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socio-political self-help and stuff

exported ignorance: a repost

in light of the paula deen media blitz, i am sharing something written last year about use of that dreaded n-word… via las aventuras de la gringa negra.

Coming straight outta Asilah...     Morocco, that is.

Coming straight outta Asilah… Morocco, that is.

Hip Hop, we have a problem. Yes. You and me. It seems that you have decided for me and everyone else that looks like me that use of the n-word to refer to us is appropriate. And because you are just so damned universal, the limits that you’ve so-called applied to its use just don’t apply. It is so clear that you have lost your way. When you began, it was about positive social change and having fun – do you even remember “The Message”? But now, it’s become strictly about money, drugs, murder, mayhem and the various words and ways you use to call and “get” the female of the species, so now they don’t even know that they are ladies. Women. Goddesses. Worthy of more respect than you’ve given them. Or yourself. And it’s a damned shame.

Because of your universality, you have a responsibility. A responsibility to teach and uplift and shine light on new possibilities for the billions of downtrodden people around the world. Instead, hip hop has taught boys to show off their boxer shorts from low hanging pants in every country from Costa Rica to Morocco. And little girls, barely the age of eight who don’t speak a lick of English, to sing out “Oh, nah, nah, what’s my name?” And the absolute worst – boys no more than thirteen years old, finding it okay to look at me and say “what up, my n—a.” Yes. Happened in the medina today, here in Asilah.

It literally made me cringe. And I blame you, hip-hop. For believing that you could take the sting out of such an ugly word to describe such a beautiful people, and then being so unconscionably naïve to believe that you could impose rules on who and how it could be used, yet sprinkling the word in every verse of your “songs” and selling this ignorance around the world. Collectively jumping on anyone who uses it who you haven’t “given permission” to use it. And the worst part of all, you’ve failed to teach and/or inform the rest of the world about the history of the word. How it was used to degrade both your and my ancestors. You failed to consider that not everyone around the world is hip to the whole US slave trade and subsequent battle for civil rights. You failed to realize that US history is not the history of the world so teens elsewhere couldn’t even begin to understand the harm they can cause (to others and themselves) by simply opening their mouths and repeating what you said. You’ve effectively imposed the use of that hideous word on people who do look like you yet don’t call themselves or anyone else n—a.


and it goes without saying – if the word can’t be said by one, it shouldn’t be said by any…


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This entry was posted on 2013/06/22 by in political, social and tagged , , , , , , , .

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