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Dr. Boyce: Russell Simmons Defends Gwyneth’s Use of the N-Word….Don’t Do it Man

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

I recently read an article in which Russell Simmons defended Gwyneth Paltrow in her use of the word “n*gga” to define her time in Paris with Jay-Z, Beyonce and the rest of her “n*ggas.”  Gwyneth, like most “down-ass” white girls who get very comfortable around black folks, caught herself slipping into territory that only the bravest white people go.

I stand with Russell in that Gwyneth is not entirely to blame.  At worst, we can blame Gwyneth for not being sensitive enough to realize that Jay-Z and Kanye are not ambassadors of the black community who’ve been given creative license to sell and market the word n*gga to audiences around the world.  Most of us aren’t getting any of the royalties being paid to Kanye and Jay-Z from their decision to sell out.

Now, back to Russell, Gwyneth, Jigga, and N*gga.  Russell, a man who has far more money than I’ll ever have, went out of his way to defend Jay-Z and Kanye as “poets” who deserve the creative freedom to express themselves in ways that they see fit.    I find it interesting that black self-respect must be consistently sacrificed for the sake of creative freedom.   I have to openly wonder if the Asian community would be happy to hear about “Chinks in Paris,” or if Jews would support a song called “Hymies in Paris.”  In fact, I doubt that Russell could ever release such an album without having his power ripped out from under him.

Says Russell:

I have NEVER told any artist not to use that word or any word in my life and I never will; a poet can choose their own words to describe whatever they want in their art. 

Mind you, Russell’s careful selection of words like “art” and ‘poet” are wired to pre-empt the inevitable battleground that emerges when we realize that the minds of millions of black children are being destroyed, all so a bunch of grown men can have access to their precious art.  The difficult reality that Russell and other proud “n*ggas” in commercialized hip-hop must face is the fact that their music does little to elevate the masses, and only serves to make black boys think that it’s cool to stay high and drunk, have sex with everything that moves, kill each other on the street, disrespect black women and waste their money popping bottles at the club.

Of course, little Paquan in the hood doesn’t have to choose Jay-Z and Kanye as his role models, but since all of his friends at school are influenced by the artists they hear on the radio every single day, he is constantly bombarded with messages that serve as a personal blueprint to his own self-destruction (get the joke?  Notice that I used the word “blueprint”).

So, in the quest to protect the rights of “poets” to pursue their “art,” we are promoting the very worst that the black community has to offer.  Toxic thinking and behavior is being packaged and exported to predominantly white audiences around the world so that individuals like Russell Simmons and Jay-Z can get rich.  As a result of this deformed re-branding of the black community, white women like Gwyneth Paltrow think that we are all a pack of n*ggas who want to hang out with her in Paris.  In fact, being a n*gga has become so cool that Gwyneth wants to be a n*gga too.

Let’s be clear:  Much of the commercialized hip-hop that we hear on the radio cannot be readily defended as art.   The core of the artistic value of music is undermined when a music industry executive walks in the room and says, “Kanye, don’t rap about Jesus or living in the suburbs.  Just call yourself a n*gga and refer to black women as b*tches.  That’s how you can sell more records.”  It is at that point that the so-called “art” being produced in the studio turns into nothing more than a corporate commodity being sold to those who love seeing black people put on monkey minstrel shows.  The mouth full of gold teeth, tattoos up your neck and ten gold chains are nothing short of comedic exaggerations of the black male as a hyper-aggressive animal  who will eat and murder other black men on sight.

The bottom line is that commercialized hip-hop is not producing artists.  It is actually producing a whole pack of n*ggas.

So, with all due respect to anyone who wants to sit here and pretend that it’s OK for white people to refer to the black people around them as n*ggas, perhaps it’s time to realign our thinking.  This psychological poison affects all of us, and even I once thought that using the word n*gga was ok to do.  But there was also a point when I realized that it was “n*gga-like” thinking that led me to believe that I should refer to myself and my brother in the most degrading way imaginable.  I then had to accept that my bad habit was not good for the soul of my community.

