Arabs, the N-Word and the A-Word Are the Same

  • Concerned

    “White skin is and has always been considered pristine and exemplary, whereas black skin is seen as a burden.”

    While, I agree, that antiblackness is certainly evident in Arab communities, I think you might be simplifying the history of a people by painting over centuries of history like that. Looking into that history of the origins of Arab antiblackness would be very important before making that kind of essentialist statement.

    • mendmybreakingheart

      And this is why this conversation hardly goes anywhere. First step to tackling it is to literally just agree and admit that it’s an issue without ifs or buts.

      • Rosalinda Wijks


  • Rosalinda Wijks

    A good piece and full agreement!

    Salams from a proud black Afro-Caribbean Muslimah.

  • Rosalinda Wijks

    By the way, I thought that the “Drop the A’word”- campaign was started by Dawud Walid, an African-American imam, scholar and activist at CAIR. (Center of American Islamic Relations), indeed in Detroit. But it’s a Muslim group, not an Arab American group, or even specifically Arab. https://dawudwalid.wordpress.com/tag/abeed/

    • Lina Abdul-Samad

      Thank you for the correction. While searching it up, it was claimed that an Arab-American group started the campaign.

  • Platinus

    “This slur is deeply penetrated into everyday Arabic conversations.”

    That’s not surprising since slavery still exists and was only recently made illegal in large parts of the Arab speaking world. For example, slavery was legal in Saudi Arabia until 1962 when they yielded to pressure from the West to reform. Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 (the last country in the world to do so) and made it a criminal offense in 2007. One can expect enforcement of anti-slavery laws to be weak in such places, and enforcement of politically correct vocabulary even weaker.

  • FantasticF

    I think this is the stupidest article, EVER!

    The language and context is not taken into account in this article.

    1- Negros in Spanish means black. The word “nigger” derives from that word and it’s use in the Anglophone society during slavery deems it inflammatory.

    2- Know that because you have no black Arab friends, it doesn’t mean that Arabs comes in different colours and sizes. For example, Sudan, (the word derives from the word “black”) is an Arab nation who have full respect and admiration throughout Arab world.

    ‘Abed’ = slave
    ‘Aswad’= black
    ‘Zinji’= is the colloquial term which means “nigger” and it is derived from the Persian word Zanki or the tribe of East Africans that most of the early ‘black’ slaves came from.

    4- Slaves in Arab world were not just black people, they included all sorts under the term ‘sabi’ as part of the booty of war. Something isis is doing now which used to be done by the WHOLE world in the Middle Ages.

    5- Whoever wrote this article clearly has no Arab black friends, nor has any understanding of the fundamentals of the language. She is also a Palestinian origin, where 99% of the population is white.

    6- ‘Ras el-Abed’ is a Palestinian sweet. It has other names like karboosh etc.

    In Arabic ‘Abed’ is a word used as a name. ‘Um el-abed’ (mother of abed) and Abu AlAbed (father of abed) are known names and characters in old Arabic series played by white Syrians.

    The modern association of the word ‘abed’ with ‘black’ is a western concept adopted by westernised and white Arab supremacists of the Mediterranean.

    Therefore, don’t bring your BS here as if all Arabs are racist or that it’s a ‘Arab’ problem. NO! If the word ‘abed’ is used to mean black peoples then It’s a Palestinian-eastern Mediterranean problem of the modern times.