*It’s controversial in so many ways, striking arguments between moguls such as Oprah and Jay-Z. It’s the use of the “N” word, and it’s striking a new debate.
This seemingly casual term used throughout the black community was once a word chanted by white supremacists around a black lynched body. It was a word designed to make African Americans feel inferior and keep them separate from the white world. So should we be referring to one another as “N” this and “N” that? It’s questionable.
How about a young white artist tossing the term around?
That’s more than just questionable … it’s completely out of the question.
Kreayshawn, a rising white female rapper, released a video for her song “Gucci Gucci” on YouTube. But it’s not the song that has people talking; it’s her usage of the “N” word. She blames her usage of the word on her Oakland, California upbringing, stating that it’s commonly passed around through people of opposite races. But does this justify her choice of words?
Despite what she claims is the normality in her home in Oakland, California, she’s dealing with matters broader than just her native city. And therefore, when posting the “N” word on her public tweets that are read by people everywhere, she has to think of the bigger picture: to people like me living in other cities who don’t know her personally, she seems to be a white girl using the “N” word lightly. And that’s generally not considered ok.
Black artists use the “N” word in their music, especially when talking about real life-changing situations such as their past involvement in gang activity, drug trafficking, and loss of friends through violence. They, being black and having gone through a lot, are given a certain leniency when using the term. But a young white woman tossing the term around as if she were black and went through the same thing that we as a people have gone through? It’s not so justified.
So, the debate goes on. My stand is that the “N” word should not be used by anyone; black, white, yellow, or blue, but it holds a special restriction to those who aren’t black because the word was used against blacks for so long. All I can say for this rising artist is to choose your words wisely so that you are able to appeal to all sorts of people, everywhere.
Kyla Rhymes is an up and coming teenage writer based in Los Angeles.