Just in case you missed the memo, use of the n-word was recently approved for white girls. Well, at least in the Bay Area.
Kreayshawn, a white female rapper from Oakland, California, has taken the Internet by storm with her catchy anti-consumerist anthem “Gucci, Gucci.” The self-proclaimed swag assassin and her crew (Lil’ Debbie and V Nasty) known as the White Girl Mob have launched a “movement” of sorts. Hailing from the hard, impoverished streets of East Oakland, they exude and speak all of the ratchetness mainstream hip-hop has become—bitches, n*ggas, blunts and other destructive ways of dealing with crappy childhoods and depression. I would be lying if I said these girls didn’t have the swag they claim, decent flows and infectious style. For artistry, they get the nod; for thinking they have been cleared to say N-Word n*gga, well…There lies the problem.
Who gave the thumbs up for white girls to openly say the n-word?
In a recent interview with Complex magazine, Kreayshawn cleared the air about her use of the n-word:
“I don’t use [the n-word] at all. It’s not in my vocabulary, especially not my everyday vocabulary. I’ll say it if I’m quoting or I’ll say it if I’m making fun of somebody else who is saying it. But Vanessa [a.k.a. V-Nasty] was raised different. She’s done a lot of stuff, you know?
She went on to note:
“It’s different out here in the Bay Area. A Mexican will call an Asian person that. An Asian person will call a black person that. A black person will call a white person that and a white person will call him that back and it’s all good. You don’t think twice. It’s just another form of slang out here. People will say it, just like people will say “blood” and “cuz” in the same sentence out here.”
“If you go anywhere else it’s a racial thing, because of that I don’t use it. I was on Twitter the other day and I said it quoting DMX. I even said it in the Tweet, ‘DMX voice.’ But since that ‘Gucci Gucci’ video there were bloggers picking it up and writing about it. That’s something that I don’t want to get all misconstrued.
“I told Vanessa, ‘If we’re going to be in the public eye all the time, you either need to know what you’re going to say when people ask you that or make it sound smart. Instead of just being like ‘Yeah, everybody call me that. I don’t give a f***.’’ But I’m pretty sure Vanessa’s not going to bite her tongue for anybody.
It’s not just the Bay Area. American slums and suburbs across the country are home to Eminettes. Everyday White girls grow more comfortable with their perceived proximity to blackness. But, I don’t blame V-Nasty and friends. White women are only drinking the Kool-Aid we gave to them.
Black women and men who have given passes to their “down,” token white friends are the reason these girls show no reverence. They “act Black” so you let them quote bars verbatim and playfully poke fun in conversations as if being poor and ignorant is a means of entry. Black doesn’t mean poor; it doesn’t mean ghetto; it doesn’t mean reckless.
N-Word (and all varieties of the term) will always embody the essence of defamation, racism and sub-humanization. It is a word that personifies the abuse on which this nation was built; from a white mouth, it almost instantly elicits division. It is the tortured corpse of Emmett Till; it is the incineration of four little girls; it is the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; it is Republicans demanding President Obama’s birth certificate. Door-knocker earrings, tattoos and a shared love for rap music do not change that.
Whether or not Black people should use the term amongst themselves is questionable, so for anyone else it should not be considered an option. Yes, we are all humans but race separates our experiences. At the end of the day V-Nasty and girls like her are still White in America.
History is to be remembered in order to create a better future. Erasing racism doesn’t begin with widespread use of a word that defines so much of it.
White girls want to rap? Cool. Permission to use the N-word? Not.
LaShaun Williams is a lifestyle and relationship columnist, blogger and social critic. Her work has been featured on popular urban sites, such as The Grio and AOL Black Voices. She has made appearances on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Santita Jackson Show. Williams is also the founder of Politically Unapologetic, a blog where she unabashedly discusses culture, life and love. Follow @itsmelashaun on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.