Phil Mushnick may have boldly used the N-word to make a suggestion for the new name of the Brooklyn Nets, but it seems we almost ignored the rest of his offensive rant. Yes, I hate it when the N-wo rd is used by them and us, but that’s not my major issue with his rant.
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To remind you–Mushnick said:
“Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N*****s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B*****s or H**s. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!”
So Mushnick went all the way. Not only did he suggest the offensive name, he thought the team logo should be a gun and the cheerleaders be b****** and h***? If you ask me, that’s the worst part of it all.
Yes the N-word stings, but to equate an entire culture to guns, b****** and h*** just because Jay-Z–an urban mogul–partly owns the team is the definition of a n*****–ignorant. I wouldn’t be quick to call Mushnick a racist. However his use of the N-word doesn’t make him one, it’s his misunderstanding of urban culture as a whole and misusing a reference just to get a rise out of the public.
His ignorance isn’t without merit. Hip hop does glorify a lot of the wrong things–drugs, sex, objectifying women, using the N-word, gangster life and the like. And Jay-Z has not been exempt in all of this, but his rugged image as a hip hop artist is separate from his polished image as a businessman and should be respected as such.
While I do think Mushnick’s point had legs to stand on; it eliminates the fact that Jay-Z, like many people, is multifaceted and one part of his life shouldn’t be judged in the way that Mushnick judged it. It’s like saying just because Tyler Perry owns his own studio, that when lunch is served, it should always be fried chicken, collard greens with watermelon on the side. Jay-Z may be a key influencer in the music industry, but he is not responsible for all urban culture, therefore making Mushnick’s b*****s, h**s and 9 mm suggestions all moot.
While Mushnick’s being criticized everywhere from Twitter to blogs and even major publications, he’s standing by what he’s said. I respect that the man isn’t backpedaling, but boldly replied via Bob Blitz saying:
Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don’t call black men the N-word; I don’t regard young women as bitches and whores; I don’t glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand…..Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N—ers?”
Jay-Z profits from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture and I’M the racist? Some truths, I guess, are just hard to read, let alone think about.
(Same column I provide support for Amar’e Stoudemire at a time when everyone in town is ripping him to shreds. That was my LEAD, too, but what does that matter?)
However, just because I respect his willingness to stand by what he’s said, doesn’t mean that I respect Mushnick. Here’s a few things about Mushnick’s response–for one, yes, Jay-Z does glorify weapons and drugs in most of his songs, but why the correlation with that part of his career to the ownership of an NBA team? Another thing–yes, Jay-Z does indeed profit from sustaining stereotypes of black American culture, but that’s because he raps about the life he knows. It’s his truth, Mushnick, not yours. Oh and lastly, just because you wrote in the piece that you support Amar’e Stoudemire doesn’t automatically grant you forgiveness. What, we’re supposed to be supportive of you because you said something nice about another black man? Think again Mushnick because it’s clear that you weren’t during the writing of your initial rant.
What do you think about Mushnick’s bold and sarcastic response? Let’s discuss on Twitter @Rhapsodani.
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