Ni**as in Paris FOR REAL- Gwyneth Paltrow part 2
Goodmorning! Yes, it’s 3pm in New Orleans but my sleep schedule is all the way off so 3pm is my 8am and my bed time is at sunrise.
If you don’t know, this is part 2 of the Ni**as FOR REAL- Gwyneth Paltrow story. If you missed part 1, you can read that here.
Now that most of the initial, surface level issues have been dealt with in part 1, let’s dig deeper into the comments and into the use of the word ni**a in its many forms and spellings. In my head, I do use the word nugga to address other people besides just black people. The same way all humans randomly address some females as women, some as ladies, and some as girls is the same way I use nugga to address other people besides black people. Other blacks who do use the word as loosely as I do, can see the use of the word equal to the use of words like “dude” and “chick.” Each word, not just ni**a, can be just as offensive to the person it addresses depending on the person. The word ni**a when used by a white person carries offensiveness, the history of slavery and the power whites had over blacks. I think many whites who want to control or assert their will on the words use easily overlook these facts.
I don’t directly address everyone with the word ni**a and I don’t allow everyone to address me with the word. As far as I’m concerned, when using the word toward somebody you aren’t comfortable with or 100% sure that you can use it on or around, it’s best to see the word as a curse word. Your friends might allow you to address them as “dawg” or address you as a “bitch” but you can’t just call anybody either one of those words. It’s offensive. When I explain to white people the use of the word ni**a in the black community, I try to take away the racial element and compare its use to something more general because I feel like it can be easier understood.
Even after explaining, most who don’t understand, will never understand. They will never understand partly because they can’t and partly because they just don’t want to. There is the personal use of the word ni**a and the general use of the word. When it’s just you and someone else, you can say whatever you both have verbally or non-verbally agreed on is personally okay. If the word is used too loosely in a more general, public manner it’s easy to offend someone else with its use. It’s also easy to associate the negative history of the word “nigger” with the user instead of the colloquial use of the derivative. When you are in public or a public figure, what you do is perceived completely different. What you do sets a public standard and is not just about you but about the issue as a whole.
@Moon Pi brings up an interesting issue. Personally, I don’t have a problem with people rapping the lyrics to songs in their personal time and space. I couldn’t control that even if I wanted to. The point where the issue gets interesting is when and where to recite lyrics word for word. I’m not just talking about the word ni**a but any explicit or offensive lyric in any song that can be offensive. Would you recite any explicit song lyric in public? If you’re a Christian but there’s a rock song that you like that says “Every church in the world can go to hell” would you recite it at anytime just because it’s in a song? If you like gangsta rap, would you recite the lyrics at your place of work? Just because something is in a song doesn’t make it right for you to say it at anytime, especially when you know it will influence your perception and cause controversy.
If someone I know recites lyrics using the slur and I’m not comfortable with them doing so, I wouldn’t physically harm them or anything. I’d talk to them and see exactly what their thoughts are on the use of the word and the history associated with it. The same goes for if they directed the slur at me but in an unoffensive, ignorant way. I’d let them know what I prefer and talk it out with them. If someone I don’t know directs the slur at me in a negative way then I would probably respond with a f**k you but other than that, I can’t force anyone to stop using the word. Most people have to decide for themselves when and why they should or shouldn’t use the word. Most people also have to decide why would they want to use the word ni**a, especially when they know they shouldn’t.
For more practical examples, look at how Eminem is still one of the best white rappers and best rappers in general, all without using the word ni88a in his lyrics.
This proves 3 things
1. Rappers can make “cold,” successful raps without using the word.
2. Using the word is a choice, the same as choosing to use curse words or not.
3. Eminem respects the standards set in place for usage of the colloquial and original word.
Look at how the group KARMIN respects these same standards for usage of the word and gets more love from the rap/hip-hop community, less controversy, more popularity, and more respect because they didn’t use the word EVEN when reciting rap lyrics that explicitly used the word ni**a. Not to mention their skill and their respect for the culture goes a long way with their likability.
Now there are certain situations where the usage by non-blacks is accepted more than protested. Look at Drake and DJ Khaled for example. Their immersion into the hip-hop/rap culture definitely helped in how the rap community perceived their usage of the word. With Drake, I didn’t even know he was Jewish but even when I did, his skill as an artist and his relation to the culture allowed me to accept his usage of the word.
Going back to the top of the page, look at this comment from @Lady Mykel. It’s hard to figure out exactly what this user was trying to say. It’s interesting that the number of “thumbs down” is equal to half the number of “thumbs up.” Maybe the users who “thumbed down” the comment didn’t like the idea of being called a ni**a? Maybe the users who “thumbed up” the comment felt the first 3 sentences held the most honesty and truth. Either way, this user’s line on looking up the origin of the word made me do a little digging. In finding out more about the origin of the word ni**er, I was able to use the comments to bring about the real issues with the rap and black culture’s use of the word ni$$a. Make sure to realize that to the rap community, ni**er and ni**a aren’t the same words though they seem to be interchangeable.
Part 2 was
lightweight and late but tune into the final installment, PART 3, tomorrow to find out what I discovered. Tizzo!