Why white kids are calling themselves the "N" word

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 2/07 6:46 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) A video showing a 14-year old sucker punching a 13-year old did more than create a fire storm of emotions from parents, it also highlighted a growing trend among young white children that many parents were shocked to find out.

Soon after WDEF received a copy of that video which went viral, An investigation into the kid who delivered the punch was well underway.

A look at his public Facebook page revealed curse words and language many parents would not like to hear come out of a child's mouth. That includes the repeated use of the "N" word.

As the investigation continued, friends of this individual who left messages on his page also used the "N" word. Before, long, WDEF uncovered several different Facebook pages of children who referred to themselves as the "N" word and even appeared to embrace it as a term of endearment towards others.

Hours after the 14-year old was charged with aggravated assault, WDEF interviewed him at his home with both of his legal guardians present.  He was asked why so many white kids his age are embracing that word.

"I thought since everybody else is saying it would be ok for me to say it. So now it's just a habit," he said.

His legal guardian says she was shocked to find out he often says the "N" word and blames lyrics in rap music for influencing young children.

"I think it's just this generation with the rappers and I think it's just becoming a part of young peoples language. Unfortunately I don't like. I don't approve of it," she said.

WDEF started looking into more of his Facebook post and found the "N" word was used by his own mother who is not his legal guardian.

A mother of a 4th grader said her son hears the word all the time. WDEF was given permission to interview him. He was asked how often he hears the "N" word from fellow classmates.

"Mostly everyday on the bus," he said.

That same 4th grader said he's old enough to understand why the N-word is offensive and that he doesn't like it.

"It make me feel made if they say it to me but if they say it other people I still get mad because they shouldn't be saying it," he said.

WDEF spoke to a former school resource officer who is now a Chattanooga detective investigating juvenile crimes. He said during many of his investigations, he found kids of all color, race, gender and age use the "N" word as part of their everyday vocabulary.

"They're just using it. And its just rampant in this generation," said detective Reginald Park.

Many older kids argue that their use of the word is part of free speech. They have found their own unity and identity in a word originally used to degrade and divide.




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shyloz - 2/9/2014 9:05 PM
0 Votes
Buster, all blacks don't use the "N" word, nor do all blacks condone others using it. To assume any derogatory word is acceptable because some people use it within their own race, culture or gender is ignorant. Some women call one another the "B" word. Sometimes playfully and sometimes as an insult. That doesn't make the word acceptable by all females. So instead of making a big miration out of it, and this goes for WDEF too, as adults it's our duty to correct our young rather than jump with them in an effort to excuse or justify bad behavior.

shyloz - 2/9/2014 9:05 PM
1 Vote
Buster, all blacks don't use the "N" word, nor do all blacks condone others using it. To assume any derogatory word is acceptable because some people use it within their own race, culture or gender is ignorant. Some women call one another the "B" word. Sometimes playfully and sometimes as an insult. That doesn't make the word acceptable by all females. So instead of making a big miration out of it, and this goes for WDEF too, as adults it's our duty to correct our young rather than jump with them in an effort to excuse or justify bad behavior.

Buster - 2/9/2014 10:04 AM
0 Votes
Well in being around my son and his friends, some who are black) they ( the blacks) can call each other the N word and its ok they dont have a problem with it.. some call whites "crackers" Its just the fact that they do what they WANT to do and say what they want to say! I grew up using the N word back in the time before it was abbreviated to N and never knew it was wrong or bad it was just another word! It wasnt til I was an adult that I was "CORRECTED" and I have since learned to avoid its use. To me its like cursing you can get in the habit of using it , and if the situation calls for an extreme word it comes into play! I dont think it will ever truly be abolished from language... just like "ain't" or "Y'all" in southern culture.. Its just something to "pick at" to stir up a problem or cause a problem when there shouldn't be one" There were words that hurt people when I was growing up, and there was the old saying also of "Sticks and stones may break my bones..." However aparently some have Pushed to have these words hurt more than they should and got laws passed to try to stop their use! BUT IF it is alright for blacks to call each other the N word why should they be offended when someone else does it? The kids today if they are using it on each other (regardless of race) seem to have overcome the stigma of the word.. and it possibly has a whole NEW MEANING to them than what my generation and generations before me attached to the word! I hear the term "BOY' OR HOME BOY" all the time as well, I am sure they have a meaning that I am unaware of to the users as well as the ones who are called these terms. I wish PEOPLE would just get along, and stop struggling over the smaller things in the day to day life and focus on the things that are much more urgent.. like caring FOR each others well being, Helping each other, and allowing each person their own SPACE to be who and whatever they are, without wanting to change them or destroy them!!

kgamble - 2/8/2014 6:20 PM
0 Votes
I do not believe that young people in general have grown accustomed to using this word; furthermore, I do not buy that they feel this unifies them in some way. It is a sad day indeed if adolescents feel that this word is necessary to express themselves. It is a derogatory term, no matter who uses it! It is not acceptable language, and this should be the message to our young people. It is vital that parents set better examples and know to what media their children are exposed. Be a parent; it is okay to tell your children "No." Explain the ugliness of this word and why it is not appropriate for them to use it.

shawnalynn - 2/7/2014 11:18 PM
0 Votes
Wow, This work shouldnt be used by anyone but its just not White kids its very race. By ya'll saying white kids and the n work, is being raced too, its sad the world of all colors cant stop the name calling to fightings to killing.

Woody - 2/7/2014 7:45 PM
0 Votes
So, doing a story on the use of the N word and ending it with a comment saying is a word used to unify makes it alright for anyone to use the word? Is that really the message intended? I sincerely hope not. The word is offensive and should not be used by anyone. Rappers use a variety of profanity, but adults shouldn't justify or think that it's acceptable. We need to teach the history of the use of this term. By the way, I hope this wasn't how this news station decided to cover Black History Month.
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