The Forbidden Word And Black Cultural Influence
Ordinary whites and celebrities saying the word doesn't demonstrate racism
A viral video emerged last week of a mulleted white man getting knocked out after he called another guy the n-word at a Dallas Stars game.
The bizarre incident was covered as an epic moment when a racist got his comeuppance. The problem is the “racist” spoke the whole time in “African-American Vernacular English” (AAVE), the guy he called the n-word was white, and the version of the word he used was not of the “hard R” variety. It’s the version you hear in every rap song and influences the way millions speak. The so-called racist is fully immersed in black culture and would count as a wigger.
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Black cultural influence affects whites just as much as anyone else. But cultural norms dictate that whites can, under no circumstance, say the word–regardless of whether it ends with an “r” or an “a.” But, regardless of what society says, these incidents don’t demonstrate anti-black racism. Instead, they show the tremendous influence black culture has over American society. Whites now speak in AAVE; it’s no surprise some of them use the dialect’s most common word.
Pretty much every recent controversy over a “racist” white using the n-word involves the soft A variant. The most famous case is Morgan Wallen. In 2021, the country singer was caught saying the forbidden word as he walked drunkenly back home. He called one of his friends (a white guy) a “pussy ass n–.” Wallen didn’t direct the insult at a black person or blacks in general. He was speaking like a rapper and saying dumb shit to his friend after a night out. Wallen was canceled over his offense, despite the trivial nature of it. Wallen eventually came back from his cancellation after making the necessary apologies.
The same cannot be said for standout high school quarterback Marcus Stokes. The blue chip prospect was highly sought after by several college programs and committed to the University of Florida. Stokes lost his scholarship offer and possibly the ability to ever play football again over one Snapchat video. The white athlete said the forbidden word singing along to a rap hit. That one clip has ruined Stokes’s life. He received a scholarship offer from an HBCU, but that program quickly rescinded it after backlash. It’s hard to imagine a white racist would want to go to a black university.
Stokes’s story is common. Plenty of white teens have lost college offers and faced harassment for singing along to rap lyrics. Mimi Groves earned a spot on the University of Tennessee’s cheer squad back in 2020. That chance and her acceptance into the offer were all dashed after a black classmate released a video of her saying the dreaded word. The classmate wanted to humiliate Groves after she showed support for Black Lives Matter following George Floyd’s death. Groves had urged her Instagram followers to “protest, donate, sign a petition, rally, do something” for BLM. She was certainly no white racist, but that didn’t matter to UT. They barred her from the university anyway over the soft A variant.
There are even some more ridiculous examples. Rapper Kendrick Lamar invited a white fan to sing along with him on-stage in 2018. The song he picked the fan for included the n-word. When the fan sang the word, Lamar stopped her and told her not to do it. The audience also booed her. She then profusely apologized. Lamar should’ve known better than to invite a white fan to sing along to lyrics with the forbidden word, but he wasn’t the one blamed for the error. Whites are always at fault.
Rap is the dominant music of America. Nearly every non-white rapper uses the n-word in his or her music. Americans hear that word constantly. In the context they hear it, it’s a word similar to “dude” or “bro.” They’re not hearing it in the same way the Klan used it. They’re not hearing it disparage blacks–they’re hearing blacks use it among themselves. Like with black dress and manners, whites want to adopt it. But they can’t.
It’s debatable whether other non-black groups can use it. Hispanics frequently use the soft A variant among themselves. Blacks don’t like this, but Hispanics don’t face the same consequences as whites for using it. The same gray area would probably apply to Asians and other groups outside the parameters of whiteness. But no matter what, whites cannot say it.
Slurs are looked down upon in society. Public figures knew not to say the n-word even 100 years ago. They knew it was rude to say it. The same standard applies to a lot of words. We’re no longer supposed to say “retard” anymore and use of that word can get you banned from a variety of platforms. The difference between “retard” and the n-word is that the former is not used excessively by one group of people. There’s not a popular form of music where “retard” is the favorite noun. It’s simply banished from public use. The n-word is the opposite. It’s more frequently used and heard in public than ever before. Yet, one group faces life ruination and even assault if they repeat it.
The predominance of black culture means more whites using the n-word. It’s not done out of racial hatred. It’s simply a poor attempt at assimilating to the new norm. Whites saying it in imitation of blacks will continue to happen. They will continue to lose their jobs and get punched over it. It’s just one of those weird situations we live with in America.
The best solution for whites? Take the Greerhead pledge and refuse to listen to rap. You will never have to worry about singing the n-word again if you do that!