Friday, September 23, 2005

The Age Old Question

The University of Florida has many people nipping at their newspaper. The student run, Independent Florida Alligator ran an editorial cartoon depicting rapper Kanye West, who proclaimed “President Bush doesn’t care about black people,” pulling out a "race card." Responding is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with “Nigga please.”

More important that the chicken or the egg coming first is whether or not it is okay for non-African Americans to use the n-word. Black people have always stated that it’s an in-house thing that other races will never understand. However, the Alligator states that they are merely discussing a word that is a part of popular culture and that is the purpose of the independent media.

I don’t know who needs to say it…maybe on CNN, NBC, ABC and Fox, like a presidential address. Maybe we need to call on Oprah to announce it or Aretha Franklin to sing it. Maybe Maya Angelou will write it in a poem: it is NOT OKAY for anybody other than a black person to use the n-word. Why? Because it isn’t. Well isn’t it degrading? Yes, but we still use it. Why? Because we can.

Just like women have used the word “bitch” as a term representing power and respect, gays are using “queer” to describe their different way of living, we use “nigga” as a way to identify our roots to a “peculiar institution” that now has us as the most powerful group in the African Diaspora. Most importantly, the rule reaches back to the old hood credo of: I can talk about my momma, but don’t you say nuthin’ ‘bout my momma. It’s perfect logic, folks. Is it valid that someone who doesn't live in your home or community to criticize what you do or say? Do the student staffers at the Alligator have any direct knowledge of African American issues that they can make such blaring comments? And if so, is that prevelant in their news coverage?

So even though I agree with the freedom of the press and their point that Kanye says and does things that aren’t always uplifting to the race, there are certain cultural mores that just don’t allow for that word to be used without being a direct quote in this society. What do you think Condi would say if she is seen being depicted this kind of way?

P.S. A second version of the cartoon was ran the next day as an explaination of what was meant. Both were in bad taste.


At 1:12 PM, Blogger The Urban Author said...

You know, I'm ignant as hell, so I laugh at anything, so I thought the second cartoon was funny, but.... I remember working at Wendy's and saying to my boss, "Boy, that customer was niggardly." She damn near had a heart attack. I think it's funny that to this day, white people get more offended at racist remarks towards blacks than blacks (In my personal experience, at least).

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous belladawn said...

I agree, other races shouldnt use the word nigga, however, i believe thats EXACTLY what condi rice would say 2 kanye! its just a shame that a white dude has 2 point it out!

At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look ya'll. Ya can't tell anybody what they can and cannot say. Period! We don't need double standards coming back around. It wouldn't be good fo us. Stop actin like the victim.


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