Russel, it’s time for us to stop thinking like n*ggas.  There are more intelligent and thoughtful ways for black men to reference themselves.  You know it, I know it and so does everyone else.  Let’s get away from selling poison.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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63 Responses to Dr. Boyce: Russell Simmons Defends Gwyneth’s Use of the N-Word….Don’t Do it Man

  1. misslourde Reply

    June 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    NO TRUER WORDS COULD BE SPOKEN…..U would NEVER hear them debase themselves publicly for the world to buy………

    I have to openly wonder if the Asian community would be happy to hear about “Chinks in Paris,” or if Jews would support a song called “Hymies in Paris.” In fact, I doubt that Russell could ever release such an album without having his power ripped out from under him.

    • Thomasenam@aol.com Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      The NAME YOU RESPOND TO IS THE VALUE OF YOUR WORTH. Lets face it; there are a ot of them (regardless of how you spell it) in this world , white black grizzley or gray. This conversation is a direct result of minority thinking. If you think less then you are less. What ever the white man tells you, you believe it , even if it is about you and especially if it is negative.

      I am sure Ms Paltrow knows the history of the word so, my question is WHAT DOES THE WORD MEAN TO HER AND WHAT DOES SHE MEAN WHEN SHE USES IT. DOES SHE CALL HER WHITE FRIENDS NIGGAS?

    • Sun Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Russell and all these Celebs worship the Jews or ELSE.. Lol Move on & who cares, whitefolks see us as animals anyway deep down inside. I had white chicks chase me just so I can entertain them, I guess they wanted me to sing or dance. Look at the NBA and the entertainment BIZ, Spike Lee had it right in “DO THE RIGHT THING” their not Nigs anymore to Whitefolks if your a Celeb. It’s funny how rich Blacks always fall into the same old trap of moving closer to Whites after they make it BIG.
      Tiger said he was insulted after someone labeled him as being Black but when he got in trouble who tried to protect him, now he’s on his way UP again right back into Whities waiting ARMS. Nike & others used Tigers color/talent to make so much MONEY and all that $$$ stays in the White Hood & went to his ex WHITE WIFE. So FUNNY! 100 Million what a pay day, her family must be laughing at that FOOL, he married a NANNY. Nuff said, PEACE

  2. Teshia Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    If being a nigga is real to Jay-Z and Kanye, then them rapping about it is truth…

    Im so sick of talking about this…as a black woman who knows that she isn’t a nigger, nigga, or nigra – we give this one word tooo much power…

    There is a meaning behind it and if you know and understand that you’re not what the word describes… than why be offended. It’s simple… find something else to be concerned about – like the messed up healthcare in this country, the homeless, the homeless veterans, abused children, etc. UGH!

    • Sigh.. Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      She wasn’t calling anyone that name, just the name of the song. Why dont we get more upset with Jay Z and Kanye for writing it? We focus in the wrong things. Gweneth isn’t fixing the economy, healthcare, black boys getting shot and imprisoned, being fatherless, instead of going to college and doing something with their lives. Why can’t we focus on these problems? It’s a name and if we don’t respect ourselves enough to stop saying it to each other and using it it songs, we have no right to make a big desk out of other races doing it. The other posters are right, focus on bigger problems

      • Blossom Reply

        June 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

        I think many people are focused on changing things. Thaere are many organizations and programs that are helping youth every day. But it’s hard to get through to many of them bec they are caught up in an extreme cycle of ignorance and death. How do you approach a young man who is disrespectful, a gangbanger, or even if he is a good kid in the wrong crowd, avoid serious conflict with their sometimes ignorant aggresive parent?
        My 9 yr-old’s friend (who is younger) used to spend a great deal of time with us. She did everything with us- we went to outdoor events together, we spent time in my home doing fun activities, we spent time outside playing jump rope, she even ran errands with us and she would never want to go home; she was like my second child.

        We also went to the library often, and I noticed the child had a great deal of trouble reading. She would often ask me to help her with her reading. I worked with her as much as I could. One day when I took her home, I cheerfully mentioned to her grandmother that the child needed a little help with her reading. The grandmother acknowledged that the child’s teacher said the same thing.
        But why in the heck did I say that?? SMH. The grandmother the next day came to me with an attitude, and told me that her friend who was sitting on the porch, was very offended and blah, blah, blah, and who did I think I was, and that I was saying that the child couldn’t read. Now there is big difference between saying the child needs some help and the child can’t read, isn’t there?? It became a huge issue, and you know what? After dealing with so much nonsense from that family, I had to let the girl alone because I couldn’t deal with any more foolish drama.

