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To Morgan Wallen, Others: N-Word Off Limits to Non-African-Americans, Period

by Todd A. Smith

 

No N-Word, No Excuses, No Exceptions


White people, or other people outside of the African-American community, cannot use the N-word, ever.


Now that we have that established and out of the way, let’s discuss the controversy of people outside of the African-American community using the N-word.


Some might say since rappers use the N-word so freely, then all people should be able to use it and African-Americans show their hypocrisy when they do not chastise rappers for the use of the racial slur.


First and foremost, people have to realize that rappers do not speak for all African-Americans.


Many African-Americans of a certain age and station in life, never really liked rap music in the first place.


Therefore, to use the rap excuse shows a lack of knowledge concerning the African-American community, most notably the fact that we are not monolithic.


The controversy of White people using the N-word has made its way back into the headlines after country music star Morgan Wallen has seen his music canceled as a result of him using the word.


In a video, possibly filmed by a neighbor, Wallen returned home and referred to a member of his entourage or group as a N-word.


Wallen apologized and did not make any excuses for using the racial slur, telling TMZ, “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back.”


Nevertheless, the apology did not stop radio stations and Wallen’s record company from taking swift action against the country music star.


The New York Times reported, “By morning, Spotify, Apple and some of the largest radio conglomerates in the country had removed Wallen from playlists and airwaves, while the singer’s record label and management company, Big Loud, announced that it would ‘suspend’ his contract indefinitely. Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group that distributes Wallen’s releases in partnership with Big Loud, said it supported that decision, adding ‘such behavior will not be tolerated.’”


However, many critics on social media have blasted the double standard of African-Americans, especially rappers, using the N-word freely versus White people losing their job or career if they use it.


Why should one group get to use it and another group cannot?


Simple.


While African-Americans should also cease using the N-word, being a part of a certain group allows a person to get away with something that they would not be able to get away with if they did not belong to that particular group.


Growing up as children, my older sister and I would complain about our parents’ child-rearing techniques.


We would say things about them out of anger that we wish we could take back now.


I would say critical things about my parents.


In addition, my sister would say critical things about my parents.


Sometimes we would disagree with each other and take our parents’ side over the sibling’s side.


Nevertheless, it was O.K. for my sister to say something critical about my parents and vice versa because those were our parents.


If someone outside of our family said something negative about my parents, I would probably fight them on site because they cannot criticize my family the way I can because they are not family.


As a college student at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., I joined the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.


The big brothers, or old heads as we called them during our neophyte year, might chastise and criticize the new boys and we would accept that constructive criticism with love and deference.


However, if another fraternity, or even chapter, tried to do the same thing that our big brothers from the chapter did, it would probably result in a misunderstanding because they were not a part of that brotherhood or family.


White people can never get away with using the N-word, no matter how many African-American friends they claim to have or how much they claim to love N.W.A or Tupac, because they are not a part of that African-American family.


Furthermore, to be a part of that African-American family you have to be born into it by blood.


You cannot become a part of the family through marriage or any other connection.


No in-laws get invited to the family cookout when it comes to use of the N-word.


It will forever be off limits to people not tied by blood.


But what about the N-word that ends with an “a” versus the N-word that ends with the hard “er?”


The answer to that age-old question is that there is no difference between the two pronunciations.


Stereotypically, many in the African-American community have mispronounced many words by cutting off the last letter or two, especially the letter “r.”


In the 1986 movie “Under the Cherry Moon,” Prince talked about buying a Sam Cooke wrecka at the wrecka stowe.


Just because Prince’s character Christopher Tracy mispronounced the words record and store does not change the meaning of the words.


A wrecka stowe is still a record store no matter the mispronunciation.


A doe is still a door.


Fowe is still four.


And n***a is still n***er.


Bad grammar and bad English does not change the English language.


And people outside of the African-American community have to realize that bad judgment is still bad even if they use hypocrisy as an excuse.


Yes, African-Americans sometimes use the N-word.


And yes, sometimes family becomes critical of other family members.


But if you are not African-American or a part of one’s family, different rules and different results will apply.

 

And when it comes to the N-word, the difference might be losing a job even though others get away with it with no repercussions.


This article was published on Friday 05 February, 2021.
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