Duke: Use of ‘N’ word a term of endearment

Pub­lic Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Wat­son Duke has de­fend­ed his use of a racial slur when call­ing on mem­bers of the pub­lic not to sup­port the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment in the up­com­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion.

Speak­ing on a morn­ing talk show on Pow­er 102, he on­ly apol­o­gised to those who mis­un­der­stood what he meant when us­ing the term.

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“The on­ly re­gret I have is that the word, use of the word is be­ing mis­un­der­stood by a num­ber of vot­ers and maybe a few sup­port­ers be­cause the word has been mis­used and abused, ” said Duke, ” but ni… (word called) is a Latin word that lit­er­al­ly means black. How­ev­er, while the word con­tin­ues with the same pro­nun­ci­a­tion the spelling change over time and the mean­ing change over time it ac­tu­al­ly turns out to be a very deroga­to­ry word even­tu­al­ly for a great part of our his­to­ry to put down black peo­ple.”

How­ev­er, Duke said the word has held a dif­fer­ent con­no­ta­tion re­cent­ly.

“But cur­rent­ly it is used as a term of en­dear­ment among black peo­ple. When the word was used yes­ter­day, it was used as part of my or­a­to­ry skills, ” he said.

When asked if he felt it was ap­pro­pri­ate to use the word on Mon­day, Duke said based on the treat­ment of pub­lic ser­vants it was one of the ways to get his mes­sage across.

He once again re­peat­ed his con­cern that de­spite an­nounce­ments of salary in­creas­es for On The Job Trainees, CEPEP and URP work­ers and the min­i­mum wage, pub­lic ser­vants saw no in­crease for six years.

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