N-Word (Nigga)

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Years ago I was a high school teacher in an urban school where approximately 75% of the student body was Hispanic. It was a beautiful experience. On my first day, I heard numerous kids using a variation of the N-Word in the hallways. Welcome to our school Mr. Mack! I immediately questioned the first five or six students who I heard say it to one another. They didn’t know me yet. In fact, I was told I might have been the first African-American teacher the school ever had (or at least the first one in quite some time).

The students immediately thought that I should “get it.” They were not using the real N-word. Instead, they were using the term of endearment that black people have used for a long time. Therefore, it was alright for them to use it. Even some of the white kids in the school used this term of endearment. Imagine a black man hearing the “word” nigga coming out of the mouth of a white kid! This was new to me.

I struggled with this for the first week or two. After that, it became “normal” to hear kids of all races use this “word” to communicate with one another. I found it strange when it appeared as if no other faculty member had a problem with this. Maybe they didn’t hear it- IMPOSSIBLE ! Maybe they just accepted it like I did. Day after day, I heard…

it used as a term of endearment- my nigga!

it used as a term to dismiss- whatever nigga!

it used as a term to put down- stupid nigga!

Something inside me said I needed to take a stand in my own way. I had a conversation with one student about it. His use of the word was so far out of bounds that he obviously did not know the history behind the real N-word, nor what could happen if a black person heard him use any variation of it. He was really quick to use it too, as if he could substitute it for any name he was about to say. I told him for his own good: one day you are going to say that in front of the wrong person at the wrong time.

Months later this particular student got into an altercation with some other teenagers. I never found out if it was escalated by him saying an unintentional “whatever nigga”, but I am sure it was. Thank goodness the incident was an old-fashioned fistfight, instead of the gunplay that claims the lives of so many people. My point is that using the “word” nigga, just like so many other things, requires a certain amount of care and self-awareness.

By no means am I saying that it is alright for anyone to use nigga, the real N-word, or any other real or perceived slur. IT IS NOT ! I am saying that it might be too late: not only do we have a generation of young, black people using both versions, but we also have a growing number of young people from all races using these “terms of endearment.” I think the genie is out of the bottle on this one. The question is: will we ever get a handle on this issue and eradicate the use of the N-word (and all variations of it)?

Just so you know, in the hallways of that high school they were calling each other nigga faster and more frequently than I could correct them! I felt like a fireman trying to extinguish a forest fire with a water gun. Get the picture?

I guess I still need some help with this one. My two cents on this issue is that we need to clean this up now.

Any suggestions?

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Another Great Poem- Just in Time for the Olympics

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The Victor, by C.W. Longenecker

 

If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you like to win but think you can’t,

It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will.

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are out classed, you are.

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of your-self before

You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man.

But sooner or later, the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can.

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Happy New Year 2014 from Motivation for the World

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A New Year’s Plea, by Edgar Guest

Lord, let me stand in the thick of the fight,
Let me bear what I must without whining;
Grant me the wisdom to do what is right,
Though a thousand false beacons are shining.

Let me be true as the steel of a blade,
Make me bigger than skillful or clever;
Teach me to cling to my best, unafraid,
And harken to false gospels, never.

Let me be brave when the burden is great,
Faithful when wounded by sorrow;
Teach me, when troubled, with patience to wait
The better and brighter to-morrow.

Spare me from hatred and envy and shame,
Open my eyes to life’s beauty;
Let not the glitter of fortune or fame
Blind me to what is my duty.

Let me be true to myself to the end,
Let me stand to my task without whining;
Let me be right as a man, as a friend,
Though a thousand false beacons are shining.

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Merry Christmas from Motivation for the World!

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Joy to the World

 

Joy to the world,

the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

And Heaven and nature sing

And Heaven and nature sing

And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

 

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ

While fields and floods,

rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

 

No more let sins and sorrows grow

Nor thorns infest the ground

He comes to make

His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found

Far as the curse is found

Far as, far as the curse is found.

 

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of

His righteousness

And wonders of His love

And wonders of His love

And wonders, wonders, of His love.

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Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now

Rise Up

RISE UP! There are 42 additional ways to improve Black America now!

RISE UP! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now is my second book written to help improve the lives of millions of African Americans. It is the follow-up to my first book, Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now. In this volume, I added six additional categories and 42 new concepts to help clarify the picture for those seeking a better life. The categories are placed in a logical order not only to tell a story, but also to provide a step-by-step guide that can be put into practice now.

Learning key LESSONS while going through life will set many of us apart from the masses of people searching for their true identity. Once these lessons are learned, it is important to utilize them when building and guiding African-American FAMILIES. As our family structures become stronger, we can address the issue of mismanaging FINANCES that have plagued so many of our people.

By getting our financial houses in order, we can turn our attention to offering SERVICE to one another. This improves our COMMUNITIES and makes the African-American experience more enjoyable for all of our people. Finally, we can truly contribute to SOCIETY by proving once and for all that we are willing and able to give even more to our country while living the American dream.

Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now, available on Amazon.

Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now, available on Kindle.

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Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now

Wake Up

Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now, Gary A. McAbee

Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now! is my first book written to help improve the lives of millions of African Americans. When it was in the conception stage, I selected over 150 topics that needed to be addressed. From that list, the first 42 concepts were chosen and constructed to form volume one. The book contains six categories placed in a logical order not only to tell a story, but also to provide a step-by-step guide that can be put into practice now.

The book began with us realizing that OUR STORY contains a rich history that must be studied and remembered for all time. Next, our focus moved to the necessity for all African Americans to get a quality EDUCATION. Our survival as a race depends on how we educate ourselves so we can function in a rapidly changing world with an expanding knowledge base.

Once we build up our knowledge base, we must learn to become SELF-MOTIVATED to use what we learn to get what we want. I am a firm believer in the idea that motivation comes from within each and every person. While I might be able to provide some guidance here, it is up to the reader to become self-motivated to make a change.

SELF-IMPROVEMENT is the next logical step. By looking inward, we can work on ourselves, then use what we have learned to guide and mentor others. This can be accomplished through the use of effective COMMUNICATION. Communication skills that we display between each other and with people of other races will allow us to work with others on our common causes.

By working together, we can provide SUPPORT to all of our African-American brothers and sisters. After all, why should we grow and improve as individuals without sharing with each other? This has been a principle that has guided African Americans throughout the ages.

Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now, available on Amazon

Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now, available on Kindle

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Gary A. McAbee- Yahoo Contributor

Gary

Gary A. McAbee is an author and motivational speaker. He spent over three years researching and writing because of his desire to help improve the lives of others, especially those in the African American community. As a result, the book WAKE UP! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now became the first volume of his work. Volume two, RISE UP! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now, is a continuation of this worthwhile goal and lifelong commitment to helping others.

Now he has expanded his reach by becoming a Yahoo Contributor. His articles have been read by thousands of people who want to read thought-provoking opinions and provocative social commentary. Take a look at some of Gary’s most influential articles…

The Presidency of Barack Obama

Let the Hatred of Duke Begin

The George Zimmerman Trial and Racial Profiling

Setting the Record Straight

Time to Think Objectively Tim Tebow Fanatics

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A Thanksgiving Prayer by Samuel F. Pugh

Thanksgiving

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.

Amen.

- Samuel F. Pugh

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My Favorite Poem #2: The Road Not Taken

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The Road Not Taken- Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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Someone Needs to Read My Favorite Poem

Motivation for the World

Don’t Quit- Anonymous

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!

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