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Current time: December 10, 2019, 10:34 pm

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[Serious] Singing the N-word
#1
Singing the N-word
Before going to sleep this afternoon, I was lying there in bed playing on my phone and occasionally looking up at the television that the boyfriend was watching. I have never seen the show, though I have heard of it, and honestly it just does not appeal to me to want to watch it (Dear White People) even after having seen a controversial scene that has prompted me to make this post.

In the show, there is a college party with a mixture of individuals. At one point, they are all dancing and singing along to a rap song that not only has the N-word in the title but is used constantly by the rapper in the lyrics.

The black people who heard the white boy sing the N-word along with the music informed him that he should not use that word. Eventually, the argument devolved into the white boy being called racist by the black people while the white boy was defending himself because he was merely singing along to the song.

I don't hate to say this, but I have to agree with the white boy on this. There is a difference between singing along with a song that contains the word and using the N-word maliciously against an individual of darker skin tone. In my humble opinion, the black people at the party were out of line and being emotionally illogical.
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#2
RE: Singing the N-word
(November 11, 2019 at 10:05 am)Fierce Wrote: Before going to sleep this afternoon, I was lying there in bed playing on my phone and occasionally looking up at the television that the boyfriend was watching. I have never seen the show, though I have heard of it, and honestly it just does not appeal to me to want to watch it (Dear White People) even after having seen a controversial scene that has prompted me to make this post.

In the show, there is a college party with a mixture of individuals. At one point, they are all dancing and singing along to a rap song that not only has the N-word in the title but is used constantly by the rapper in the lyrics.

The black people who heard the white boy sing the N-word along with the music informed him that he should not use that word. Eventually, the argument devolved into the white boy being called racist by the black people while the white boy was defending himself because he was merely singing along to the song.

I don't hate to say this, but I have to agree with the white boy on this. There is a difference between singing along with a song that contains the word and using the N-word maliciously against an individual of darker skin tone. In my humble opinion, the black people at the party were out of line and being emotionally illogical.

It is not a matter of free speech, it or even cultural appropriation. It is a matter of that white person knowing and accepting the history of that word.

The usage in that song was not for white people to say, "You use it, so why can't I?" That is not how that works.

It certainly isn't against the law for a white person do do what he did, no, but it still shows ignorance as to why they should not. 

The scene wasn't written for whites to falsely play victim. It was written to demonstrate a white person's ignorance.

A better argument if you want to make one, isn't defending him singing it. A better argument would be pointing to blacks who say blacks shouldn't use the word.

Just because one wants to claim they merely like the song and they have no ill intent, does not erase the the history of that word.

As a rule of thumb, it is always best to know your audience before doing something.

You can find some blacks that might even say, "Let him, he merely likes the song". 

Problem is in a huge setting like that in any case, it is probably not a good idea anyway because you cant assume 100% of your audience is going to agree with you. And that script demonstrates that.

Point is, it isn't as cut and dry as you want to make it. Life is complex and humans are individuals, so it is best to know your audience as individuals.
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#3
RE: Singing the N-word
A stupid tempest in an even stupider teapot.  The notion that you can't include an offensive word while singing along to a song that someone else wrote is idiotic on the face of it.

If white people saying the n-word in this circumstance is offending black people, then maybe black people should stop including that word in their songs.

Fuxxake.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#4
RE: Singing the N-word
(November 11, 2019 at 11:25 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: A stupid tempest in an even stupider teapot.  The notion that you can't include an offensive word while singing along to a song that someone else wrote is idiotic on the face of it.

If white people saying the n-word in this circumstance is offending black people, then maybe black people should stop including that word in their songs.

Fuxxake.

Boru

Precisely.

Took more than ten non-related responses before someone on another forum came to the same logical conclusion.

Thank you, Min.

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#5
RE: Singing the N-word
There is so much to unpack here. On the one hand, it should go without saying that the N-word has an extremely loaded history, being used as a weapon to dehumanise an entire group of people. And I can certainly see the appeal of reclaiming a word (and if there's any comparison here, I make wisecracks about autism and mental health from time to time, and I've lived with the latter for the majority of my life and the former for all of it).

And yet, on the other hand, singing along to a song with the N-word in its lyrics, I think the context is clear that it's not the same as using it as a weapon. To be absolutely clear, when I'm singing along to rap songs, I try as much as possible to replace it with "Bigga" (as in Thomas) just to be on the safe side. But pouncing on white folks using it in that context, especially with this in mind:



Kenny, I love your work, and I especially love your ability to stay big without falling into the traps of falling completely out of touch, dying, or becoming a total jackass, but by bringing up a white girl to sing "m.A.A.d. city" and biting her head off for singing along to the lyrics you wrote, it just looks like you're trying to set us up to fail, just like we spent about four centuries doing the same with you.

