March 7, 2008 (Runs 15:59)
Banning the N-Word a CBC Special with Clifton Joseph
Video - Banning the N word

Video - Banning the N word

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There is much discussion of the word Nigger, as the hip-hop music biz has been branded as the sole culprit for perpetuating the life cycle of this degrading label. As Hip-Hop Entertainers (not artist) throw this word around it has become mainstream once again but taking on new heights and form and being exported globally. Black, White Asian, and Latin people of all ages seem to use this word as if it simply means a “Black Person”.

nigger-make-up.jpgThe realty is that the word nigger has evolved beyond its Latin origin identifying peoples of African decent. If it meant just that alone then it would be no different than the word Khemetic, Black or Moor. The issue is that the word has evolved to mean someone less than human and is attached directly to people of African descent. This is evident in the language of the people who originated this word; they did and/or do not say, “He’s a Black Man, send him back where he came from”. They say “He’s a nigger, send him back where he came from”. It is used as a means to disassociate an individual from the human family, thus not worthy of human dignity.

A Word is never just a word. A word is used to convey an idea or thought. Words are specific. Words mean something. For one to say that he/she is using to word as a form of endearment is a cop out; particularly if it is not a word that originated within the community of the people who it is attributed too. The attempt to over use the word as means to dilute the nature of the word just aint gonna happen, it merely makes it pop culture and acceptable to call Black People nigger, with out destroying the negative connotation that it carries. To this day the Black Man is still at the bottom of the global pecking order and is still the global symbol of being “the least of my brothers”. To this day the word nigger is applied only to those who are considered to be the least of my brothers. A white man would not call his Black friend a nigger, but he will be very quick to call a Black foe a nigger.

nigger2godson1.jpgAlthough I am a fan of the artistry of Nas, the self- proclaimed street disciple; I strongly object to his appearance at the Grammies wearing a garment branded “Nigger”. I say this because I perceive Nas to be an intelligent individual who welds the power of influence. Any person who loves them self, and has knowledge of self, would not allow another person to describe them as less than human, nor would they describe them self as less than human. As an individual who has risen to the ranks of a pop culture archetype and is no longer simply a street poet, he has a responsibility to precipitate positive change, not every one can read between the lines and right now the lines are really blurry, my friend you said it yourself, “Hip-Hop is Dead”.

tattoo_thuglife2.jpgThere are two strong arguments that support the use of this word in art form. One is the artistic communication theory perpetuated by the late Tupac Amaru Shakur, that is the philosophy of “Black Jesus” – talk like they talk, drink like they drink, and smoke like they smoke so they can receive your message. The other is to not dilute to word, but to use it in commentary in its negative connotation to express the negative impact that it has “They call me Nigger, ‘cause they want me to pull the trigger”. The later can obviously be accepted, however the first is complex. I accept the philosophy of “Black Jesus” however it can only be effective when executed by skilled practitioners such as Tupac.

The truth of the matter is that at the end of the day the word cannot be banned as we all stand for the principals of free speech. It is possible I presume to Govern the way this word is used as to not allow it to be a vehicle for hate, or a tool to perpetuate downpression as it currently is. However that would take an entire organization and 15 different annual conferences (lol).

As a whole this is an issue of Human Dignity. People treating them selves and their peers with the intrinsic respect that we all deserve. The right to be identified, revered, and treated as Human Beings. The universal right to identify with our divinity as beings capable of creating and perpetuating life and as well positively influencing our environment regardless of age, sex, health status, social or ethnic origin, political ideas, religion, or criminal history. So the real answer is to wise up and not allow other people to give you a label. Love your self, know your self, and label your self.

My name is Ras Unika Tianyvu Tafari (a Prince Who Lights Up for the Head Creator), I aint your nigga.

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