        So our problems are not easily fixed. There is ignorant people who are supposed to be elders in our community that are ignorant, destructive, and kill more kids by killing their dreams and stifling their potential, by teaching them destructive lifestyles and habits instead of being helpful, moral, and supportive.

        We also have the racist societal structure and backlash from the racist community that interferes in our progress as well.

    • Phyllis Reid Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      TO DR.BOYCE….A POWERFUL RESPONSE!
      What that bigot said speaks volumes, and Russell doesn’t see it? It rolls off their tongues like water! It is instilled in them to believe they are above us!!
      Russell Simmons has lost his way!
      He actually believes he is ‘on their level’.
      Sorry Brother…you will always be a step or two below whitey,until….WE educate their children! Have you noticed,their children love to be around us!That speaks volumes!!and Yes, I know they read our emails!
      Back, when our ancestors were brought over here as slaves, that white woman didn’t have a clue, how to raise a child. That female slave raised their children!Have you forgotten how that white man could come into a slave’s house and take his woman anytime he wanted her?
      A white man said to my daughter….”We want our girls to lay with the Black man, because our race is dying out”
      Now, do you see why I feel the way I do? You, Russel, are disrespecting your mother when your
      with a white female. Are you doing anything for your mother? You probably are,but all the money in the world doesn’t wipe away what our race had to go through!
      All you Black Males better ‘WAKE UP’.

    • Ron Reply

      June 8, 2012 at 1:26 am

      My Dear Teshia,

      So I guess what you are saying is that…just because you know you are not what someone may call you…you would be perfectly fine with being called a bitch, a whore, etc. etc.? I certainly hope not! Because, you see, many sisters in some pockets of our community have accepted these labels as well! They call themselves these names and let others do the same! I certainly hope you have more self-respect. It’s not cute and it’s not funny. And only those who lack self-respect will accept being labeled as such. Please realize that words and symbolism do matter; it’s all about respect and deserving it! But if you don’t care what you are called, at least be aware of the damage throwing these disparaging terms around does to our children.

    • Waukesha Reply

      August 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

      You are so right I agree and if that person fill that way than that’s what it is… When I was in high school we had this program called L.I.F.E. were they talked to us about the word Nigga or Nigger anyway I was told that it meant that your only 3% of a human being…lol well I don’t see no pieces of human beings walking around here and I damn for sure ain’t 3% of a human being… maybe 3% crazy to punch you in your mouth if a person would disrespect me by calling me other than by my name!

  3. Pingback: Kirsten West-Savali on Gwyneth Paltrow and the N-Word | Kulture Kritic

  4. CAL SATT Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    WOW…! WHEN ARE WE AS BLACK PEOPLE GOING TO WAKE UP, AND RESPECT OURSLEVES A LITTLE BETTER… IT SEEM WE HAVE COME FAR, BUT NOT FAR ENOUGH BRAIN WISE…! I HOPE WE DON’T SLEEP TO LONG BEFORE WE UNDERSTAND WHAT WE ARE DOING TOO OUR YOUTH, OF THE FUTURE…. PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES AND LETS STOP, CALLING ONE ANOTHER THE N-WORD…! CAL SATT

  5. Pingback: Kirsten West-Savali: Gwyneth Paltrow and the Black Folks Who Cried Wolf | Your Black World

  6. Alfreada Kelly Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    THANK YOU DR BOYCE. YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH!

  7. Tonya Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Dr Boyce is on point as usual. It appears that dignity, pride and lack of culture no longer exist within our race and community .

  8. Carrie B Ali Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Okay this is too much…I get it, I’ve gotten since my militant Nation of Islam father began teaching me about the struggle, Jim Crow, discrimination, Civil Rights and Affirmative Action, but I really believe WE give this word TOO much credit. And I don’t know what the Asian community is doing or the Jewish community is doing to keep the mainstream hip-hop from parenting their children, other than parenting their children!! And it’s something we ARE not doing.

