Niggerization currently occupies a prominent place in the American community. This process presupposes not only discrimination of representatives of the African American ethnic group but a process of dishonoring and devaluing black people. This process has deep roots within the American nation as since the first days of its creation, black individuals where have been treated as second-class people. Despite the fact that times has changed, the old discriminatory and devaluating biases have remained within the community.
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The white gaze still affects the life of the black community. African Americans still suffer from extremely painful and pejorative treatment, while their skills are diminished, their abilities are overlooked, and their achievements are unnoticed. The process of niggerization took place for centuries, and it is difficult to alter its consequences, which currently occupy the role of principles. Nowadays, niggerization encompasses all life levels: spiritual, economic, intellectual, religious, sexual, and emotional. Niggerization might be called the process that represents the spiritual basis for discriminatory behavior that goes against the knowledge. This work aims at revealing the essence of niggerization process, understanding its manifestation through personal reflections, and considering the strategies that could help to avoid or decrease its effect.
Niggerization as a Process
Niggerization has deep roots, which find its beginning somewhere in the past, at the time when the first white masters have brought their black slaves to the U.S. It is a historical process tha has shaped the white imaginary. The white gaze has perceived the blackness from the socio-ontological point of view. George Yancy emphasizes that niggerization is out of control of black people, as it represents the white perception of the African-Americans. This process did not appear overnight. There were some predispositions for it. This process includes eight essential steps that promoted its development and even flourishing.
Yancy emphasizes that the first step is setting the stage. Black people are perceived by the white gaze as particular individuals and are treated as clowns or buffoons. The black people perform the role of marionettes on the white stage. The next step is creating the site. It presupposes applying the situation in order to make out of black individuals the objects of laughter. In such a way, the white gaze obtains sadistic pleasure from observing the actions of black people. The white oppressor tries to constrain the black people to their approved modes of visibility. In other words, he/she tries to adjust the black people to his/her stereotypical vision, without paying attention to the fact that this individual could be far from the imposed stereotype. The third step of the niggerization process is approving the visibility modes. The white gaze sees the black individuals from a particular perspective, which enlightens the black people from the humiliating and ridiculous angle. This aspect of black nature is perceived as a norm, and the major problem is the fact that the reality remains invisible for white people.
They approve of the idea that black people behave as beasts, and they are unwilling to admit that black individuals, as well as white people, are diverse and have different traits. In general, the black race suffers from white supremacy. Dissatisfaction that is expressed by black people is perceived with astonishment, as white people consider that their behavior is grounded and natural. The fourth stage presupposes staring. According to Yancy, white eye has one-sided perception of black people, and in order to confirm that this particular vision is true, it tries to observe the behavior of black people in order to validate that the primary consideration was accurate. In other words, the white gaze aims at finding the hints or clues that could prove its distorted vision of black race. It sees a black individual approaching a car, and this action arouses only one assumption in white consciousness This person aims at robbing a white person. The fact of approaching is perceived as confirmation of the assumption despite the fact that it is far from being true. The fifth step of niggerization involves perpetrating complicity.
It involves power imbalance and deters struggle. It induces complicity, which could be explained as feelings that a person feels towards a situation. These feelings might include terror, rage, and shame. The sixth step presupposes preservation of the appearance of naturalness. In case of niggerization, it is the assertion that pejorative and discriminatory treatment of black people is natural for the white individuals, as it is caused by special conditions, which include behavior and previous actions conducted by African-Americans. However, the most offensive thing about it is the fact that naturalness of white decisions is based on wrong assumptions and their distorted confirmations. The seventh step of niggerization is accomplishment of rituals. One of the simplest of them was depicted by Yancy, who claimed that the black people hear a clicking sound of closing cars when they cross the road.
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This is the aftermath, the ritual that is caused by white supremacy misconceptions. A black person is portrayed by white people as a dangerous individual. This idea has incorporated into the minds of the whites so deeply that people subconsciously start closing their cars when they see that a black man is approaching them. The eighth step of niggerization presupposes rewards that are provided to niggerized individuals. On this stage, niggerization reaches its peak, and African-American people start using their inner rage and anger in order to challenge the niggerization process. They start to act and create such organizations as Council for Urban Peace and Justice, special organizations that assist teenagers, etc. In such a way, the niggerized person starts taking actions against this process and conducts a number of positive deeds for the representatives of his/her race. The results of the activities might be called rewards.
