It shouldn’t have to be explained, but non-black folks don’t get to use the N-Word. We just don’t. Ta-Nehisi Coates can explain why if you’re still struggling with this concept, but you’re a human being that lives on Earth so you should know this by now.
A backstage video from the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai featured this straightforward rule being broken courtesy of a gaggle of models who seemed to have no problem dropping a hard N. Rapping along with Cardi B’s monster hit “Bodak Yellow,” there didn’t appear to be much self-editing around the N-Word (aside from one model) and the lack of black models around made the whole thing even more uncomfortable.
As Mic notes, the backlash to the models + slur combo was swift. A flood of responses on Twitter reaffirmed that even when Cardi B is playing, the N-Word isn’t something white folks can toss around like it’s no big deal.