    Music has changed, but being a late 70′s baby with parents who had a clue about life and values and morals help me to make my stance. These 90′s babies have NO CLUE of the aforementioned things my father taught me, no concept of Eye of the Prize or The Souls of Black Folk and that is poor parenting and lack of education…we can blame the media as the day is long, but who the hell is purchasing the TV’s in the house and buying iPads and Smartphones? The children suffer b/c their parents make low choices for them. Gwyneth Paltrow repeated the title to a song and everyone is up in arms. Let us not be so distracted by this nonsense that we forget that it’s an election year and we need to mobilize, let’s tweet that. Let us not forget who makes up the highest percentile of the prison population. Let us not forget all the Trayvon Martin’s of the world. N*ggas in Paris has nothing to do with those things…just my opinion.

  9. TJ Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    this is blown way out of proportion the N word was used by a white woman who associates with people of color and everybody all up in a bunch, get over it!!! It wasn’t used in a derogatory fashion, get off of Gwyneth back, leave her alone. the problem with the word it’s become the way to say HI when it never should have. if some people of color want to refer to themselves and their friends as N word that’s their choice, you don’t like it don’t use it. simple

    • Dassah Reply

      August 21, 2012 at 4:57 am

      TJ

      I am a black woman and refer to myself as one but it seems that you see black folks as people of color, if this is so then how would you describe a white person? When a white person is embarrassed they turn red, when they are flustered in the wind they turn pink, when they are sick they either turn a blinding white color or purple. I ask the question again what would you call white people? If you are black and see yourself as a person of color then I say good for you but who gave you the right to call black folks people of color, the black nation is black and therefore called BLACK women, BLACK men and BLACK childern.

  10. Catlover Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I agree with the article 100%. How about having a responsibility to our young people and presenting a better example? How about not contributing to the decay in our communities? How about not glorifying gang and thug life, drugs, and disrespecting women and our people? Aren’t we all supposed to be our brother’s keeper???? To those who argue that rap talks about the reality of SOME people’s life in the ‘hood, why not rap about the system of racism/white supremacy, which effects the black community as a whole, and has been for centuries? That is a reality of all Black people’s life in and out of the ‘hood. It is a reality that effects the lives of all people’s of color around the world. Why not rap about that? They don’t because the music industry (white owned and operated) would not hear of it. They don’t want the Black community to be uplifted and informed. They want it to be degraded, and these sell outs are happy to contribute to it…as long as they are well paid.

    • ilovenaturalhair Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Well said about who truly owns the record company along with rappers telling one aspect of black culture being the dominant aspect in the black community. So many blacks are dugong from covert and passive brainwashed creating a ridiculously double standard impossible to overlook. Most blacks have been lulled into believing foolishly calling themselves a racial slur rooted on blood can be repurposed now as a term of endearment because a black comedian or rapper uses it in a non racist way. That type of thinking undermines hard fought self respect of blacks who don’t use any variation of the derogatory word. And stupid blacks not having a problem with a non black person using it wreaks of historical ignorance and complacency.

      • nmbr8 Reply

        June 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

        well said! i totally agree with Dr. Watkins. jz and kayne are not representatives for the black community and their chase after the dollar regardless of how it is aquired is disgusting!

  11. OverIt Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I too am over this. If we are going to point fingers at anyone then it should be Russell, Kanye and Jay-Z. She repeated the title of a song, if they did not think of themselves Niggas and did not want to be referred to as such then they should not have used it. Cut her some slack, as a black woman, I can remember white teenagers that hung out with us during high school, that genuinely thought of themselves as niggas. And because we knew who we were it did not bother us that they used it. I am not nigga but I have had some nigga moments in my lifetime. As have all races. In my opinion, it is not a skin color but a behavior.

    • Waukesha Reply

      August 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Right on!!! I grew up with whites and hispanics that use that word too, because they felt that way and yes we all have had those moments.

  12. law Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I wonder will Russell consider it “art”,when someone calls his daughters,bitches,whores,or niggas.

    • Waukesha Reply

      August 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Ok now that’s funny I wonder too lol or even to rap about it and title it as a song!!!

