This is a tough topic, but we are capable of doing tough things.
I personally do not spend time with anyone who uses this word. It triggers me heavily. Even if someone is Black, like me, it is my choice to never have this word in my life. For me, it is not love, and that's my personal choice.
(Remember this is my preference. Not law. Each Black person copes with this word differently.)
So, I have a lot of experience with asking people around me, even those who feel it is their right to use this word, not to use it.
This guide can be used by everyone, regardless of your race, to inform those around you who use the N-word, not to. For me, I don't go into debates. I don't go deep into teaching the history of the word and its effects. Nope. I am just clear, "I cannot spend time with you if you use this word around me, sing this word around me, or even pretend to use it. For me, this word is pain and we've all had enough of that in our lives."
Make it Personal.
"I am emotionally triggered every time I hear that word. Please don't say it around me-ever- even in songs."
It's your choice to decide if you still want this person in your life. But, making it "about you" limits them from trying to defend themselves.
If you are going to speak up about the N-word, ban it fully. Don't say, "well, I understand if it's in a song." Nope.
Be firm and clear.
"Do not say this word around me. It is not okay."
Don't let it slide. People will try you. Let them know, every time.
Try these phrases:
"Wait... Did you say what I think you said? That's not acceptable."
"I really thought I knew you better. I'm disappointed to hear you use that word."
"I'm not interested in a debate.
You can't say that around me- ever."
I really do see a brighter future for us all. I imagine us all in 2019, roaming this world as caterpillars, secure in what we thought was normal. Then, being cocooned all alone, separate from one another (right now in 2020), but being transformed. Only to emerge as butterflies, roaming more freely and beautiful than we could have ever imagined.
Here's to becoming butterflies... and loving all of our colors.