On yesterdays Black Bloggers Roundtable (from NPR), the issue of the N-Word came up. As expected, one of the panelists defended the use of the word by Black Americans, rappers in particular. The discussion centered around rapper NAS. I don't own one Rap CD, and have been Rap free for the past 17 years or so. And I can't stand the stuff today... in fact, I think I may be allergic. That being said, I don't support the use of the word by these rappers. No, the N-word is not the most crucial problem facing urban America, but the liberal use of the word is a reflection of a much deeper problem within so called "Black America" regarding cultural values....or the lack thereof. When a culture allows this kind of thing to go on freely, what does it say about that group or culture?
The Blogger on yesterdays News and Notes program who gave his support to the word was Christopher Rabb of Afro-Netizen. Rabb commented:
“Nigger is (an acceptable) part of the Black dialect”.
Says who.. Christopher Rabb? The Rappers? Bull.... That kind of comment lumps all Black folks together in something that I don't think all would agree with. Rabb doesn't speak for me... and I doubt that he speaks for the other 36 million + Black folks in this Country.
Here is my response to this issue given to the blogger Field Negro... who made similar claims as the blogger above. (I am still a regular reader of the Field Negro...but we don't always have to agree).
You stepped into a mine"Field" with this one.
You already know how I feel.
Why continue making excuses for the use of this word...especially for those who are capitalizing from it?
You are like Michael Meyers...who recently said that nooses are no big deal... that they aren't harmful. The same historical context as "Nigger", etc... so should we allow nooses? Perhaps Katt Williams was wearing his noose as a symbol of Black pride (a symbol of endearment). Will nooses become a new fashion statement in a few years? I can see Black folks walking around using the excuse that "hey... by wearing these nooses we are taking the power away from the symbol". Hmmm.
Come on Field. As Rikyrah stated so well... you are a travelled, educated & cultured man. It would seem that you would know better.
And you say Hip Hop is a world wide phenomenon... that's the problem Field. It just means that these negative images are spread around the world even faster. The fact that Hip Hop is a world wide phenomenon means that it's the perfect trojan horse for spreading this poison. The fact that this stuff is mainstream is really what's killing our image. It means that young kids in Europe repeat the word "Nigger" (God Bless em) not really understanding what the hell they are saying...because they don't have any point of reference or context to draw from...at least not in the way that we have here.