Niggerization is a complex process. However, its gist lies in the fact that it humiliates the dignity of the African-American person. It is grounded on the wrong conceptions, assumptions, and confirmations of these assumptions. This is the most offensive thing about this process. It is based on stereotypical and biased vision; however, it produces such a strong effect that nobody pays attention to reality and true facts. Black people suffer because white individuals do not want to alter their vision, which is based on the supremacy of the white race, and see the reality as it is. Niggerization leads to perception of black people as black beasts, dangerous people who might hurt white individuals, and people who lack knowledge and expertise. The social meaning and semiotic constructions continue dictating the rules, and nobody pays attention to the verifiable truth. Niggerization presupposes underestimating the possibilities of black people. The representatives of this race might name thousands of instances when they were niggerized. These examples serve as a manifestation of the idea that the years go by, efforts to fight discrimination take place, but the attitude towards black people remains unchanged.
Personal Experience of Niggerization and Being Niggerized
While discussing personal reflection, it has to be assumed that I am not a part of the black race. However, niggerization has affected me in the way of pejorative treatment. It happened to me two years ago. I had just arrived to the U.S. My major life goal was to receive first-class education, and I spent days and night studying. I frequently attended the library, read all the articles that were provided to students, and despite the cultural and language difficulties, I was doing my best in order to prepare my tasks in the best possible way. At that time, my English was not fluent, and oral tasks turned out to be a real challenge for me. I understood questions and knew answers, but found it difficult to formulate a reply fluently. My answers were vague and rather concise, but the reason for it was the limited time provided for the oral reply and a language barrier rather than the lack of knowledge. However, my philosophy teacher perceived the situation in a different way. He thought that all the Persian students lacked expertise in the field of philosophy and that I had limited cognitive abilities and was simply unable to perceive such a complex study as philosophy. I have to note that although I experienced difficulties with verbal representation of my ideas in an oral way, I still managed to write good essays. I had more time,, and there was an ability to consult dictionary and books.
Therefore, my essays were logical, coherent, and accurate. Once, we obtained a task to write about Freud and tie his ideas towards a historical figure. I decided to connect Freudian theories to Oedipus Rex. I spend the whole day in the library, read numerous articles, and the myth itself. And the result was astounding. I managed to explain the deeds of Oedipus from the Freudian viewpoint. I knew that my work was excellent and waited for my grade with bated breath. One could imagine my astonishment when I got E and my professor stated that the work was cheated or written by other student, as I was unable to write it. His stereotypical vision of immigrant students and their abilities affected his assessment. At that moment, I felt myself a niggerized individual. My efforts were ignored, and my abilities were undervalued. That situation was extremely offensive. However, I found strength to stand up and orally explain all the nuances that I described in my work. The teacher asked me additional questions, and I answered all of them. He was amazed and asked me to see him after my class. As a result of this situation, I obtained my A grade, but the feeling of discriminatory treatment, bitterness, and offence did not vanish. I was sure that if I were a white student, nobody would doubt my abilities.
Another story concerns a situation when I niggerized another person. It also happened two years ago. I was a novice in the country and knew nothing about our group. The first person I befriended was Mike. He was a white guy who explained me the situation. He gave me the information about all the students in our class and asked to stand apart our groupmate Joe. He was a poor African-American student who came from a single-parent family. Mike told me that his father died because he was a drug addict. He assured that Joe was a criminal and stated that I have to hide my money from him, as he was a pickpocket. I was amazed and started perceiving Joe as a dangerous criminal. I always tried to find a place in class far from him and to avoid him in the corridor. This situation happened when my parents sent me money to pay for my education. I was sure that I put the check in my purse and went to college. I was a bit late, and there was one vacant place. I was obliged to sit near Joe. He was very kind, gave me a lift, and even provided the notes that he had already made. I was shocked as he turned out to be a nice guy. I went home, and there I found out that the check had disappeared from my purse. I was 100% confident that it was Joe. He was African-American, his father was a criminal, and he was a pickpocket. When I came to college the next day, I saw that Joe had a new mobile phone.
This was the final clue for me. I started shouting that he was a thief and that he had robbed me. Joe looked bewildered. He started explaining that he got his wage and bought new mobile phone, but I was furious and did not want to listen to him. That moment my phone rang. I picked it up, and the bank assistant told me that I had forgotten my check near the bank counter. I always receive money from my parents in the same bank department, and they remembered me until that time. I cannot explain what I was feeling at that moment. It was a mix of severe shame, bitterness, numbness, and desire to go down the drain. I could not lift my eyes and look at Joe. I stated that it was a mistake and asked him to excuse me. After the classes, I came to him and invited to a cafe. He accepted my offer, and there I explained him the situation. He just smiled and said that it was not the first time. People perceive me as dangerous, as I am poor and I am black. I was ashamed because I was one of those people. I got to know that Joe was studying and also had two jobs. He wanted to help his mother, who remained alone after his father died of cancer. When he told me the story of his life, I blushed to the roots of hair. I behaved in an immoral way. I based my treatment on stereotypes and did not pay attention to facts. Joe was a bright student. After our conversation, I understood that he was a smart and kind person and that my biased treatment was not justified. That situation was a turning point in my life, which taught me to ignore stereotypes and pay attention to people and their deeds.
