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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Do we teach hate?

You can show and tell someone something, but with the exception of mind control, you cannot dictate what manner they will interpret what they have been shown or allowed to hear. You can show a movie about slavery to a classroom full of students. You may have students who see the movie and think, “Oh my God that’s awful. How could anyone do that to another human being?” At the same time you may have students who look at the movie and see a weaker race being conquered and dominated by a stronger one. Your intent could have been to compel sympathy for the plight of Black Americans and indirectly you could have risen up sentiments of White supremacy. Look at the people you feel sorry for then answer this question, do you think we’re doing ourselves more harm than good by centering our history around slavery and the civil rights movement? You be the judge! Check out the poll on the left.

Written by S.F


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Can I call you a nigga now?


Out of pure disdain for closed minded individuals, I have devoted a substantial amount of time – perhaps way more than I should have - to explaining the use of the word “Nigga” by members of the Hip Hop community. I have had countless conversations that often turned into arguments or heated debates because of, what I felt to be ignorance toward the issue. When I mention the word “ignorance” in reference to those who stand in opposition to my position on the matter, I know many people may assume I side with those that are adverse to the use of the word “Nigga” I can assume this because these are the individuals who deem those that advocate the use of the word “Nigga” to be ignorant. Such assumptions as “Nigga” being used by members of the Hip hop community as a result of their lacking knowledge of its history, and the belief that “Nigga” derives from the word nigger, are things I view as ignorance for the following reasons; We use fire in many different ways than the cavemen who created it does that make us ignorant to the fact that cavemen created fire? In American history “nigger” is a word that was used to express racism, demean, and degrade individuals of African descent. The Ethiopian word “Negus” is defined as being a title of Ethiopian royalty. Who’s to determine from which the word “Nigga” owes its origin? Contemporary black music often gets connected to ancient African rhythms rooted in our subconscious, is it completely impossible for this occurrence to also take place with words?

ne·gus1 /ˈnigəs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[nee-guhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -gus·es. 1. a title of Ethiopian royalty.
2. (initial capital letter) the Emperor of Ethiopia. look it up

The laws of physics state that energy cannot be destroyed only transformed from one state to another. Words carry energy, the word nigger carries energy, a negative energy that has done nothing but spread hurt and hate throughout American society. The word nigger is a weapon, a gun that has been handed to an American public who have been taught to aim it at Blacks in America as well as around the world and fire at will. They fire that gun because they know it has the ability to kill and do harm because otherwise it would be futile to use it. If the Hip hop community decides to take that gun, melt down the metal, and use it to make spoons, why fight against them to have the word remain as a gun that can be used against us?

If the word “Nigga” is a manifestation of the word nigger, what’s wrong with the transformation of energy going from negative to positive through the process of that manifestation? If we're to say that because something has a negative history it can't be used in a positive manner, then why wear crosses when – according to popular belief - they were once used to kill Jesus Christ and others, why worship Christianity when it was once used as a tool to enslave and as a cause for mass murder during the crusades? Why even refer to ourselves as Black, a color that throughout American history has been associated with everything wrong and is defined as meaning evil, wicked, and sullen? Let’s not forget that there was a time when Africans in America resented being referred to as Black. James Brown came around and coined the phrase “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” After that the word Black wasn’t greeted with as much hostility and today it’s considered a none offensive manner of referencing people of African American decent.

You don’t get pass the pain by burying it, you get pass the pain by healing the wound. The Black politicians and churches are rallying the Black community to attack Hip hop for attempting to heal a wound and at the same time, asking that we forgive and live side by side, peacefully, with those we hold responsible for causing the wound. They show me images of Black bodies swinging from trees and say “Don’t say nigga” the word nigger didn’t do that, some racist White man did, the word “Nigga” doesn’t discriminate against me when I’m applying for jobs, the word “Nigga” didn’t shoot at Shawn Bell 50 times, the word “Nigga” didn’t shoot Amadu Diallo 19 times, the word “Nigga” didn’t kill Robert Stansberry, White people filled with prejudice, racism, and hatred did those things.

For us to say that by eliminating the use of the, now notorious, “N word” as my White friends like to call it, we're coming closer to eliminating the racist sentiments that are expressed through its use is absurd to me. I doubt if all the names I mentioned above heard “Die nigga, die!” before bullets were dumped into their bodies. The officer responsible for murdering Robert Stansberry received no criminal conviction and is still employed by the NYPD to this date, The officers responsible for murdering Amadou Diallo were found not guilty, and the officers who are accused of murdering Sean Bell are still awaiting trail almost a year later. Why are we not still protesting for justice for the families of these victims? Oprah Winfrey toured radio stations trying to persuade radio personalities to sign contracts stating they would discontinue their use of the word “Nigga” A Black couple decided to start up a website called “” calling for the abolishment of the word “Nigger” Why aren’t these same people attacking issues like the public school systems in Black neighborhoods, the incarceration of Black men in America, the aids crisis amongst Blacks in America, and etc. with the same intensity? Besides the idea that the energy they’re spending on banding a word could be put towards a more constructive cause, it also shows a total disregard for our constitutional right to free speech.

People want to just hold to their beliefs without ever questioning whether what they believe in truly makes any sense or brings any positive influence. The word nigga is more so used in the same manner as a pronoun amongst members of the hip hop community/"Hood" and belongs to a dialect spoken by the social group that makes up the Hip hop community. With in that community no one is offended by its use because the intent is well noted to not be derogatory or racist. Since its beginning hip hop has been used to heal and has turned negatives into positives. This was seen with brake dancing where kids would battle in dance rather than gang fights. It provided kids with an alternative means of venting their frustration by providing an artistic channel for venting that frustration and preventing the youth from lashing out violently. This is no different, let us heal.

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything" - George Bernard Shaw

Related readings Hip hop slang; Dialect or just bad English?
Look for part 2 coming soon.


Written by: S.F

Monday, September 24, 2007

Was this man a racist or a realist?

Watch this video and let me know your opinion

If your undecided and need to see more, check out more clips from this Interview @ THEBARBERSHOPBLOG.BLOGSPOT.COM