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Why White People Can't Say The N-Word, As Told By Ta-Nehisi Coates

"There's a lot to be learned from refraining," Coates said to a group of white students Tuesday (Nov. 7). 

Author, comic book head and all around prolific thinker Ta-Nehisi Coates is adored for his ability to dismantle cemented concepts that are no longer needed in the world. The task fell in is lap yet again while promoting his new book, We Were Eight Years In Power with the topic being one we all know too well; wypipo and the n-word.

Speaking to Evanston Township High School last Tuesday (Nov. 7), Coates was asked by a white student about the n-word. Coates broke it down a few different ways, by explaining that it's normal for some groups to use words others cannot. He also ignored the weirdly suggested reparations comment.

"Words don't have meaning without context," he said. "My wife refers to me as 'honey,' that's excepted and okay between us. If we were walking down the street and another woman referred to me as 'honey' that wouldn't' be acceptable."

He also dropped examples related to his father's given name and the name for LGBT activist Dan Savage's proposed show where "fa**ot" is used in the title.

"The question one must ask is that why do so many white people have difficulty extending basic things that are basic laws with how human beings interact with black people?" he continued. "When you're white in this country, you're taught everything belongs to you. You're conditioned this way. The laws tell you this and that people have to accommodate themselves to you. Now here comes this word you feel you've invented and you think, how is someone going to tell you not to say a word that you invented. You say, 'Why can't I use it, everyone gets to use it? That's racism that I don't get to use it. I have to inconvenience  myself and hear this song and I can't sing along?'"

He also questioned how some white people are overzealous about black culture.

In all, he explains how holding back the urge to chant the n-word during a Kendrick Lamar or Lil Uzi Vert tune is a teachable moment of privilege.

"I think for white people the experience of being a hip-hop fan and not being able to use the word "ni**a" is actually very insightful. It gives you a peek into the world of what its like to be black. There's a lot to be learned from refraining."

The video, which was uploaded to YouTube and later picked up on Facebook went viral in a matter of days with over 4 million views. Reactions have been positive, with some people of color wanting the word out of everyone's mouths.

Others had clever suggestions on how they approach rap music with the n-word in it.

That works.

You can purchase We Were Eight Years In Power here.

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102-Year-Old Woman Evicted From Home To Make Room For Landlord’s Daughter

A 102-year-old woman living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Ladera Heights is being evicted from her home of three decades. Thelma Smith was notified on March 8 that she has to move out so that the landlord’s daughter can move into the single-family home, after she graduates from law school.

Smith was on a month-to-month lease and has been paying “very low rent,” her longtime neighbor told the L.A. Times. She has to be out of the home by June 30.

While Smith’s eviction is legal, as landlords have the right to evict tenants to help relatives under L.A.'s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival told the Times that the law is used to “target low-income paying tenants.”

Smith is a former director of the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation, a Los Angeles-based charity aimed at serving underprivileged youth. She has yet to find a new home, and rejected her neighbor’s offer to move in, but it looks like she’ll be getting housing assistance from Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor and former California Governor vowed to help Smith, whom he called a “dear friend for a long time.”

“Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless,” he tweeted Friday (May 24). Schwarzenegger went on to state that he will be reaching out to Smith. “Landlords, you’ll hear from me too,” he added.

Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019

Landlord Arthur Hilton explained to CBS News that the home was never meant to be a rental property, even though Smith had been living there for 30 years. “This property was purchased by my parents not for rental but for the Hilton family,” he said.

Smith, a widow who never had children, planned to live in the home for the remainder of her life.

See more on her story in the video above.

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Rey Ma Facing Additional Charges In Alleged Assault Against Brittney Taylor

Rey Ma has been hit with additional charges in an ongoing assault case in which she stands accused of attacking former Love & Hip Hop: New York cast member Brittney Taylor. The Bronx native appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court Friday (May 24) where she was arraigned on four misdemeanor charges, according to TMZ.

Although Remy was initially charged with assault, and turned herself in to authorities earlier in the month, she now faces two counts of third-degree assault, one count of second-degree aggravated harassment, and one count of second-degree harassment. She was offered the option to plead guilty to the top charge and enter anger management in exchange for having the other charges dropped but reportedly rejected the deal.

A trial date has been set of July 12.

Taylor claims Remy punched her in the eyed during a run-in at the Pretty Lou Charity Concert at New York City’s Irving Plaza last month. Remy was among the event performers along with Fat Joe, Jim Jones and more. She denies attacking Taylor and claims to have video evidence proving her innocence. TMZ reports that prosecutors have since changed the time of when the supposed altercation took place to line up with the time that Remy would have been at the venue.

Upon leaving the courtroom Friday, Remy didn’t mince words when speaking about going to trial. “Who looks forward to going to trial? I have things to do in my life,” she said according to the New York Daily News. “I have a real job, I have a family, I have a husband, I have a daughter.”

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34 black female cadets from West Point's Class of 2019 pose at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Cadet Hallie H. Pound/U.S. Army via AP

Black Women Cadets Make History At West Point Graduation

A record number of black female cadets are set to graduate from West Point (The United States Military Academy). After completing four years of education and "testing their limits," 34 black women will be walking across the stage at the 2019 commencement ceremony for the first time in the school's 217-year history.

Earlier this month, the black female cadets came together for a pre-graduation group photo. Little did they know, the photos of them in traditional Old Corps uniforms with ceremonial sabers would make their rounds on social media.

“My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” shared one of the cadets, Tiffany Welch-Baker, in an interview with Because Of Them We Can.

Although West Point admitted its first black cadet until 1870, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until the Reconstruction in 1877. In 1979, Vincent K. Brooks was made the first black captain of the Corps of Cadets. In 2017, Simone Askew became the first Black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Senior cadet Stephanie Riley told The Associated Press in another interview: “I just showed myself and those who thought I couldn’t do it initially that yes, I can. And not just, ‘Yes, I can.’ I can show other little girls that yes, you can come to West Point. Yes, you can do something that maybe the rest of your peers aren’t actually doing. And yes, you can be different from the rest of the group.”

The class of 2019 includes a total of 223 women, another milestone since the first female cadets' graduation in 1980. The total number of graduation African-Americans doubled to 110, while the number of graduating Latinos became the largest, 88, in the academy's history. West Point also appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent in July 2018.

Not only will West Point be graduating its 5,000th female cadet, but it will also have its highest number of female Hispanic graduates, 19. The commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, May 25, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the commencement speech.

Congratulations to the black ladies of West Point's graduating Class of 2019!

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