  13. Jacqueline Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    This is just opening up the door wider for whites to call us by the N word and then say”they say it all the time in their music and in public.” These brainwashed coons need to go somewhere and sit down.They have made their money by setting us back 400 years. So of course they see nothing wrong with the word. But I wonder what they would do if they were called a N to their face by someone white in their high class circles?

    • Prinzez Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Can you say that again!! Thank you!!

  14. Where is the N Word Commercial? Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    i noticed the nba is doing a commercial to bring awareness on how using the word gay to describe someone in sports is not cool.

    the nba is 90%, how about a commerical about the n word not being cool?

    interesting how the gay community has the power to pressure the nba to create a commerical due to kobe and others calling players gay during games.

    wake up black people..where is our commercial or movement to stop the n word?

    it’s peculiar to me how we were successful in the movement to no longer refer to ourselves as negroes or colored..but we cannot stop the usage of the n word! i wonder why?

    do we really control the word or is the word controlled by the man? who really controls the n word in rap music..the artist or the label?

    • ilovenaturalhair Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Exactly!!!!!

    • bobby g Reply

      June 10, 2012 at 1:55 am

      You know, I thought the same thing. But its not a gay thing. But a white thing. Gay people call each other days but they don’t tolerate it from someone bit gay or not a close friend in jest.

  15. Mace Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I see being a rapper today no different than being a drug dealer. You are selling poison to your people and profiting off of their ignorance and misery. As a former drug dealer myself, who was once caught up in the same mindset, I don’t judge them, but I do condemn their actions and know that they should not do what they do.

    As a drug dealer is held responsible for his/her actions for selling death to our people, so should these rappers be for selling death to our people. It is all the same, they are selling a mind altering/influencing product that causes our people to practice a lifestyle that brings death, violence, poverty, ignorance, disease, and sickness.

    A ‘poet’ should be able to say anything they want to say, but everyone, especially those with the power of influence a persuasion over others, have to be tenable for what they allow to leave the gate of their lips.

    • ilovenaturalhair Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Brilliant analogy!!! You are accurate regarding faulty reasoning of the right to use this word. I knew as soon as this song and the predecessor az N.W.A. made this racial slur more prominent in rap, it was only a matter of time before others followed suit. It’s the perfect brainwashing method. That word us poison and anyone who users it is internalizing ths toxic word are brainwashed. Nigger is nigga, nicca, nigrum, nucca, or any other variation it’s not a term of endearment. Blacks using it are nothing more than unwilling pansies for racist, bigots, and other people who do not respect blacks. I will never ussr that word as endearment because I know the real bloody history begging out and no amount of variation will ever change it.

      That vicious word was NEVER ours and out will never be OURS. Out cracks me up how blacks using the n- word defend three weight fitted them and their non black friend to say it. That is a perfect example of brainwashing.

    • nmbr8 Reply

      June 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      you are on point mace. well said. talking about selling your soul to the devil that is how i look at it.

  16. Urban Ledjen Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    When we stop. They’ll stop.

    • ilovenaturalhair Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Oh no you didn’t?!!!! There is no ” we” because most of us who are smart enough NOT to use this word are being drowned out by the buckdancing slaves ones on the media who do use it. The ignorant slaved minded blacks use it, so don’t get lazy minded on this issue with such a simplistic response.

      Lol @ ”we”.

  17. Lottie Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Does anyone really care what Russel Simmons is saying these days. He should invest in educating hisself and stop chasing white woman who think he’s a n…..
    He is obviously looking for publicity from anywhere he can get it!
    As for Gwenth (who)? I don’t think she matters either ~ we know that the n word doesn’t apply to us so don’t give it power!

