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Who Has The Right To Say The “N” Word?

Submitted by on May 25, 2012 – 12:10 pm3 Comments
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In your opinion, who has the right to say the “n” word?

I’m listening to a recent interview I did with French Montana on my Invasion Radio show with DJ Green Lantern (Hip Hop Nation, Sirius/XM). French uses the “n” word very frequently and he’s Moroccan. Yes, that’s an African country but no, he’s not Black. From what I know, he’s of Arab descent. Yet another person of Arab descent, DJ Khaled, comes under constant blast for using it. Khaled is of Palestinian descent. Is French’s use of the word condoned because of the land his family is from rather than his actual ethnicity? In this case, it appears so.

Then there’s a recent discussion the ladies of The View had regarding journalists and media using the word when reporting stories. Sherri Shepherd told Barbara Walters she can’t even stomach her saying the word, reportage or not. Barbara, in earnest, told Sherri she’s truly confused by how to handle the sensitivity of the issue when reporting the word as part of a broader story. Watching their roundtable, I thought about my immediate hip-hop experience. For example, if I’m interviewing the new artist Young N***a (yes, he exists) I’ll have to call him “Young N-Word” because I refuse to ever say the word. Obviously the artist himself and his minders haven’t thought this far ahead in his career (or perhaps, simply don’t care).

The “n word” debate is a long-ranging one and as we discuss it more and more (especially as it pertains to the hip-hop generation) its varying elements are further revealed. These discussions are crucial and must continue, and I welcome them as an opportunity to dissect, educate and grow. Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject?

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