Black leaders are calling on the entertainment industry to stop using the “N” word, a move in theory that I support wholeheartedly. Do I think that the entertainment industry gives a damn? Absolutely not, but it makes for great news clips and if one didn’t know any better they’d think we were really doing something here. But in actuality, Blacks would be foolish to expect an industry that is only concerned with making money and lots of it to voluntarily comply with the request of a few Black leaders when there’s millions of dollars to be made.
The N word is profitable, let’s face it.
How do I know? Because every Tuesday millions of us disperse to our local music stores and support artists, many of whom are Black, that in their lyrics degrade women and use the N word freely. In we fact, we expect to them do it, that’s what we want and that’s why they’re rich.
To expect record companies, who are raking in millions each year off the N word to voluntarily give that up is irrational. The only way we’re going to make sweeping systemic changes in the way the N word is used is if we force it economically and quite frankly I don’t think we really want to do that.
In order for change to be made that would mean that we would have to stop listening to the artists that we love so much. It would mean that we couldn’t support films where the N word was used, no matter who’s starring in it. It would mean the boycotting of radio stations that play songs from artists who use the N word. No more buying designer clothes from artists who use the N word. No more buying concert tickets for artists who use the N word and of course watching BET and MTV would be out of the question.
Are Blacks really ready to give up the N word? Because the only way it’s going to happen is if we effect their bottom line but alas, we’re too busy making their bottom line.
I’ll be the first to admit that I love hip-hop. However, my love for hip-hop does not mean that I turn a deaf ear to its use of the N word and homophobic and misogynistic lyrics like so many of us often do with the disclaimer, “I like the beat not the words.” That’s a cop out, plain and simple.
And let’s be clear, we are the same group of people that liked R. Kelly’s beats so much that we turned a blind eye towards the very blatant proof that he was engaging in at best questionable activities with minor girls and put him and his new album on top of the charts.
We should not be in the business of asking other people to do something that we aren’t even willing to do ourselves.
I think Black people are just fine with the N word. Sure, we may get riled up when a white person uses it, but can we really when most of use it everyday in our daily conversations.
Consider this, Black people went from referring to each other as “brothas and sistas” to nigga’s and bitch’s and sometimes worse.
Until the majority of Blacks are willing to make a conscientious effort which requires a lifestyle change in regards to the N word, it will continue to be used not only by Blacks but by other races as well.
So if the Black leadership wants to challenge someone, they should start at home with Blacks first. Challenge Blacks to let go of the N word and other derogatory terms that we use so freely when referring to one another. That’s the real challenge.