D. The N-Word at Work Is Never a “Mere Utterance” Because It Can Psychologically Eviscerate Black Workers.

The N-word cannot be dismissed as a workplace “microagression” or “mere utterance,” divorced from its violent racial history of rape, torture, and lynching. Nor can the N-word be downplayed as a “stray remark,” because it wields enough power to cause a domino effect of psychological harm to the target's mental and physical health. The N-word at work transcends microaggression or mere utterance because it lands with violence on the body, mind, and soul and annihilates the wellbeing of the victim.

Linguistic scientists have even concluded that the N-word at work has the power to impose the mental condition of being enslaved upon Black workers. The N-word strips the target of status, control, authority, power, and agency to a degree that the target does not simply work for or with others but, instead, is subordinate to non-Black coworkers. Alexander Brown, African American Enslavement, Speech Act Theory, and the Law, 23 J. African Am. Studies 162 (2019).