There's an ongoing controversy of whether it is ever appropriate for African Americans (and others) to use the word "Nigga". Everyone agrees that the word "Nigger" is a racial insult that should not be used. But some that "Nigga" is acceptable as a "term of endearment" or a de-racialized word in general. Some going so far to say that they've taken a negative word and made it positive. But what gets overlooked in the discussion is the various uses of "Nigga" that aren't positive and aren't racial slurs. The word is often used to substitute for pronouns or for generalized persons. In addition, there are many phrases with different meanings that include the word. This should be a part of the debate:
- "You know Chris? Yeah That's my nigga" - a friend that you claim, indicating that you will take Chris' side in any dispute or advocate for him in general. If the response was "yeah what about him", it would indicate that you could hear bad things about Chris and not tell Chris or do anything about the situation. If he was "your nigga' and someone was talking bad about him and you didn't do anything or tell him, then you would be disloyal and possibly starting trouble with Chris.
- do you know "that nigga" or "a nigga named" Chris? - general reference to a guy, usually referring to African American or Latino. "yeah that's my boy" or "yeah he down with us". This is a generally neutral reference, but the person would be a peer rather than a doctor, lawyer, minister, or someone revered.
- That "nigga" .... crazy, can ball, out of control, etc. or look at "this nigga" - talking about a specific (generally minority) person doing something abnormal; could be extremely funny, extremely violent, extremely strange. This can be either derogatory or humorous. This would be racist if spoken by older whites, but just mocking or insulting by younger blacks and some whites who feel comfortable saying the word.
-" I saw you kissing that ugly girl... (response by 2nd person) "nigga please" - "that's not true", spoken between two black males, could be serious or joking.
- "I'll tell everybody what happened".. nigga please or "go head nigga" - "go ahead and do it then" or go ahead and say it" during an argument or fight
"what's up my nigga" - personal greeting between friends
"I was sitting in my seat, and I saw this nigga walk by with his girl. Next thing I know, the other girl started yelling " - a reference to unknown black person in a story,