1. African people use it liberally so why can't Europeans use it (Hulk Hogan's argument)?
2. It's just a word. Sticks and stones break bones, but names cannot hurt. People should just get over it.
3. The word is a term of endearment and no longer has a negative connotation connected to it.
First, let's say that all of these silly premises are based on the false assumption that all things are equal when they aren't. The 500 year colonial, slavery, and neo-colonial process of exploitation of Africa that fueled the industrialization and development of the capitalist system causes ongoing and unprecedented damage to the psychological well being of all Africans and everyone else for that matter. This is true because in order to justify the systematic murder and brutality that has been policy against Africans for centuries, the framers of capitalism had to create a narrative that justified their system. That narrative was that manifest destiny was a necessary phenomenon because Africans, Indigenous people, women, etc., were not mentally and physically developed enough to govern and develop their own societies. As a result, any comprehensive information about advanced African civilizations, that in many ways helped shape European societies, were written out of history. The same applies for Indigenous societies and matriarchal societies were women were the leaders. While those contributions were hidden, the accomplishments of European male led civilizations were presented as the only viable human history. This is the reason everyone knows at least something about the Kings of the Roundtable in Britain and the Greek and Roman empires, etc., while knowing nothing about Africa or the Americas before 1492. So all things are not equal because African children have been left with an empty interpretation of history which was filled with the lie that we needed Europeans, the greater people, to save us. To provide us civilization, religion, and humanity. As a result, most Africans today believe some version of European superiority and most Europeans do to. So, all things are not equal. And, if you take this current reality and spread on top of it the concept that Africans are less than human, the practice of the capitalist system for 500+ years, then the n word becomes much more than a word. It becomes a very effective tool in perpetuating the inferiority of African people by reinforcing the myth that there's something wrong with us and that our entire station in life is to try and become Europeans to rid ourselves of the curse of being ourselves. Every time someone uses the n word, they are on some levels perpetuating that sickness. It doesn't matter whether they mean to do so or not. It doesn't matter whether they are a good person or not. That's what they are doing. And, if you don't believe that, all you have to do is observe any social interaction between African people, especially if alcohol or other stimulants are involved, and take in the hostility in which the n word, this word that means nothing that's a term of endearment, is passed around. You will be able to literally observe the negative impact the word has in this environment. You can do the same in any school, etc. How do I know this? Because I've spent my entire life in those environments doing this work.
In addition to that, to argue that calling Europeans or another nationalities the n word is the same as using it against Africans is an analysis that lacks an intellectual element to it. Calling a European the n word has no historical context and means nothing more than calling them a fool or anything else. It's a cruel thing to do, but it cannot be compared to how the term impacts African people. In fact, calling Europeans anything ethnic cannot be compared. Names like honky, cracker, and pec a wood, at best have questionable historical origins, but even if we agree on their origins, none of those words are tied to any clear cut historical pain and oppression so they also are nothing more than cruel names that may hurt for a moment, but don't have the staying power to become systematic tools of oppression. The n word has that staying power and the reason it does is because that word has always been a part of the oppressive system against African people. So, when the word is said, as it's designed to do, it brings to mind images of powerlessness, of being beaten into submission on the slave plantation. Of women being savagely raped. Of children being cruelly separated from their families for a small price. Of people being savagely killed as sport. Of being systematically denied the right to be treated as a human being. I remember the pain and trauma my parent's conveyed to me from their childhood growing up in Louisiana. Every day, my mother carried the fear of having her humanity attacked by drunk (or sober) European men who could take whatever liberties they wanted with her without threat of legal consequences. For my father, he knew that the simple act of accidentally brushing up against a European women in line at the store, stepping on a European man's foot, or forgetting one of the many unspoken rules would be all that's required to become forced to mobilize the entire family to expect a violent raid by posses at some point at the house. For my parents and for African people in general, the n word flashes mental concepts of fearing for your life, of being not good enough, of being eternally disrespected.
So, although there is without question a difference between using the n word against Africans compared to Europeans, that doesn't mean it just shouldn't be used against Africans. For any sensible people, the word should be eliminated entirely because to continue using it dismisses the historical experience of so many Africans who braved unbelievable conditions to permit those of us here today, who have no sense of that history, to live in relative comfort, compared to those that came before us. And, anyone who argues the word is just a word isn't qualified to properly assess the conditions of African people. Anyone who does that analysis, would realize immediately that there is a direct correlation between the deplorable mental condition that afflicts African people in terms of depression, anxiety, frustration, etc., due to our conditions, and the direct method in which the institutions around us, including the language used to describe us, plays a role in nurturing the oppressive conditions.
Finally, the concept that the word is one of endearment is at best an extremely limited concept and at worst is betrayal against our people. To go further, I would say that anyone who makes this argument hasn't felt the sting of the word and is instead just reacting to a very limited, non-scientific (and selfish) perspective of the consequences of this awful word. This is especially true when it comes to the scores of Africans who sadly have made using the word profitable through products, music, screen play, etc. These people are benefiting from our oppression and they should be seen exactly as they are; pimps who prey off the suffering of our people. These people are clearly comfortable with ignoring the damage their work does because they want to continue to benefit from it's usage. A sensible analysis of this situation would require us to think for a moment about the consequences of what's happening today. For example, take a snippet of a lyric from any song - say the Notorious B.I.G. (it could be anyone, not picking on Biggie) song "Big Poppa." Place the lyric where he says "money, cars, and h - - s, all a n - - - - r knows" in a time capsule. People one hundred years from now find that song snippet. You mean to tell me you cannot see anyway that those people would have to wonder what the hell we were thinking about when we permitted that type of thing to become the popular culture norm and that we actually supported it? If you can't see that, all I can do is recommend counseling for you. And I must say this. For some who are slow to comprehend, there are of course artists who use the word in an effective way designed to convey the crushing effects of its oppression. I'm certainly not talking about those artists. This section applies to those who use the word simply for shock value in an effort to make their product more marketable.
Of course, the reason the n word can stick so easily is because Africans don't know who we really are. We don't know we are Africans and we don't know what being Africans means. This is true wherever we live, even in Africa. We don't know the majestic history that we are produced from. We don't know the outstanding accomplishments Africa has made to world religion, science, and all the disciplines. We don't know the glorious contributions Africa has made to the advancement of women. We are unaware of our humanist, egalitarian (the most misunderstood word in English), and collectivist culture which has helped civilize the Western world. Lastly, we are completely ignorant about the importance of Africa in the future of us as a people and the world as a viable economy that can properly meet the needs of the people of the planet Earth. Because we don't know any of this, we have no defense to protect us against the vicious system of capitalism which has convinced us that our only hope is to dissociate ourselves from who we are and try and assimilate into the system that is the cause of our suffering. This is the true story behind the n word. Hulk Hogan? Just another ignorant European/white man talking. There's one of those for every conversation and there are plenty of ignorant Africans to join them. Hopefully, this analysis can provide some relief from the confusion and can serve as medicine to continue our struggle to bring truth to the surface while crushing the lies that attempt to keep us subjugated.