Over the weekend Bill Maher got into some trouble for saying the “N-word” on his weekly HBO show. I’ve written on the n-word rules before and I see no need to rehash them here. Point blank: white folks must get over their innate desire to own everything, including the black experience. It’s that simple. If white folks can understand why straight men can’t use the word “faggot” and why non-Jewish people can’t joke about the Holocaust, certainly they can understand why, under no circumstances, they can’t say nigger, nigga, my nig, my nigga, my niggas, nigs, nigguh, niggah, niggaz, nigz or any other derivative of the word. This is not hard and I will not have my intelligence insulted by pretending to give the subject much thought. The end.
Saturday night was Barack Obama’s last White House Correspondents’ Dinner. It is customary for participants to tell jokes; however, Larry Wilmore went a bit too far. Attempting to praise Obama’s legacy, Wilmore ended by saying, “Yo Barry, you did it my n—a.” As a black man, I’m enraged. But I understand that some black people disagree with me–their vote counts in this matter. As a black man, I’m equally enraged that non-black people are attempting to police the word–their vote doesn’t count. Other groups are allowed to own their own wounds within their communities and treat them as they wish. But for some reason reason, the “N-word” is a cluster.