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The "N" Word

So today I heard on Hot 97, a very popular Hip Hop station here in NYC and chastising Governor Andrew Coumo for using the "N" word.  He was quoting a NYT article https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/12/opinion/columbus-day-italian-american-racism.html that called Sicilians the term "N*&^@# Wops".  

Hot 97 morning host DJ Envy was livid about this and called Cuomo a racist and should never utter the word.  

My question I ask maybe shouldn't even be a question for Caucasians to answer but I will ask anyway.  

When is it OK to use the N word?

Chris Rock says never, others let it slide in the locker room in the case of  Richie Incognito and Riley Cooper.

There seems to be a great divide on if it is acceptable to use at all by white people.

Over the years instead of direct quoting the word it has turned into the "N" word for me so I get the social cues.

This is a very sensitive subject so tread lightly with quoting and such and be respectful in your opinions.

Here is an article from The Root where the article and comments also condemn the Governors words.  https://www.theroot.com/gov-cuomo-comes-for-the-new-york-times-drops-n-word-w-1839069259
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Comments

  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 16,614

    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 33,272
    That question came to my mind last light when I watched the movie "Free State Jones" last week.  Matthew McConaughey uses the "n" word a number of time throughout the film... but it's a movie and it seemed appropriate for that film but I wondered what black viewers thought?  Good question.
    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
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  • Go BeaversGo Beavers Posts: 7,284
    A component of the subject is that you have black people taking control of an aspect of our language, which historically has always been dictated by white men. So part of the reaction is whites having this wrestled out of their control. 
  • dankind said:

    Damm... that was some funny shit
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,773
    Did you do it all for the nookie?
  • brianlux said:
    That question came to my mind last light when I watched the movie "Free State Jones" last week.  Matthew McConaughey uses the "n" word a number of time throughout the film... but it's a movie and it seemed appropriate for that film but I wondered what black viewers thought?  Good question.
    I do know that Spike Lee has been adamant about not using it when it comes to Quentin Tarantino.
  • eddieceddiec Posts: 3,346
    brianlux said:
    That question came to my mind last light when I watched the movie "Free State Jones" last week.  Matthew McConaughey uses the "n" word a number of time throughout the film... but it's a movie and it seemed appropriate for that film but I wondered what black viewers thought?  Good question.
    I do know that Spike Lee has been adamant about not using it when it comes to Quentin Tarantino.
    He must have said it 50 times during the 'Bonnie Situation'.
  • A component of the subject is that you have black people taking control of an aspect of our language, which historically has always been dictated by white men. So part of the reaction is whites having this wrestled out of their control. 
    That is putting the context into racism then.  White men not wanting to hear what he can say from the black man is pure racism and is cut and dry.

    What is being discussed is it ever OK to use the word?  Coumo quoted a NYT article.

    People also take umbrage that he used "the hard R" which I actually think is silly because the quote was talking about when Italians were immigrants in 1800's and I'm pretty positive no one at that time was going around saying the word slangly with an A at the end.
  • cincybearcatcincybearcat Posts: 14,574
    Interesting question...personally I don't feel comfortable with it at all.  Don't like hearing it in a movie (though I understand), in a song (less understandable), or in person.  It's an ugly word to me. 
    hippiemom = goodness
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 48,136
    edited October 2019
    It is never ever okay for non-black people to use it IMO. I think black people can work out for themselves if or when it's okay to use it, but from my perspective, it is a 100% no-go for everyone but them.
    Post edited by PJ_Soul on
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • PJ_Soul said:
    It is never ever okay for non-black people to use it IMO. I think black people can work out for themselves if or when it's okay for them to use it themselves, but from my perspective, it is a 100% no-go for everyone but them.
    It is literally the only word that has been demonized by the american people.

    No other racial slur gets this status of "non negotiable" .