My experience has showed me that the society needs modern strategies that could help to fight and avoid niggerization. In my situation, I grounded my treatment on misconceptions and stereotypes.
The first strategy that could help to prevent the occurrence of similar cases in the future is creating special discussion groups in most popular social networks like Facebook or Twitter. This strategy is efficient because it could address niggerization at the individual and systemic level. For instance, I could write there my story. It will discuss the process of niggerization from my point of view, and Joe could explain it from his perspective. He might share with the readers his pain about constant mistreatment, and his post will manifest niggerization on the systemic level. Within this social network groups, people might discuss the existing stereotypes and post stories that could break them. The positive feature is that all the stories will be not imagined, but written by real people and discuss true events. This strategy can assist in approaching one of the biggest problems of niggerization. This problem concerns its public representation. Currently, a lot of people know that it exists, but they do not want to face the reality and accept the fact that niggerization is a threat that demolishes human lives. Moreover, publishing stories within the social network is a cheap and quick method to popularize this topic. The groups could increase their efforts and transform online discussion into debates at public meetings and protests in public facilities, like College Campuses, factories, and plants.
Another strategy that could also help to protect American citizens from niggerization is establishing true democracy. Every single day, deputies introduce a number of legal regulations that do not change human life. Moreover, some of them undermine the notion of democracy. It is high time to introduce the laws that will stop turning American citizens into helpless and intimidated people. It is necessary to introduce regulations, which would make each company hire the equal number of white and black employees, who will be mixed and work in one team. Personal experience shows that only close acquaintance with the African-American people can help to disperse the existing prejudices, myths, and false considerations. It is necessary to create conditions where black and white citizens will work together. It could help them to forget the fact that some of them are white and others are black, but they will have to understand the fact that all of them are citizens of one single nation and that their mutual efforts are directed towards the flourishing of one nation. Such strategy might help to approach niggerization at the individual and systemic level. Democracy is a powerful tool that unites people and makes them equal. Unfortunately, the deputies forget about their major objective. They constantly think about commonwealth, discrimination of Muslim individuals in Europe, poverty in Africa, but forget the fact that niggerization divides their nation. It estranges citizens and arouses rivalry.
The third strategy, which might also turn efficient, is introducing the system of fines against the direct manifestations of niggerization. Car clicking will be one of them. White individuals should be financially fined for popularizing rumors, as it was in case of Mike, and for undervaluing the representatives of other race, like in the situation with the Philosophy teacher, and for millions of other offences. Despite the fact that they concern individual cases, introduction of a fine system will definitely influence niggerization at the systemic level. When a white gaze understands that a wrong assumption might cost him/her a fortune, he/she will definitely double think before making this assumption. The existing problem still exists because it is unpunished. People are not afraid of spreading lies because it is not penalized. It is high time to think how much human pain or human offence costs? When an individual breaks a thing that belongs to another person, he/she is obliged to pay for it. But what should be done in case of broken dignity, self-esteem, hopes, etc? Niggerization is means not just disliking somebody; it presupposes obtaining sadistic pleasure from humiliating another person. This could be treated as a crime against an individual, which brings not only psychological, but also physical sufferings. When a student experiences biased treatment in the educational affiliation, he/she has less desire to attend this institution. In such a way, he/she becomes deprived of the possibility of getting higher education, good job, and a brilliant career. Why such things have to be unpunished? It is necessary to raise this issue at the national level and introduce harsh measures that will make people respect the dignity of each other. People will adjust to valuing and recognizing the personality of other individuals with the course of time.
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In general, each of these strategies contains a grain of truth and includes concrete measures that could be taken in order to deprive the American society from the notorious process of niggerization.
In conclusion, it has to be stated that despite the fact that the U.S. has introduced a number of efforts in order to fight discrimination, it still exists within the American society in an altered and transformed shape. Currently, the country experiences the effects of niggerization. This is a process that has started in the past and continues its development up to nowadays. Niggerization is a process that causes undervaluing of an individual, underestimation of the achievements of this person, and leads to the feeling of dignity loss. Niggerization causes a number of serious problems that undermine the life and well-being of the representatives of the African-American race. In the course of this study, it has been revealed that the effects of white gaze are still evident within the American society. White people are ruled by the outdated stereotypical considerations and turn out to be unable to look at reality and the changes that have happened over time. Serious strategies have to be introduced in order to fight this problem. This work proposed creating a group in one of the social networks that will aim at shedding light on the perception of African-Americans. The second strategy is taking steps in order to establish true democracy, which is considered to be the best tool to eradicate niggerization. And the third strategy is introducing a system of fines against the practical manifestations of niggerization. It is considered that these steps will affect the situation and lead to positive consequences.