My white classmate doesn’t understand why she can’t say the n-word

Her question in class was as uncomfortable as you think

My “Women in Literature” class is centered on the literary works of black women. It should go without saying that the beautifully written course content has without a doubt opened my —what I thought to be already quite open— eyes to the magnitude of the pain that the black community experiences and has experienced throughout the history of the United States. Especially to the fact that a majority of the pain is still very much felt today.

After an entire semester of discussing the phenomenal works of Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alice Walker —to name a few— and three months of sharing my thoughts, listening to the personal experiences of my black female classmates and ultimately growing as a human being, the last thing I expected to hear from ever perturbed classmate, Brenda (not her real name), was, “Well, why can’t white people sing the n-word when it’s in a song?” followed by an explicit recital of an excerpt from Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow”: “Cut a n**** off, so don’t get comfortable.”

The entire classroom became eerily still. After a brief, yet seemingly direct, discussion on why a white person just shouldn’t say it, a black woman in my class, raised her hand to share her experience with the n-word.

Amber Roach concisely stated that she did not tolerate the word ever, even in music. The n-word makes her cringe and feel incredibly uncomfortable. “The history is just too strong," Roach said. "It’s too personal.”

Unswayed by Roach's story, Brenda brought the topic up again after the discussion died down. Not only did she restate the explicit lyrics in Cardi B's song, my ignorant classmate went on to explain what the rapper meant by using the n-word in her song.

At that point, her language was completely uncalled for, not to mention absolutely offensive after Roach had shared her feelings on the subject.

In response, our visibly enraged professor Amber Cresgy said, "This conversation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so we’re going to get back to our class discussion.” Everyone seemed to drop it. Except Brenda.

Just a few hours later, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw a tweet containing a video of a Snapchat story with text reading, “racist ass FSU white girl.”

Naturally, I clicked on the video. Lo and behold, there was Brenda, broadcasting her ignorance and distaste for the “all liberal Women in Literature” course for her Snapchat audience. Not only was she sharing her white-centric thoughts on who should be allowed to use the n-word, she was defending her credibility as a white woman, because “it’s a banger.”

I immediately contacted her for a statement to allow her the opportunity to refute, defend or make amends with the growing amount of people she offended and was going to offend. Within minutes, I received a response.

“This is my statement," the email read. "Thanks."Ouch, Brenda. Ouch.

I’m not writing this to educate The Tab's readers on why white people shouldn't say the n-word. I'm sharing my first-hand experience listening to Brenda to remind everyone that the fight isn’t over.

If you’re passionate about social rights issues, as I believe we all should be, step up to your personal plate and speak up when your friends are being oblivious and dumb. Don’t be ignorant. Educate yourself and your classmates.

Please try to respect another human being’s painful experience as being worthy of taking the time to reconsider your actions, thought processes, and lifestyle. At the very least, don’t be a dick, man.

Brenda, this shit isn’t cool. And that’s putting it lightly. Please develop some empathy skills, and, I would say read some literature on the subject, but oh wait.

The FSU Dean of Students twitter account reached out to Twitter user @Deviled_Diegs alerting him that the situation is being dealt with by the University.

Twitter users were enraged by Brighton and shared their disgrace online.

"I truly do not understand why white people don't understand that they CANNOT say the N word," Twitter user @OMG_itsNettai wrote. "It is a term that was used to oppress Black slaves for CENTURIES."

More to follow.

Florida State University