    Jews have been persecuted the longest in the world and the word Kyke doesn't get a fee pass but it isn't lambasted as much or to get a hyphen and say the K-word.
  • KatKat There's a lot to be said for nowhere.Posts: 4,404
    I say it's never ok. It's such a horrible hate word and has no place in any conversation. I grew up hearing it from bigoted people where I lived and couldn't stand it. I'll never feel differently about it; I don't care who tries to own it. People deserve more respect.
    Good discussion topic, thanks.
    Falling down,...not staying down
  • Kat said:
    I say it's never ok. It's such a horrible hate word and has no place in any conversation. I grew up hearing it from bigoted people where I lived and couldn't stand it. I'll never feel differently about it; I don't care who tries to own it. People deserve more respect.
    Good discussion topic, thanks.
    I wish we had more African Americans here on the board to weigh in, but like I said in the initial post I don't know if the discussion works without input on whom it directly effects because the situation that I directly used was of a person merely quoting an article.
  • cincybearcatcincybearcat Posts: 14,574
    Kat said:
    I say it's never ok. It's such a horrible hate word and has no place in any conversation. I grew up hearing it from bigoted people where I lived and couldn't stand it. I'll never feel differently about it; I don't care who tries to own it. People deserve more respect.
    Good discussion topic, thanks.
    I wish we had more African Americans here on the board to weigh in, but like I said in the initial post I don't know if the discussion works without input on whom it directly effects because the situation that I directly used was of a person merely quoting an article.
    Yup I agree. Would be kinda an important perspective to have ;)


    hippiemom = goodness
  • Go BeaversGo Beavers Posts: 7,284
    Personally my reaction will depend on the context it’s used in. I don’t really take issue with black people using it, and the idea that when used in art it maintains it as theirs and can’t be stolen by whites, say as in blues music. It’s definitely tricky for whites to pull off. I’m not sure if it’s worked since John Lennon did it 40+ years ago. 
  • Ledbetterman10Ledbetterman10 Posts: 14,267
    edited October 2019
    I’m not sure if it’s worked since John Lennon did it 40+ years ago. 
    It worked because that’s a great song. It’s worked on South Park too. Worked on Chappele’s Show as well with “The Niggar Family.” If it’s a part of art, and it’s used cleverly, it can work. But there haven’t been too many other instances of it working. 
    2000: Camden 1, 2003: Philly, State College, Camden 1, MSG 2, Hershey, 2004: Reading, 2005: Philly, 2006: Camden 1, 2, East Rutherford 1, 2007: Lollapalooza, 2008: Camden 1, Washington D.C., MSG 1, 2, 2009: Philly 1, 2, 3, 4, 2010: Bristol, MSG 2, 2011: PJ20 1, 2, 2012: Made In America, 2013: Brooklyn 2, Philly 2, 2014: Denver, 2015: Global Citizen Festival, 2016: Philly 2, Fenway 1, 2018: Fenway 1, 2

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  • Personally my reaction will depend on the context it’s used in. I don’t really take issue with black people using it, and the idea that when used in art it maintains it as theirs and can’t be stolen by whites, say as in blues music. It’s definitely tricky for whites to pull off. I’m not sure if it’s worked since John Lennon did it 40+ years ago. 
    One in a Million, G N R but the reason they don't play it live was because of the term "fagget" used in the song.  The biggest protests came from the gay community.

    As for Lennon that was a long time ago and you could say a lot of things back then that you sure can't say now as well as how you could act back then too.
  • I’m not sure if it’s worked since John Lennon did it 40+ years ago. 
    It worked because that’s a great song. It’s worked on South Park too. Worked on Chappele’s Show as well with “The Niggar Family.” If it’s a part of art, and it’s used cleverly, it can work. But there haven’t been too many other instances of it working. 
    All art references shouldn't be brought up.  They seem to get a free pass.

    I've never heard that Lennon song before and reading the lyrics sung by a white guy would be pretty brazen in todays climate and wouldn't fly.
  • OnWis97OnWis97 St. Paul, MNPosts: 3,490
    “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan.  Great song.  And Dylan may get some benefit of the doubt given his prior history of singing about race.  But I don’t quite understand why he used the term in that song.
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  • OnWis97 said:
    “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan.  Great song.  And Dylan may get some benefit of the doubt given his prior history of singing about race.  But I don’t quite understand why he used the term in that song.
    Would it fly today?

