November 29th, 2006 | By Administrator
A group of activists gathered in Los Angeles on Monday (Nov. 27) and called for a boycott of the “n-word” and voiced support for an upcoming NAACP campaign to “just say ‘no’ to the n-word.”
The Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rep. Maxine Waters, comedian Paul Mooney and other African-American leaders held a press conference to encourage people of all ethnicity’s to avoid using the word.
The press conference and call to refrain from using the word comes on the heels of racist statements by white comedian and Seinfeld costar Michael “Kramer” Richards, during a standup routine at the comedy club The Laugh Factory.
Hecklers berated Richards’ routine, which led to Richards using the word n****r repeatedly, during a explicative filled racial tired on the stage, which also made references to lynching black people.
Various rappers from different ethnic backgrounds reacted to the call to boycott the word.
Popular white rapper Paul Wall banished the word from his vocabulary years ago and is supporting the NAACP’s call to ban the word from use in the media and entertainment industries.
“I support the NAACP in their cause,” Paul Wall told AllHipHop.com. “I think the word is offensive for anybody to use. It’s a disgraceful, offensive word that was used to belittle people because of the color of their skin. Its become such a general term, that everyday good people now use the ‘n-word’ in general conversation. Its meaning and definition have evolved, but its roots are still negative.”
Legendary African-American comedian Paul Mooney, who has written controversial material for comedians like Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle, is well known for his using the word in his own comedy routines.
Like Paul Wall and the late Richard Pryor, Mooney has vowed to never use the word again during his routine. “I’ve used it and abused it, and I never thought I’d say this,” Mooney said. “Richards is my Dr. Phil ? he’s cured me.”
The activists are hoping rappers will follow Paul Wall and Mooney’s lead, but may be met with resistance. Queens-bred bilingual rapper Noreaga, who is black and Puerto Rican, had a different opinion.
“Man, Seinfeld was my show and Kramer, he was my favorite character,” Noreaga lamented. “But f**k him. Why run to his aid? There are neighborhoods in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico that look like Third World countries. I definitely don’t plan to change my vocabulary or speech pattern because of this incident. You never hear from these leaders until something controversial happens.”
African-American rapper Chamillionaire is known for his curse word-free, street oriented rhymes.
The Houston, Texas rapper noted the history of the word and explained the word has become a part of general culture.
“Its not just rappers its as African-Americans in general, we do a lot of things that are opposite of past history,” Chamillionaire said. “We wear flashy jewelry and brag like its a trophy, when people in the present and past history would get killed for the diamonds. We promote violence and drugs but complain about violence and drugs. We don’t vote but complain about who is in office. We throw the ‘n-word’ around like its a good thing, when in the past it was one of the most dreadful words. All this stuff has grown to become a part of the culture.”
Paul Wall agreed and while he doesn’t use the word, he is frequently referred to as a n***a by friends and fans.
“I don’t use it because my mother raised me to believe that it is an offensive word regardless of who says it,” Paul Wall explained. “But being that the word is so common, I am referred to by the ‘n-word’ everyday. ‘Paul Wall, n***a you my favorite rapper.’ ‘That n***a Paul Wall got a clean grill.’ Last year in Ozone Magazine, I won the “Realest N***a Award. It obviously was a joke though.”
Political activist, radio host and Hip-Hop historian Davey D. acknowledge Paul Wall’s plight in escaping the word’s popularity and its growing use among various races.
“One thing to keep in mind about the popularity of the ‘n-word’ is that corporate owned media outlets and record labels gave platforms for folks to use that word at will,” Davey D. told AllHipHop.com. “The end result has been everybody feeling they can use it, without the general connotation and association being changed. Sadly, those same outlets are quick to shut down access when these same black folks who like to use the ‘n-word’ come to the table to speak about politics or against Bush, white oppression, Katrina or the War in Iraq, suddenly we get shut down. Suddenly they don’t have platforms or time to hear us speak. When a person or institution makes you believe that you are somehow being empowered while they are simultaneously oppressing you, its called pimping.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson and other activists are planning a series of meetings with TV networks, film companies and musicians to discuss banning the ‘n-word.’
Jackson also called for a boycott of Seinfeld: Season 7, which was recently released on DVD.
“Racism is alive in America and I been all over the world,” Noreaga told AllHipHop.com. “What hurts me the most, is when you have an actor of such stature and he says your a n****r, and I think that’s how he really feels. What also makes me mad is when you got Jesse [Jackson] running to his aid, as if he didn’t mean to say it. Man f**k that motherf***er.”