Pop star, Ciara, made her way to Access Hollywood LIVE this week and was asked to give her to give her opinion on the use of the N-word by the show’s co-host Billy Bush since it’s used in Ciara’s new song, “I’m Out.” Here’s what she said:
“As an entertainer you have fun and it’s all about the context it’s used in. I am an African-American woman, so I can identify with that word in different ways. It’s all about the context and in my case I know I can have fun because I know where I’m coming from with it. You have to be light-hearted and it has to be in a certain way. I cannot hear another person of another race saying, ‘you this’ like ‘you that.’ Again, it’s all about how you say it and what context it’s used in…”
The singer, seemed to be very conflicted in her defense of using the derogatory term as she seemed to ramble a bit in her explanation of using the word:
“That word has as much power as you give it. That word is so old that it references the context of where it comes from. I want to make sure I’m clear about that, it doesn’t mean that same thing that it could have meant years ago, especially when we can have fun about it. I’m all about empowering women, I’m all about empowering myself. As a human being, I would never use any word that would be degrading to myself… or to anyone else.”
It is no secret that a great many African American hip hop and R&B stars use the term in their music which is beyond baffling to the segment of the population who are not “allowed” to say it openly. Many have embraced it as a term of endearment within the Black community, not unlike the point that Ciara was trying to make.
This makes for an ever-growing divide within the Black community as many of our celebrities who once used the N-word abundantly have ceased to use it and speak against its negative effects on our people. The late legendary comedian, Richard Pryor, whose popular standup performance “The N-Word” he used as his platform to renounce the word and the hurt that it causes his people.
Comedian Paul Mooney followed in Pryor’s footsteps many years later after “Seinfeld” actor, Michael Richards’ racist meltdown.
What do you think of people of color using the N-word? Do you agree with Ciara’s stance or do you relate more with Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney? Do you think there would ever come a time when we can reach some sort of consensus on the word as a race?