    Just read it and I don't think so either.
  • Ledbetterman10Ledbetterman10 Posts: 14,267
    edited October 2019
    I’m not sure if it’s worked since John Lennon did it 40+ years ago. 
    It worked because that’s a great song. It’s worked on South Park too. Worked on Chappele’s Show as well with “The Niggar Family.” If it’s a part of art, and it’s used cleverly, it can work. But there haven’t been too many other instances of it working. 
    All art references shouldn't be brought up.  They seem to get a free pass.

    I've never heard that Lennon song before and reading the lyrics sung by a white guy would be pretty brazen in todays climate and wouldn't fly.
    Not all art should get a pass. If you’re saying “The "N" Word” for no other reason than to say it, that shouldn’t fly. 

    As for Lennon, don’t just read lyrics. Listen to the song. And check out his explanation for the song (and a performance of it) in the video below as well. If it was an artist of such renown (Springsteen maybe?) made this song today, I think it could work. There’d be some backlash (there’s backlash for everything these days it seems). But there was backlash for Lennon as well. 

    Post edited by Kat on
    2000: Camden 1, 2003: Philly, State College, Camden 1, MSG 2, Hershey, 2004: Reading, 2005: Philly, 2006: Camden 1, 2, East Rutherford 1, 2007: Lollapalooza, 2008: Camden 1, Washington D.C., MSG 1, 2, 2009: Philly 1, 2, 3, 4, 2010: Bristol, MSG 2, 2011: PJ20 1, 2, 2012: Made In America, 2013: Brooklyn 2, Philly 2, 2014: Denver, 2015: Global Citizen Festival, 2016: Philly 2, Fenway 1, 2018: Fenway 1, 2

    Pearl Jam bootlegs:
    http://wegotshit.blogspot.com
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 25,244
    edited October 2019
    I’m not sure if it’s worked since John Lennon did it 40+ years ago. 
    It worked because that’s a great song. It’s worked on South Park too. Worked on Chappele’s Show as well with “The Niggar Family.” If it’s a part of art, and it’s used cleverly, it can work. But there haven’t been too many other instances of it working. 
    All art references shouldn't be brought up.  They seem to get a free pass.

    I've never heard that Lennon song before and reading the lyrics sung by a white guy would be pretty brazen in todays climate and wouldn't fly.
    Not all art should get a pass. If you’re saying “The "N" Word” for no other reason than to say it, that shouldn’t fly. 

    As for Lennon, don’t just read lyrics. Listen to the song. And check out his explanation for the song (and a performance of it) in the video below as well. If it was an artist of such renown (Springsteen maybe?) made this song today, I think it could work. There’d be some backlash (there’s backlash for everything these days it seems). But there was backlash for Lennon as well. 

    Springsteen has enough smarts to not use the word.  Vedder in my opinion wouldn't use it either.  They are both very much on top of current PC things.

    I do agree that there is backlash for everything nowadays and even though there is a difference in using it with an A or the R at the end the word the Cedrick bit rings true, you may be able to use it w your close friends but not everyone else will agree.

    I still don't see that Lennon song getting a pass today, no way.
    Post edited by Kat on
  • No one has actually commented on whether Cuomo was wrong or not for him repeating a quote.
  • pjhawkspjhawks Posts: 10,828
    Obviously it should never be used as a description or as a put down on a personal level.  Personally I don't like that rappers use it so often. using it in songs like that normalizes the word to the buying public. and when that buying public often times are white teens and young white adults you are letting them hear the word on a daily basis. while i understand the artist's artistic expression using it for that audience normalizes it to some extent. you can't argue the word is bad then allow people to hear it on a daily basis in my opinion. 

    movies are a harder case. i think if the word is essential to the story then there is no reason it can't be used.  if it is just being used for gratuitous shock value or an insult though then i don't see the reason to use it in a movie.
  • Ledbetterman10Ledbetterman10 Posts: 14,267
    edited October 2019
    I’m not sure if it’s worked since John Lennon did it 40+ years ago. 
    It worked because that’s a great song. It’s worked on South Park too. Worked on Chappele’s Show as well with “The Niggar Family.” If it’s a part of art, and it’s used cleverly, it can work. But there haven’t been too many other instances of it working. 
    All art references shouldn't be brought up.  They seem to get a free pass.

