Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm sorry Gwyneth Paltrow, you were wrong for tweeting the N-word

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is working overtime to urge people to calm down after tweeting the N-word at a recent Watch The Throne concert in Paris.  Turns out that fellow concert-goer The Dream (producer Terius Nash) tweeted a photo of the actress enjoying herself onstage. Seems innocent enough right?

What happened next was far from innocent. Gwyneth tweeted back to The Dream "Ni**gas in paris for real"

Err, say what now Miss Paltrow?

Harsh criticism was swift to Gwyneth's tweet with many insisting she had no right to use the N-word even though the N-word is used in the title of the song. After many angry tweets, the Avengers actress tweeted 'Hold up. It's the title of the song'"


Herein lies my problem with this whole N**gas in Paris song title. Ive always been very clear that even though I love the song, I HATE the song title. I find the word offensive, derogatory and abusive. I was a little disappointed that Jay and 'Ye decided to use the N-word in the title of the song. I wholeheartedly believe that while Mrs. Chris Martin was horribly wrong for using the term- she didn't do it in malice. Sometimes even when your intentions are right, your action are still very VERY wrong. This is clear case of that.

But at the core of it all, I blame Jay and 'Ye. Y'all maybe cool with having your friends refer to you as the N-word but like most black people, that word is not something we are comfortable with everyone using. The truth of the matter is that racism still exists in the US (Trayvon Martin) and it is still very much alive all over the world. It's not always the blatant in-your-face racism, but it seeps it's way into our culture on a daily basis. Any black person who's ever  been followed in a clothing store based purely on the color of their skin by an overzealous employee or security can relate.  Now that Jay is a father, how would he feel walking around in Paris with a stranger referring to his daughter  Blue Ivy as a "N**ga in Paris'? I for one, would not like it. There would be some furniture moving for sure. I don't think anyone would argue that there is a messy, complicated and painful history associated with the word, hence why folks are upset about Gwyneth's slip up.

I foresee an apology from Gwyneth in a few days,  this is a total PR nightmare.  However that's not really enough. As black people we HAVE to be the ones to effectuate change in the way we use this word. If we don't make it cool anymore, no one else will find it hot either. The ball is in your court Mr. Carter and Mr. West.

What do you think? Does Gwenyth deserve the flack she's receiving for using the N-word?

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