by Asani Shakur
The “b-word” is so commonly used today, that it’s not really perceived as a bad word anymore. Young boys and girls hear it often in the music they listen to and other aspects of pop culture and they start using it themselves, without really understanding what it means.
Many of us, however, have made a conscious effort to omit the b-word from our vocabularies, along with other degrading words. The key word here is conscious. People who use the B-word are simply going off what they picked up as a child growing up, whether from people in their community, the mass media, entertainment, family members, or all of the above. The victims of the new colonization — or robots, as I call them — are just that. Robots do not have a mind of their own. A robot doesn’t think about why it’s operating the way it is. It just does what it has been programmed to do.
Here’s a scenario to illustrate the point: A woman in a store is getting off the phone with her girlfriend and says, “B—h, you crazy, I will holla at you later,” in an amusing tone. Another person at the store within earshot tells her, “B—h, don’t no one want to hear your conversation.” She flips and goes off. Then she gets in her car and calls her girlfriend up and says, “B—h, you won’t believe what this person just had the nerve to call and say to me after I hung up with you!” The irony of that…
Another scenario: A woman turns up her music, featuring a male rapper using the b-word, not realizing that by singing along she is condoning the mistreatment of a women. Or, she plays music by her favorite female rapper or performer, singing a song about how much badder she is than the next “b—h.”
I used to be that person, that robot — but I became conscious and my actions followed. I’m sure the word originated with someone, somewhere telling a woman, “You know what, you a b—h, a female dog that stands on four legs worth nothing,” or something along those lines. From there, the word just probably spread as a way to disrespect a woman, and in time it took on the many meanings it holds today – an insult meant to demean and degrade, but also a compliment or a term of endearment. For me, though, the word holds the same meaning, regardless of how it’s said or who says it. There’s just no way I can make the b-word be fly.
I Am Because We Are
Give thanks… A.S.