  18. Ifa-El Akbar Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you Dr. If this is art then see how far you get calling Jews something derogatory. Jay-Z and Kanye would not get out of Jerusalem alive. Being the progenitors of Slaves we have to have people like Russel Simmons, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson… How can a person defend something they grew up hearing? When you grow up hearing it you say it because you thought it was okay not because you actually understand it. Any real slavery has to have “casualites of the slave mentality” or we would not know how inhuman Slavery was. I saw the scar on my dads chest from open heart surgery and it was a tesatment that somethng serious happened to him. The Nword is forever the epitaph of sorrow and pain and White peoples senser of entitlement to destroy and impose their will of our African ancestors. America is ahistorical so do not expect to get the power of what his/hersotry can give wthout self motivated research. A term of endearment is only that it does not add to one it connects you yo the person that called you that, there is not advancement. The nword as term of endearment is from a story of a Black Women about to be raped by two white guys so she cuts her wrists to show that she was willing to hurt herself to keep them from having power over her. The two white boys were so shocked that they took off. However the Black girl was left bleeding to death. Next day the boys come with two more white boys and the girl open her wounds again just to keep them off of her. They are now in control of her actions not her. She can only use that ploy once to have the power to use t again is to be controlled and ridiculed as insane. We are reopening that wound every time we say the Nword to each other and the white boys have long been gone. Now the girl just open up her wounds whether the white boys are around or not walking around like a corpse bleeding to death instead of facing her feelings of powerlessness. (this story is old so I might have missed something but the point is she was not supposed to keep hurting herself it was a one time way to escape not a life time of self mutilation) The Nword is self mutilation for not reason)

  19. marcus davis Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Black folks have nothing but themselves for causing this damage to black communities and future generations we,ve had comedians ,actors,god dam rappers bandying the word about like its going out of style how retarded is that ,me personally i don,t deal with dumb asses who don,t have the common sense to see the damage that they,re doing i simply refuse to acknowledge their stupidness.

    • marcus davis Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Black folks have nothing but themselves to blame for causing the amount of damage to black communities and future generations we,ve had comedians ,actors,god dam rappers bandying the word about like its going out of style how retarded is that ,me personally i don,t deal with dumb asses who don,t have the common sense to see the damage that they,re doing i simply refuse to acknowledge their stupidness.

    • jimmydeanbakker Reply

      June 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      I’m baffled by what you’ve written, and then you had the audacity to write it twice. Using the n-word isn’t the cause of our decaying communities; it’s the simple fact that we worship the almighty god of money that has broken the backs of our people. Even doctor Boyce lamented that his wealth can’t compare to Simmons’ wealth, as if that needed ti be said to correct a wrong. How much money will it take for you to kill me? How much money will it take for you to march little black boys and little black girls into gas ovens? What is the price tag of your dignity, humanity, or even your own life? When black people start to matter to black people, our communities will no longer suffer. We’ll never let our children listen to this Hip Hop nonsense, when black people matter to black people.

      • Realilty Chick Reply

        June 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm

        Well said!

      • nmbr8 Reply

        June 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm

        @jimmy i totally agree. it is so obvious that we are full of self loathing and toxins when the love is present it replaces the poison. the constant negative potrayal in the media and other outlets takes its toll.

  20. Blythe Dhia Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    What is up with everyone talking this mess about the word not having power? it is a powerful, hateful and disrespectful word. obviously, if so many Black people are affected, then the word still holds weight. As a Black woman who has been called the “n-word” by a jewish woman before, i can tell you that the word is indeed hurtful- just as i’m sure it was to the thousands-millions of Black people in history who heard the word before they were whipped, hanged or fire-hosed. What ever happened to referring to each other as “brother” or “sister?” Shoot- i’d even take “Negroes in Paris.” It’s mind blowing how ignorant we’ve become.
    And Kudos to Dr. Boyce for the following passage about whether the Asian community would be happy to hear about “Chinks in Paris,” or if Jews would support a song called “Hymies in Paris.” In fact, I doubt that Russell could ever release such an album without having his power ripped out from under him.

  21. Etania Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Mel Gibson disspelled the myth of white entertainers not being racists. So I am not surprised by this. I am sure Gwyneth Paltrow is no different. Just because they hang out with you, does not mean they like you! Its obvious that these entertainers such.as Jay-z, Beyonce, The Dream, and Kanye West feel privileged to be in this chics presence, because if they.didn’t they wouldn’t have let her disrespect them like. Which goes to show these “minstrell” shows shouldn’t be given the time of day bythe everyday Black person. They should be looked at exactly how they are, “Circus Acts”.

