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If You’re Not Black, Don’t Use the N-Word

My cousin’s teenage daughter, whom I affectionately call my niece, was recently hanging with some family friends her age when a boy in the group started using the N-word when speaking with another group member, using it like you would use the term “buddy”. Like us, the boy was South Asian, so my niece told him it wasn’t right for him to use the word. He disagreed, saying, “My Black friends don’t mind.”

Knowing that I teach about equity, diversity, and inclusion for a living, the next time she saw me my niece inquisitively asked, “Is it ok for people who aren’t Black to use the N-word?” It took me less than a millisecond to respond — “No!”

Hearing this story, you might be thinking, “Oh, this can’t be happening!” Unfortunately, I continue to hear that the N-word is constantly being used across the South Asian community and other communities who are not Black — communities that should know better and would vehemently tell you that they’re not racist.

I’ve had enough of hearing paltry excuses and “explanations” from people about this. In the spirit of allyship and fighting against anti-Black racism, I want to use my voice to speak out about the use of the N-word.

In this video, I talk about how no one — other than someone who is Black — should use the N-word. It’s flat out wrong. Why? I spell this out in my video.

If this feels unfair to you, I urge you to hear me out. Watch the video to learn the reasons why you shouldn’t use the N-word if you’re not Black.

Watch now!

Ritu Bhasin wearing a white and black top, with her chin resting in her hand

I'm Ritu.

I’m an award-winning life coach, empowerment speaker, author, and inclusion expert dedicated to helping you live your best life.

Ritu Bhasin sitting on a coach, leaning on three cushions with one hand on her folded legs and one hand in her hair. She is smiling authentically and looking off to her left.

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