Sometimes, as a writer, I get a little sick of having to report the repeated and desensitized usage of racism that plagues our society. I’ve been feeling like our world is regressing when it comes to the color lines that seem to get bolder. A young Black man gets shot and killed by a White and Hispanic neighborhood watch captain and the tragedy ignites a racial conversation that’s never quite found a resolve. Another conversation that’s followed the Trayvon Martin tragedy’s lead is the use of the word, “n*gger.”
Here’s my take on it. Yes, as Black people, we sometimes use the word as a term of endearment, punctuation and even a term of hate, but it’s ours. It belongs to us. No, White people, you cannot say it–at least not around us. Use it all you want around your White friends, but don’t let the poison-soaked words escape your lips when someone in the room has more melanin than you. It’s ONE word that we simple request you just not say around us. Is it really that difficult to comply to this simple request? Is the word so damn tasty that you need to feel it in your mouth?
These are the questions I want to ask people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Tim Allen and many of the other White celebs who feel like it’s their duty to open up the word into their culture in an acceptable way. We will never accept you using it. Your ancestors used it enough and met their quota. You’re good.
Recently, Tim Allen–you know that loveable dad from “Home Improvement” thought that racism didn’t apply if “n*gger” slipped from his lips:
“I’ve had this argument on stage a million times. I do a movie with Martin Lawrence and pretty soon they’re referring to me, ‘hey, my nigger’s up.’ So I’m the ni**er if I’m around you guys but seven feet away, if I said ni**er, it’s not right. It’s very confusing to the European mind how that works, especially if I’ve either grown up or evolved or whatever, it literally was growing up in Colorado, with Hispanics and Anglos, that’s all I remember.
In Webster’s old dictionary the word ‘ni**er’ means unemployed and indigent dock worker. That’s one definition. So I said, (to my brother) in that case … he lives in Boston and he’s not employed … so you’d be a ni**er. And he goes, yeah. If my brother told me not to call him a dingleberry in front of my mother, ’cause I knew it pissed him… pisses me off. As soon as Mom left, and I wanted to piss him off? I’d say ‘dingleberry, dingleberry, dingleberry.’ So if you’re around a word to be problematic for you and low intellect or uninvolved people find that out, they’re gonna call you ni**er all day long ’cause they know you don’t like it.
You want to take the power away from that word so that no one is offended by it,” he added, telling a 50-year-old joke by Bruce about how President Kennedy could defuse slurs by using them to describe Jewish, Italian and black people in his cabinet. ‘If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist, then how can ‘n—–’ be bad coming out of my mouth?’”
His logic seems as if he’s saying that if everyone is allowed to use the word “n*gger,” then it won’t bother anyone anymore. What part of the game is that? The word holds a heavy weight from the torture of our ancestors when it spills from White people’s lips. In all honesty, I still feel the sting when my brothers and sisters say it. But at least, coming from them, there’s no venom there.
Oprah recently stated in an interview with Parade Magazine that the word holds too much power and that if you want to be her friend, you’ll strike it from your vocabulary. “You cannot be my friend and use that word around me. It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. … I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.”
Truer words never spoken. When Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Riley Cooper threatened people at a Kenny Chesny show, saying that he would “fight every n*gger here.” The comment cost him his job, his pride and his respect in the sports community. I want to know–was it worth it? This question isn’t just for Cooper. It’s for all of the White folks out here who feel this term is so important that they need to have on-going conversations about how they can’t use it, even though we do. Is it?
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Check Out This Gallery Of Celebs Who Have Used The N-Word!
Celebs Who Got in Trouble for Using the N-Word
1. Quentin Tarantino
Ouentin Tarantino had people up in arms recently after he used the N-word to explain the high usage of the N-word in his film “Django Unchained.” (PR)
2. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen in 2005 called his ex-wife, who is a white lady, the n-word during a heated argument between the two. (PR)
Old Eminem lyrics surfaced that read “All the girls I like to b@#e have big butts/ No they don’t, ‘cause I don’t like that n____er sh%t I’m just here to make a bigger hit” had people really upset with the rapper. (PR)
4. Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Dr. Laura Schlessinger was giving advice on her radio show about interracial dating when she reportedly dropped the N-word 11 times. (AP)
5. Duane “dog” Chapman
Duane Chapman was recorded telling his son’s then black girlfriend she was a n-word during a long tirade. (PR)
Nas tried to name his 2007 CD “N***er” but after a lot of backlash the rapper was forced to pull the title.
7. John Mayer
Mayer once said black people love him so much that he has a “n____r pass”. Well, people didn’t love him that much because many fans turned against the singer.(PR)
8. Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers during an incident at an airport reportedly used the N-word so many times that United Airlines banned him from flying with them again.(PR)
9. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez got in trouble for saying “n___as” in her song “I’m Real.” (PR)
10. Michael Richards
Michael Richards’ infamous stand-up where he said “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a f___ing fork up your a&$” and other things had people sending death threats to the Seinfield star.(PR)
11. Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton, while dancing with her sister to a rap song said “we’re like two n____rs” was videotaped and posted on YouTube before it was pulled.(PR)
Oprah blasted rapper Jay-z for his nonchalant use of the N-word in his songs but he defended the usage saying “we disarmed the word.”
13. Gwyneth Paltrow
People were upset with the blonde actress after she tweeted “Niggas in paris for real” while attending a Jay-z and Kanye West concert. (PR)
14. Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses rockers were in hot water back in the 80s for their lyrics in one song that read “Police and n***ers, that’s right/Get outta my way/Don’t need to buy none of your gold chains today.”
15. Paula Deen
A former employee accused Paula Deen of using the N-word during a 2007 catering event. Deen denies the story. (PR)
16. Kim Zolciak
Former “RHOA” star was talking about the rap group N.W.A when she said “N***** with Attitude” which quickly had people reminding her she had no right to use the word. (PR)
17. Jesse James
Jesse James reportedly told then wife actress Sandra Bullock “I was told that you slept with a n***er.” (PR)
18. Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin professed his love for Jay-Z and Kanye’s song by tweeting: “I love that song N*GGAS IN PARIS!I love Kanye!!” followed by “Kanye and I are doing a song called N*GGAS IN MONTAUK. My album is called MY BEAUTIFUL PALE TWISTED FANTASY.” Let’s just say people were not amused with his comments. (PR)