To my constituents,

It’s been a while since I’ve addressed you. I hear your calls. I see the temporary delight and long-term damage done as a result. Because of such, I’ve been coerced to respond. This was long overdue.

You hate everything I represent but you spend a lot of time giving me life. I was once created for a specific purpose, the purpose of stagnating the human race. I’m happy to say that agenda is being carried in full.

Yeah, I’m just a word, and words only hold as much power as the person wielding them. When you are with loved ones, it’s cool to use my name in vain. You are taking control of a word used to debase you. Subverting the system.

At least that’s what you tell yourself.

My creators, brilliant minds they were, use the art of misdirection to teach you about me. They don’t try to hide how “profane” and “uncouth” I am. They just cloak my essence in “definitions” and semantics, facilitating my entry into your precious English lexicon.

You mean to tell me you bought that whole “female dog” rubbish? Ha! Please. That’s all a ruse, used to lure you into addressing each other as objects instead of divine souls. But perhaps you know this. Perhaps you are aware of the dangers of tossing my name (and meaning) around playfully. Even so, that still doesn’t stop you.

Don’t get it twisted though: I am only a pawn. Victories are not secured in grand strokes, only in the day-by-day grind. And let me tell you…I grind.

It wasn’t my idea to write this note. I mean…why divulge our insidious schemes so the public can undermine them? Then I was assured – by forces higher than I – that such a note wouldn’t matter. The human mind isn’t moved by mere logic or carnage or hurt or tragedy or any other emotion. That’s a myth of the highest proportions.

The human mind is moved by mass propagation and the subsequent groupthink. That’s why I can appear in say, “The Game” or in reality shows about housewives a kajillion times an episode unedited and it doesn’t bat an eye. In fact, I seem to be most in vogue in mass media featuring Black women. Even this baffles me.

I am androgynous by nature, but my use is disproportionately against women. To women feeling the weight of society, I’m doubly potent.

The media is our most visible means to an easily identifiable end. But you are the vehicle for our dissemination. Even if you found a way to squelch my purpose, it’s only temporary.

Ever picked weeds out of a garden, only to see the same weeds continue to pop up in the same spot? That’s me. You only pulled the weed up; the root still lies.

See, my family is ubiquitous, but not all are as “desirable” as me. Some of them – despicable creatures if I may say so – are used to actually uplift and encourage. Yikes.

Nappy. Ghetto. Dirty African. Wetback. Crip. Blood. Heifer. Even innocent euphemisms like witch, jack-A, trick or cursed, carries a certain force. The mere mention of our names evokes at best visceral anger and hurt and, at worse, subtle doubt and stagnation. That’s my pop’s side of the family. We beat you over the head with our presence until you convince yourself that “it’s not that bad.”

Since you seem to enjoy our presence so much, here’s how to keep us around:

Recognize yourself not as interconnected and created by the same Breath, but as distinct from everybody else. Fall prey to your emotions, your fears, your foibles. And when calamity happens, see other people as the root of your misery.

Keep competing with each other. My name is called the most when used in comparisons.

Above all, continue to ignore that certain words don’t transcend context. Some words and meanings have been married together so long that we do nothing but laugh at your rationalizations.

If there’s a “positive” manifestation to my name, I’ve yet to see it.

Which gives me heavy ambivalence. I love seeing the churchgoer refer to a fellow Christian as “that bitch,” but I’m also insulted because she doesn’t use me for the right reasons.

It’s not like you mean to hurt and demean each other. It stems more from a lack of awareness and self-control. More sadly – or fortunately for me – you seem to not be cognizant of the power you inject me with. Whatever. Your hypnosis has been to my benefit a thousand years strong.

Even though I may not answer when you call my name, I do hear you quite audibly. Please don’t confuse my silence for disapproval.



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