  22. Lynn Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Dr. Boyce, thank you so much for calling Rusell Simmons out. You did a brilliant job of deconstructing his typical, go-to assertion that rappers are simply poets rapping about their experiences, and that the content they produce is protected speech or somehow above criticism because it’s “art”. You did an excellent job of pointing out that rap ceases to be “art” — and the rapper an “artist” — the minute a record company executive tells them what they can or can’t put in the rap in order to make money. That was an excellent, excellent point — one I haven’t seen anyone else make in all the years that Simmons has been periodically trotting out this faulty line of reasoning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  23. Realilty Chick Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    We are living with a new type of slavery…and we thought lincoln freed the slaves! well guess what the slaves have now enslaved themselves out of ignorance! It is disrespectful to our ancestors! I agree with Blythe Dhia when she said ” As a Black woman who has been called the “n-word” by a jewish woman before, i can tell you that the word is indeed hurtful- just as i’m sure it was to the thousands-millions of Black people in history who heard the word before they were whipped, hanged or fire-hosed” I bet our ancestors are rolling in their graves!!!!!

  24. Laura Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I could not agree with you more Dr Boyce

  25. ilovenaturalhair Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Ifa, Jimmy, Blythe, Etania, Lynn, Jacqueline, Tanya, and Miss Lourde, thank you for your responses. Dr. Boyce, I couldn’t agree with you response to Russell more on this issues. I’m so sick and tired of this faulty line of reasoning of how most blacks say if to so it makes if ok for non blacks to say it our that it’s art. In who’s delusional fantasy world?

    My people truly suffer from lack of knowledge when they justify using a word, the most destructive racial slur in the history of derogatory slurs as becoming a term of endearment and ok to use under the context of art. Asinine.

  26. AMAZINGGRACE Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Chinks in Paris, Hymies in Paris. Well, Dr. Boyce you finally hit a nerve. Yes, I agree with you. It shows American Africans are not disciplined. The two other groups mentioned are very disciplined.

    They would never allow anyone in their ethnic group to make millions of dollars out of disrespecting their own group with a hostile racial word. Enough with “A Pass” on our creative artists. Find other words to show your creativity. If you are Truly An Artist, and creative, you can chose better words in the English Language with no problem.

  27. AMAZINGGRACE Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    And to be clear, I am African American. That word is so powerful it can make you angry and cry when someone of another race calls you a Nigger. The use of that word was to call my race, “Cheap Laborers-Slaves”. The word niggardly means, chintzy, skimpy, tigh-fisted, ungenerous. My people are so far from that it amazes me that we don’t fight more to stop our own from the use of this dastardly abomination to describe a group of people. You bet, J-Zay and Kanye are far from cheap. But nevertheless, they feel a kinship to this,
    Atrocity of a Word.

  28. Terry Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 4:42 am

    OK, WE GET IT! WE KNOW WHO WE ARE , WE KNOW THAT OUR PEOPLE DIED AND FOUGHT HARD TO KILL WORDS THAT DEMEAN US. SO F#$%* RUSSEL SIMMONS , AND KEEP BEING BLACK . WE DON’T EXCEPT IT , NEVER WILL AND ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR OUR RESPECT JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO FOUGHT BEFORE US.

    • Blossom Reply

      June 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

      It is not easy to ignore Simmons and people like him who propogate negativity. Their words cause death, misery, and ignorance in some of our communities.

  29. Suga Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    The point is they had fun hanging out in paris, whats the point of addlive…its dum. White people need to let go of the word, and move on. Hanging around black people doesnt give them the right to call them names or label a song with bad language in it to determine the good time they had with black people that suppose to be their friends…..They know what their doing, they are hoping the person ignores it and let it fly…When hanging out with white people, black people dont use bad labeling towards them…or bad named songs..If so people would hear about it…This is stupid at best..This is one reason that black people dont hang out with white people,they have loose lips…and who have time for disrespect and drama, that they have builded up inside.I am just saying…lol…

    • nmbr8 Reply

      June 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      correct! hanging out with whites at work is mandatory but i prefer to choose the folks i hang out with on my free time. elimnate or minimize your time in the presence of haters.