If the context matters this little, then this needs to be the default attitude towards the N-word:



Anything less just renders the struggle meaningless.
I was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad.

[Image: 161109-WlllQ6UaSpqY.png]

Trump 2017: We're all nihilists now.
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#6
RE: Singing the N-word
(November 11, 2019 at 10:05 am)Fierce Wrote: Before going to sleep this afternoon, I was lying there in bed playing on my phone and occasionally looking up at the television that the boyfriend was watching. I have never seen the show, though I have heard of it, and honestly it just does not appeal to me to want to watch it (Dear White People) even after having seen a controversial scene that has prompted me to make this post.

In the show, there is a college party with a mixture of individuals. At one point, they are all dancing and singing along to a rap song that not only has the N-word in the title but is used constantly by the rapper in the lyrics.

The black people who heard the white boy sing the N-word along with the music informed him that he should not use that word. Eventually, the argument devolved into the white boy being called racist by the black people while the white boy was defending himself because he was merely singing along to the song.

I don't hate to say this, but I have to agree with the white boy on this. There is a difference between singing along with a song that contains the word and using the N-word maliciously against an individual of darker skin tone. In my humble opinion, the black people at the party were out of line and being emotionally illogical.

If I say the N-word in public, even in singing, and there were black people around telling me to stop using that word, why on earth would I want to keep being an inconsiderate dick about it and ignore what this word really is for them? It's ok, you can survive without having to say the N-word in front of them.

Personally, I don't even say it in private because I don't have this urge to repeat lyrics from rap songs that include that word.
"Our attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately ... But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And ... we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion." - Malcolm Gladwell
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#7
RE: Singing the N-word
(November 11, 2019 at 1:02 pm)Grandizer Wrote:
(November 11, 2019 at 10:05 am)Fierce Wrote: Before going to sleep this afternoon, I was lying there in bed playing on my phone and occasionally looking up at the television that the boyfriend was watching. I have never seen the show, though I have heard of it, and honestly it just does not appeal to me to want to watch it (Dear White People) even after having seen a controversial scene that has prompted me to make this post.

In the show, there is a college party with a mixture of individuals. At one point, they are all dancing and singing along to a rap song that not only has the N-word in the title but is used constantly by the rapper in the lyrics.

The black people who heard the white boy sing the N-word along with the music informed him that he should not use that word. Eventually, the argument devolved into the white boy being called racist by the black people while the white boy was defending himself because he was merely singing along to the song.

I don't hate to say this, but I have to agree with the white boy on this. There is a difference between singing along with a song that contains the word and using the N-word maliciously against an individual of darker skin tone. In my humble opinion, the black people at the party were out of line and being emotionally illogical.

If I say the N-word in public, even in singing, and there were black people around telling me to stop using that word, why on earth would I want to keep being an inconsiderate dick about it and ignore what this word really is for them? It's ok, you can survive without having to say the N-word in front of them.

Personally, I don't even say it in private because I don't have this urge to repeat lyrics from rap songs that include that word.

Should you also self-censor when doing a public reading of, say, Huckleberry Finn or To Kill A Mockingbird?  The argument can be made that by saying (or singing) the words as the artist wrote them is a nod to artistic integrity.  I don't consider myself qualified to re-write Twain or Drake or Snoop Dog.

And where does it end?  Plenty of other words are offensive to plenty of other people.  Are you going to change 'Injun Joe' to 'Native American Joe'?  Several of Shakespeare's plays contain punning references to the word 'cunt'.  Should we bowdlerize these as well?

But what the OP boils down to is, 'It was OK for him to write it, but it's not OK for you to say it.' 

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#8
RE: Singing the N-word
I believe black people should be more worried about those that that don't say the word but go around it silently supporting racism. To scold someone that was just singing along a somg that has it in the lyrics is a bit too much. But then I am not someone that likes rap music.
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#9
RE: Singing the N-word
(November 11, 2019 at 1:16 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(November 11, 2019 at 1:02 pm)Grandizer Wrote: If I say the N-word in public, even in singing, and there were black people around telling me to stop using that word, why on earth would I want to keep being an inconsiderate dick about it and ignore what this word really is for them? It's ok, you can survive without having to say the N-word in front of them.

Personally, I don't even say it in private because I don't have this urge to repeat lyrics from rap songs that include that word.

Should you also self-censor when doing a public reading of, say, Huckleberry Finn or To Kill A Mockingbird?  The argument can be made that by saying (or singing) the words as the artist wrote them is a nod to artistic integrity.  I don't consider myself qualified to re-write Twain or Drake or Snoop Dog.

It's all situational and a matter of tact. It's about knowing what and when to say things (if at all). Will you die if you don't sing the N-word out loud in front of black people?
"Our attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately ... But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And ... we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion." - Malcolm Gladwell
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#10
RE: Singing the N-word
"All the animals are equal. But some are more equal than others."
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