Following last week’s forum on the topic, Don Lemon had Trinidad Jame$ on as a guest on CNN tonight where another discussion was held on the N-word and the SAE frat mother’s use of the word while reciting the lyrics to Trinidad’s hit, “All Gold Everything.”
Where to start?
— Trinidad calls it a catch-22 when discussing racism and the N-word. He says he’s way more concerned with the frat members using the word than the 79-year-old lady singing the lyrics to his song. Because old White people saying n**** stings less than young White people using the term.
— Don Lemon states that he doesn’t want to see the word banned, but since we’ve “bastardized the word” and “People think you’re taking back the power,” he says, “I think we’ve given the power away to that word” since its usage creates huge discussions. Ones that end up on CNN and bring in viewers.
— Ben Ferguson says that as a White man he couldn’t use the word and suggests we, as a people, should refrain from using it. Especially rappers, but rappers won’t stop using it because they’ll lose “street cred.”
— Trinidad gives Ferguson the okay to use the word because “If you’re my n****, then you’re my n****. Ben, you could be my n****.”
— Marc Lamont Hill comes through to say that White people shouldn’t tell Black people who can and cannot say the word before reminding Ferguson that he (Hill) and Trinidad “share a collective condition known as n****. White people don’t.”
I think each one of these guys has their own agenda for keeping this discussion going.
My position remains the same as last time. The only takeaway for me actually did originate with Trinidad as it relates to artists using the term in their music: “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.”
It all brings me back to Jay Z saying how rap has been been one of the strongest tools for changing race relations in our country. So, once again, we end up with the onus for change being laid at the feet of rappers.