The nigger word: Clarkson is not the problem, rappers are

Jeremy Clarkson

TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson is at the centre of another race row after claims that he mentioned the word nigger in the well-known nursery rhyme, ‘ eeny, meeny, miny, mo …’, however arguably Clarkson is not the problem when it comes to the resurgence of this word in popular culture, rappers are, and this needs to be addressed seriously.

I have touched on the subject of the term nigger in previous articles. Back in May 2011 black television presenter Ben Douglas was left furious when celebrity hairdresser James Brown referred to his female companion and himself as ‘niggers’ in a drunken tirade at the Baftas. (Read Black TV presenter called a ‘nigger’ at the Baftas) Brown justified his usage of the term by saying that he knew ‘brothers’ in New York and attempted to use street slang to further justify his usage of the term.

Earlier, In December 2010, Channel 4 was condemned after comedian Frankie Boyle used both the term “Nigger” in his comedy programme Tramadol Nights. (Read Channel 4 condemned for comedian’s race ’satire’)

In the article I argued that Brown’s intentions could not be determined because black rap stars, comedians and celebrities use this term as a term of ‘endearment’, they say to refer to each other.

The African-American Civil Rights Movement fought for years against stereotypes and derogatory terms used against black people and ironically black people themselves have undone centuries of hard work, resistance and bloodshed, by bringing the term nigger into popular culture.

Putting aside Jeremy Clarkson and the white racists for a moment, I am more concerned that global hip-hop stars such as Jay-Z, Kanye West and others, who have influence over millions of teenagers use the term ‘nigga’ on a regular basis in their lyrics. An entire generation of youth of all races now use this term loosely without historical understanding or context, and more importantly racists now have the ammunition they need to use the term thanks to these hip-hop stars. Visit any forum or message board on the internet regarding this topic and many whites are now defending Clarkson’s use of the term by saying that black people use it to refer to each other; and sadly these racists have a point, and hip-hop stars have provided them the justification.

Famous comedian Chris Rock in his controversial comedy routine, “Niggas vs. Black People“, where he associates the term with negative black stereotypes, later on admitted in a 60 Minutes interview, “By the way, I’ve never done that joke again, ever, and I probably never will. ‘Cos some people that were racist thought they had license to say nigger. So, I’m done with that routine.” (Read Niggas vs. Black People )

I give credit to Chris Rock for understanding that, it is a pity that other hip-hop stars have not had the same enlightenment.

Clarkson, will probably escape any serious repercussions for his use of the term nigger simply because as a community we have no strong leadership and unity to force the BBC to sack the presenter. Black people pay their TV licence to the BBC, and should expect a certain standard of behaviour from presenters whose payment derives from our income.

The next few weeks should be interesting as this story unfolds.

 


Print pagePDF pageEmail page
This entry was posted in National News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The nigger word: Clarkson is not the problem, rappers are

  1. andy roberts says:

    At last, some sense being spoken about this. If a word is deemed racially offensive it is so irrespective of whoever utters it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield Spam Blocker