Leave a comment


If you missed my show last night you missed a good one.

We had what I believe was the best conversation so far, on television, about the N-Word.

This time the conversation was sparked by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma using it in a racist chant, and the fraternity’s house mother repeating the word several times while singing rapper Trinidad James’ song, “All Gold Everything.”

Lemon- “I’m asking you because initially people said that you defended her.”

James- “I didn’t.  I didn’t defend it.  It’s just in general I’m way more focused on those students on the bus.  That’s what I’m focused on.

Lemon- “That’s way more egregious.”

James- “That hurts.  That hurts.”

So, should a little old white lady, or anyone for that matter, be allowed to use the word if they’re singing the song?

James- “Well Don what I want to ask the world, and what I want to ask all the rappers who have been doing this forever is in general when you go to a show and performing your songs and you’re sold out, like shouts out to Big Sean, he just sold a great album, you got Kendrick Lamar, his album just dropped last night, it’s great.  The first opening line on Kendrick Lamar’s album is ‘Every nigga’s a star.’  That’s the first thing.”

Lemon- “Or Niggers in Paris.”

James- “Some of the biggest songs ever use it.  So when you go do your show and you’re performing, I’ve never heard, me personally I’ve never heard an artist stop the show and say, ‘you guys can’t use this word. So just in general to get to the nitty gritty of the bottom of this, if we have a problem with the word and it’s going to continue to cause things we should eliminate the word, period. Because if we’re going to use the word then people are going to use the word.”

My guest, Ben Ferguson, who happens to be white thinks that everyone should stop using the word.

But Marc Lamont Hill, who by the way is black, says certain people should be able to use it.

“What I’m saying is the N-Word isn’t divisive.  White supremacy is divisive. Slavery was divisive. That’s the problem and maybe just maybe it’s not white people’s position to tell black people what to say.  I might see Trinidad James on the street and call him my nigga.  Why? Because he is my nigga.  The difference between Trinidad James and you is that Trinidad James has to deal with the same oppressive situations, he’s born into a world where anti-black racism prevails, he lives in a world where police might shoot him on the street no matter how much money he has.  We share a collective condition known as nigga. White people don’t.  I’m not saying it should be illegal for white people to use it.  Y’all shouldn’t want to use it given everything that’s happened after 400 years of exploitation and institutional racism.”

Yes he was preaching, but is he preaching to the converted?

Are the people who really need to hear that message, deeply, willing or big enough to hear what he’s actually saying?

Like on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Also On Black America Web:
Find Out What Your Fav Celebs Did On Instagram This Week (02/02-02/08)
10 photos

23 thoughts on “Don Lemon On The N-Word: Fair Or Foul?

  1. Kymberle on said:

    This subject is as old as sliced bread. Lastly this is A DISTRACTION. How come the consistency of running the script of Black ppl getting shot down like dogs? You know why, ’cause they use the script they are paid to play

    • African American woman on said:

      Not only do we need to stop degrading each others; but you are right; we REALLY need to stop killing each other. We have to start somewhere and, in my opinion, a great place to start is by showing respect for ourselves and all other black people. Our self-hatred and disregard is decimating us.

  2. I’ts like this my niga, all other races call themselves niga’s, now while were trying to get away from it all the other races embrace it !!! SMDH I say NO to it as well lets lose it in our circle becuz ALL RACES admire and do what we do !!! HUH???? Absolutely ridiculous I agree 🙂

  3. Tanisha on said:

    Imagine if you kept an animal locked in a cage, treated it horribly, and called it names. Then the time comes when you have to let it out. Do you expect the animal to act like it has common sense and enter the world as a good loving animal? Or will you be so afraid that it hates you for how you treated that you kill it before it kills you? What name would you expect the animal to answer to?

