Approach determines response. If you approach someone in a hostile manner, there’s a good chance that you are going to get a hostile reply. No one likes to feel threatened or attacked. How you treat others is a direct reflection of your character. As Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
How prophetic are those words? It can be years since you’ve seen someone who made you feel badly, and instantly those feelings come rising back up. Even if you tell yourself that you are over the mistreatment, the mind has a funny way of showing you who’s in charge. The anxiety and doubt creep back in and you begin to question whether you ever got over it. Feelings are powerful, and have the potential of changing lives, for better or worse.
People know what they’re doing when they using racial slurs; I don’t believe that it’s simply a slip of the tongue. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone knows the destructive power these words have. That’s why they’re referred to as slurs, and unfortunately that’s why people use them. It’s almost becoming a trend to use such hateful language.
Words have the power to destroy, but also the power to uplift and empower. Society has to decide which road it’s going to take.