As early as the 17th century, the word “negro” evolved into the word “nigger” as a way to intentionally denigrate black people. The word is distinctively linked with violence, brutality and a history of hate, and no degree of modernizing can rid it of that blood-soaked history.
Many people want the word abolished because of its hateful past, but there are just as many entertainers, producers, and other people across the country that see nothing wrong with using the word and even justify why it should be okay to say it. Spike Lee is boycotting Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” because the N-word is used 110 times.
Tarantino insisted that using the N-word was unavoidable, but it was not meant to offend anyone. “Well, you know, if you’re going to make a movie about slavery and are taking a 21st-century viewer and putting them in that time period, you’re going to hear some things that are going to be ugly, and you’re going to see some things that are going to be ugly,” he explained.
Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman describes the movie by saying, “It’s the most promiscuous use of the N-word ever heard in a mainstream movie.”
Oprah Winfrey sums up the subject by saying, “When I hear the N-word, I still think about every black man who was lynched—and the N-word was the last thing he heard,” she explained.