    I've never heard that Lennon song before and reading the lyrics sung by a white guy would be pretty brazen in todays climate and wouldn't fly.
    Not all art should get a pass. If you’re saying “The "N" Word” for no other reason than to say it, that shouldn’t fly. 

    As for Lennon, don’t just read lyrics. Listen to the song. And check out his explanation for the song (and a performance of it) in the video below as well. If it was an artist of such renown (Springsteen maybe?) made this song today, I think it could work. There’d be some backlash (there’s backlash for everything these days it seems). But there was backlash for Lennon as well. 

    Springsteen has enough smarts to not use the word.  Vedder in my opinion wouldn't use it either.  They are both very much on top of current PC things.

    I do agree that there is backlash for everything nowadays and even though there is a difference in using it with an A or the R at the end the word the Cedrick bit rings true, you may be able to use it w your close friends but not everyone else will agree.

    I still don't see that Lennon song getting a pass today, no way.
    But it’s basically a song that criticizes poor treatment of women. Wouldn’t the liberals of today love that? Or would the use of “The "N" Word” just make that null and void? Like you, I’m thinking the latter...and that’s a fucking shame. 
    Post edited by Kat on
    2000: Camden 1, 2003: Philly, State College, Camden 1, MSG 2, Hershey, 2004: Reading, 2005: Philly, 2006: Camden 1, 2, East Rutherford 1, 2007: Lollapalooza, 2008: Camden 1, Washington D.C., MSG 1, 2, 2009: Philly 1, 2, 3, 4, 2010: Bristol, MSG 2, 2011: PJ20 1, 2, 2012: Made In America, 2013: Brooklyn 2, Philly 2, 2014: Denver, 2015: Global Citizen Festival, 2016: Philly 2, Fenway 1, 2018: Fenway 1, 2

    Pearl Jam bootlegs:
    http://wegotshit.blogspot.com
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 22,315
    Not my place to say, being a Wop-Mick-Spic myself.  ;)  Feel like I can really only comment on those three.
    My place is not to use the N word.
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • pjhawkspjhawks Posts: 10,828
    i am surprised people in this thread are spelling the word out.  you know this can be googled right?
  • KatKat There's a lot to be said for nowhere.Posts: 4,404
    edited October 2019
    I can fix that. Ok done. Let's not give the Google Machine ugly words to find here. Thanks all. 

    Post edited by Kat on
    Falling down,...not staying down
  • Ledbetterman10Ledbetterman10 Posts: 14,267
    edited October 2019
    pjhawks said:
    i am surprised people in this thread are spelling the word out.  you know this can be googled right?
    What would someone say if they googled it?

    “Ledbetterman10 (whoever the hell that is) spelled out the word “The "N" Word” in a discussion about the word “The "N" Word.”

    I’m using it in proper context of the discussion and putting quotes around it when I type it...so I don’t see what’s so surprising. 

    And before someone inevitably asks, yes, if this was a real-life discussion instead of an online message board, or if I was using my real name, I’d likely say “the N-word” because someone would somehow (and stupidity) try to use spelling it out it against me.

    Edit: It’s moot now. The mod doesn’t want the google machine finding ugly words like that so she edited it. How considerate. 
    Post edited by Kat on
    2000: Camden 1, 2003: Philly, State College, Camden 1, MSG 2, Hershey, 2004: Reading, 2005: Philly, 2006: Camden 1, 2, East Rutherford 1, 2007: Lollapalooza, 2008: Camden 1, Washington D.C., MSG 1, 2, 2009: Philly 1, 2, 3, 4, 2010: Bristol, MSG 2, 2011: PJ20 1, 2, 2012: Made In America, 2013: Brooklyn 2, Philly 2, 2014: Denver, 2015: Global Citizen Festival, 2016: Philly 2, Fenway 1, 2018: Fenway 1, 2

    Pearl Jam bootlegs:
    http://wegotshit.blogspot.com
  • pjl44pjl44 Posts: 6,556
    No one has actually commented on whether Cuomo was wrong or not for him repeating a quote.
    It seems completely unnecessary to me, so I understand why people would be upset. Then again his brother thinks it's on par with "Fredo," so maybe this family is just a little more comfortable throwing it around than most


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