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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Maryland State Lawmaker Latest Casualty in the War on the N-word: Here’s How to Unmake It!

By Tolson Banner

Tolson Banner

Nationwide — Aside from baseball, another American pastime is looking to see who uses the N-word next, especially if you’re a celebrity or high-profile individual and white! But it looks like Maryland Democrat Mary Ann Lisanti was recently at bat and got some “wood” on the N-word ball. According to several news reports, Lisanti is reported to have used the N-word while having some drinks with a group of lawmakers at an Annapolis cigar bar. After getting her “drink on” Lisanti is reported to have told a white colleague that campaigning in Prince George’s County is door knocking in the “N-word district.” Lisanti represents Hartford, MD. which is 85% white – she was referring to a County which is 64% Black.

And we all know, once caught under the glaring lights of the news media uttering: I-wanna-forget-the-enslavement-horror-not-gonna-pay-you-reparations-moniker: “N-word”- you’re paraded thru the American consciousness with disdain. But an open and honest discussion about America’s “stain” is held in abeyance so we play the “N-word” gotcha game ad infinitum. Allow me to suggest this “N-word” spelling/exercise as a way to remove it from the American language repository in order to “unmake” the word. However, let me caution you this will only serve as the basis to spark “REAL TALK.”

Efforts to delete and/or obliterate the “N-word” from the English language have failed in the past with notable civil rights organization NAACP who conducted a burial ceremony for the “N-word” and the ancestor Dick Gregory who sought to remove the sting of the “N-word” in his book, N-word From the Back of the Bus.

Nevertheless, coming up with new words utilizing prefixes and suffixes, is nothing new according to the history of the American language. You see, Webster, the American lexicon on the usage and etymology of certain words is replete with derogatory names coined to describe the Africans who passed through “the door of no return” only to become human cargo for the American/ Christian/ Atlantic enslavement trade traversing the ocean on a ship called Jesus. Don Bogle in his classic book Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks chronicles the degrading-stereotypical names that have become a part of the American language over the years. These words have left a racial imprint on the American thought process itself.

This thought process showed up when Lisanti was asked if she has ever used the N-word. She said, “I’m sure I have…I’m sure everyone has used it. I’ve used the f-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain.” It is reported Lisanti was contrite when confronted by members of the Maryland Black Caucus. Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, asked Lisanti during the meeting with the Black Caucus if she grew up in a household where the word was used. “She didn’t give a direct response,” Hughes said. Representative Jay Walker, who is black, says he was standing right there when Lisanti used the slur. Walker said he “addressed it with her privately.”

However, in coining the new term “pnigga” (remember the p is silent as should white folks who contemplate using it) we utilize the American dictionary’s fascination with the silent p. We see this in such words as psycho, psychology, and psychosis. All akin to the American psyche when using the N-word.

We also recognize the letter k is silent in the formation of certain words as well: know, knowledge, and knucklehead. The construct of the new word “knigga”(the k is silent as is the word ) should remind white folks they should know better because of their knowledge but rather insist on being a knucklehead. The etymology of both “pnigga” and “knigga” derive from the root words “to keep yo mouth shut” and can be used interchangeably.

Moreover, “pnigga” and “knigga” can be traced back to Black mothers with their homespun teachings and the way they would admonish their children to “not say anything if you can’t say something positive about someone.” Disobeying this directive, and you could find yourself swallowing baby grand piano keys.

Once this spelling/exercise of the N-word is embraced we would be able to check several authentic sources to reinforce the American language revision. We could begin with clicking on the icon for the proper pronunciations for “pnigga” or “knigga” and realize silence is the only correct way to not say these words. Another source to consult would be to check out Wikipedia’s updated history on the new spelling. Wikipedia’s update would outline the current and proper usage: “pnigga” (don’t you dare white folks…keep yo trap shut!). The Elements of Style would illustrate the proper syntax for the words “knigga” and “pnigga” (remain silent like the p and k). Finally, consulting a thesaurus we would see the elimination of synonyms for both words and instead encouraged to use the suggested replacements such as humans; melanated people; people from Alkebu-Lan (Africa’s original name which means Mother of Mankind or Garden of Eden). A footnote would explain usage of the N-word today is considered archaic and barbaric.

The Maryland Democratic Party is calling for Lisanti to resign. In an attempt to ignite healing, reconciliation and atonement, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks extended an invitation to Lisanti to visit the County. At-Large Councilmember Calvin Hawkins added that the sixty-four percent of Blacks who populate the “N-word district” will be waiting for some REAL TALK with his constituents as part of her sensitivity training.

Tolson Banner is a writer/columnist and can be reached at mobilifestyle1@gmail.com


Tolson Banner
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