    • African American woman on said:

      Your argument would have validity if it took into account that the “animals”- the actual slaves, acted like we do today. I don’t know about you, but Ive never met a actual freed slaves. Also, a mistreated animal would attack its tormentors once set free. If you haven’t noticed, we keep killing each other. Its time to stop with the excuses and use our resources to fix ourselves for the better

  4. Lots of great posts on this subject.
    I used the N word when I was about 6-7 years old and my Dad and Mom wore me out. Never used it again. We need good parenting to help wipe this out for people of ALL colors.

    • It is time for EVERYONE…… black,white, young and old to STOP using the n-word. Black people who refuse to stop using the word need to accept the fact that they are part of the problem. If black people stop using it the word goes away.

      What other ethnic group insist in continually using demeaning and derogatory team about themselves?

  5. Joey Onli on said:

    In one sentence he said the N word isn’t divisive, but the next sentence he said only black people should use it. Sounds exactly like divisiveness. I have no desire to use the word, and I think when people use it, it sounds like you’re lowering yourself. But what I think doesn’t matter. Truth is, if black people stopped using it, they would have more of an argument against others that did use it. I’m not trying to tell you what words to use, but the excuse always used by people who say it is.. if you can use it, why can’t I. Valid or not, that excuse goes out the window if blacks stop using it.

    • Ron Patton on said:

      Experiment: 4 “Ni_ _as” in any town where you choose. The 3 NON “African-American” “Ni_ _ as” SEPARATELY run down any street in any town and you yell: “Hey stop that “Ni_ _a” he STOLE my purse!” NEVER WILL IN ANY TOWN SOMEONE CHASE A “NON-BLACK” Ni_ _a!” SIMPLE TRY IT

  6. You can not demand respect from other groups when you disrespect yourself and embrace negative images, words, etc to describe yourself and your people. This is why other group use the excuse, “well,they call each other that word” or “they act like they hate each other and do not want to deal with each other” or “black men degrade black woman (or vise versa)”.

  7. We, Black Americans did not invent the word n—-r! It was and still is intended to demand and insult people of color and make those of less status feel superior. Young people learn YOUR HISTORY.We are and always have been Somebody! I am 72 and I will not bow down to anyone so don’t call me a b—h nor n—-r!

  8. Dorothy Kincaid on said:

    Google what Bryant Gumbel said about using the word; he is the only person I have heard with a logical explanation of why not to use the word. Yes, I used the word (69 year old Black female) until my son married a white woman (with my 4 Bi-racial grandchildren) and she explained to his (me included) family as to why she thought we should STOP using the word. I brought her explanation because I know what a situation we are in; as long as we give white people the excuse of degrading us, they will take a mile. That’s the way they are. OK all let them keep it up. Jim Crow didn’t come in a vacuum.

    • Very good point stop the use of the derogatory and degrading word given at the time by a ignorant race or ethnic group and stop using the word towards each other and uplift ourselves as the proud people we are as our ancestors whom fought and died did. Show our worth not our ignorance. The N word does not give us street creds it perpetuates a terrible cycle from times long past.

  9. African American woman on said:

    It’s no wonder that we are stuck where we are- poverty, lack of education, children with no fathers, crime, etc. Anyone who even tries to defend the use of probably the most vile racial epithet in history must be suffering from a bad case of self hatred. Black people need an awakening because we cant survive existing in such stupidity.

    • Lisam on said:

      I agree with you 100%. It’s amazing we are the only race that call each other something negative and think by changing a letter it makes a difference.

      • We are not the only race that refers to ourselves in a negative connotation but we are the only race in this country that has failed to move past the stigma placed on us by our enslavers.

      • African American woman on said:

        Great point, Jay. Its always the folks in denial who never want to focus on the issue at hand, but like you said- we are the only people who are still stuck in the slave mindset. If we took as much energy to invest in ourselves, each other and; especially, our children- we would be the strong and great people who survived slavery and discrimination. Yet, we waste precious energy defending a word that no self respecting black person should ever want to hear much less utter from their own lips. Absolutely ridiculous

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s