Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Jay-Z & the N-Word

There supposedly is outrage over Gwyneth Paltrow using the word “niggas” when referring to her besties Jay-Z and Beyonce during a performance in Paris recently. Many think her use of the word was inappropriate. Of course it was, but it was equally inappropriate for two influential black multi-milloniare rappers to title their song, “Niggas in Paris”.

If Jay-Z and Beyonce don’t have a problem with her dong it then neither should anyone else. For Paltrow to not feel any qualms about using the song title to reference them, it must be how they refer to themselves in private as well. Kind of gets you into psyche of Beyonce who once stated Paltrow was who she aspired to be, despite the fact that Beyonce is ultra-successful in her own right.

I have gone on record stating I find nothing empowering about embracing a word that has caused so many people so much pain for centuries. I find it irresponsible for entertainers to use it to sell records. For people as affluent as the Jay-Zs and Kanyes of the world, being called a nigger or “nigga” by a white person is probably no more than a pebble in their shoes, a frustration they peel off as they relax in the confines of their secluded neighborhoods or five-star hotels. For the vast majority of black people ,however, being called a nigger or “nigga” by a white person is much more than that. It’s remembering the time that white off-site co-worker who was so warm and friendly during phone conferences turn cold and distant when she discovered the person on the other end of those calls is black. It’s remembering the time when he or she was the only black person at an employee conference and had to listen to white co-workers crack offending jokes and rap those lyrics to see if they could elicit a response. It’s remembering the time when that black person finally decided to speak to management about it, only to be told he or she was overreacting.

Yes, Jay-Z and Beyonce may not have a problem with it, but I and millions of other people not living in the rarefied heights which Jay-Z and Kanye continually rap about do have issues with it. We are the one who are keeping it real by fighting against the stereotypes that have held us down. We do it to make life better for those who come after us, not the same but in a better environment. As long as we refer to ourselves as niggers or “niggas” other races will feel comfortable referring to us niggers, too. Period. Sure, other races refer to themselves in derogatory terms, but they do this in private conversations. Black artists are the only ones actively promoting negative images of themselves. All in a quest for money and fame while not thinking about the young minds who absorb that nonsense, the urban professionals who have to constantly fight against that nonsense and the older people who had to endure that nonsense. Talk about crabs in a barrel.

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