Another post about who can say the n-word.

Looks like y’all dragged Remy Ma for not being all that bothered by non-Black people using the n-word. I’m gonna attempt to explain that viewpoint, not on behalf of all or even most Black people, but there is a real corner of the community that really isn’t that bothered. TBH…….I think there are way more New Yorkers who don’t really care than will publicly admit because I swear to god nobody says “nigga” more than a 16 or 17 year old Puerto Rican or Dominican from Washington Heights or the Bronx, esPECIALLY the girls.

I grew up in the South. If you say anything that even SOUNDS like the n-word, I’m ready to fight.

A White: **mumble mumble**


A White: Dude I said Nintendo! Do you want to play Mario!

Me: Well…enunciate better before you get popped.

That’s how I grew up.

I moved up here ten years ago and it’s nigganigganigganigga all day on the 6, on the A, walking around the Heights, working in the Bx. You cannot escape non-Black people saying nigga all day every day and you can’t fight or get mad at everybody. You become immune. It becomes part of the urban slang, part of the lexicon of brown neighborhoods.

Cardi B. got lucky.

I love her, y’all know I’m Bardigang 100%, but come on — that girl did NOT identify as any part of the African Diaspora until she got famous. She was just another Dominican chick from the Heights and 75% of them get mad tight when you imply that they come from slaves too. But they all use the n-word, including her. She pulled out that Trinidadian card so fast and we gave her a pass, because she’s so hood.  And that’s where I am with the n-word. It’s partly cultural.

JLo is Puerto Rican. 

I guarantee her 23 & Me has a good chunk of African ancestry. But when she said the n-word, the backlash was swift and she never did it again, because she’s pop. She’s not hood. She might have grown up in the Bronx, but she left that behind, and she doesn’t *look* like us. Cardi has my hair. She talks like the girls on the corner. She’s hood, she’s hard, she’s culturally closer to “nigga” being part of her lexicon than JLo, so after the backlash, we gave her a pass.

For a lot of Black people, there’s race and there’s culture, and both of them have a place in the n-word conversation. Ben Carson is Black. Fat Joe is Puerto Rican & Cuban. If I’m chopping it up with both of them, I’m more offended if Ben Carson drops the n-word than Fat Joe.

So when we say only Black people can use it, technically that applies to a huge chunk of Latinos because they share the same African gene pool, but so many of them deny that ancestry, so it shouldn’t count anymore since they’re not embracing their Blackness. When we say only Black people can use it, technically that applies to all Black people, but there is a very real segment of Black America who would not be saying “nigga” as “my dude” and it would feel distinctly out of place and/or offensive (Bill Cosby, Stacy Dash, Don Lemon, etc.) And there’s a middle part, where the culture is there but the Blackness isn’t, and that’s Puerto Rican high school girls on the 6 who will literally die if they don’t say nigga every 13 seconds.

So, as far as the n-word goes, there are

Black people who say only Black people can say it.

Black people who say nobody should say it.

Black people who say anybody can say it – it’s just a word.

And there are Black people who take each person on a case-by-case basis. Some Black people CAN’T say it, and some non-Black people CAN – maybe they shouldn’t, but it’s not bothersome enough to get mad about when they do. That Remy, and a lot of other people who won’t admit they feel the same.

Oh, btw, none of this applies to white people. You can grow up in Brownsville and I will still push you into oncoming traffic for saying the n-word.

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