  30. I speak the TRUTH !!! Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    This n-word situation is real sad to me, If only we,our youth and children knew the real history of our race and the goodness from which we came you would not use the N-word or allow anyone to call you the N-word. Alot of us dont know our history, we come from kings and queens and we as black people we made alot of positive contribution to this world that we should be proud of,but we’re to busy killing each other and calling each other niggas and bitches. The record industry not owned by us have mentally and ecconomically enslaved the artist knowing the only way to a record deal is by using derogatory words or talk about sex because according to the industry sex sells and it’s sad, I hope we as a race can wake up and unite so we can become a strong race!!!

  31. michael young Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Russell is old enough to know what that word implies. But this is not about the word with him. This is a about money. The Godfather of hip hop can’t be against the artist who practice this craft, and two of the biggest in the world.
    Got to keep it real! You feel me?!

  32. kevin adams Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 3:25 am

    NIGGER….NIGGER….NIGGER….NIGGER!!!!! Now there!

    I know more non-black folks that meet the definition of the word actually…

    My ethnicity is caucasion, and I was raised during the 60′s & 70′s in a mixed race home consisting of black & caucasion human beings.

    Words cannot define anyone….they never have!!!!!

    Think of black heritage, and how the spirit of so many heroic black people never allowed words to define them.

    We are missing the most beautiful thing of all when we use words as crutches…

    That beauty consists of thousands upon thousands of black people that trancended words and evil deeds to flourish!

    Black people are not words, they are human beings with hearts and minds…and dreams of better things to come.

    Just like people of other colors, it is not different.

    Talking about oppression and slavery and bullshit that occurred long ago is important in the sense that we must not forget..and it must never happen again.

    Talking about those things for other reasons make you small, and the evil words/deeds bigger.

    What about Japanese folks that had thier lives taken from them and were thrown in camps? What about the Chinese and others working to build the railroads, etc.

    What about the American Indian folks that are still being shit on today? Where are all of the other ethnicities that should be fighting for them?

    I call bullshit on the whole NIGGER thing…And do not even tell me about being white and not knowing what I am speaking of…

    My life got really strange in the 60′s when my white mom married my black step dad. I went from lily white ozzie and harriot to jet magazine and geri-curl scenerio instantly! lol

    We are human…that is that! Start preaching about things that matter, like things that make us stronger!

    Heck, the history of this Nation is riddled with terrible injustices…

    But, nobody talks about the folks in Africa, etc. that sold thier own into captivity. Talk abpout that shit a little huh?

    As long as we pay attention to stupid words coming from the mouths of stupid people…we all lose.

    Black heritage and Black future is so, so totally above that.

    • Waukesha Reply

      August 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Thank you! This is coming from a black LESBIAN female, I live my life free and happy I don’t care what a person say I live my life to the fullest and the word nigga really doesn’t mean S**T TO ME I WILL ALWAYS KNOW WHO I AM AND WHAT I AM HERE FOR WHICH IS TO LIVE @ MY GRANDEST NOT BY SOME OLE BACK IN SLAVERY TIME WORD THAT EVERYONE HAVE USED BEFORE AND THEN SAY THAT THE WORD IS HURTFUL…HEY WHATEVER YOU THINK ABOUT THIS WORD THAT IS WHAT YOU WILL ATTRACT AND THAT’S WHY THE WORD IS STILL HERE THIS VERY DAY 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Blossom Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I have long felt that Russell Simmons is full of crap. He is selfish and thinks about his money and fame. He is the “Massa” of our time, and he wants to remain a kingpin. Genocide is not a problem for him. Death and ignorance is not a problem for him. As long as he is paid, he will watch our young Black men kill each other, rape their women, and fight for drug turf in the streets.

    I am sick of the rich of any color who exploit people for their money, drinking their blood for the sake of their own gain. How can people sit and watch so much death and not be moved in their heart to stop it?

  34. Blossom Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 7:30 am

    And furthermore, there are more stories about Black people to be told. There are a million success stories of great engineers, architects, executives, modern-day inventors. Tell that dang story.
    When do we stop talking about the ghettos and thug life and move to action to make them a thing of the past??

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  38. Geneva Poole Reply

    June 15, 2012 at 5:03 am

    I truly believe your thoughts are the words that come out of your mouth and you practice what you pr

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