In 2011, Charlamagne Tha God, co-host of The Breakfast Club radio show, interviewed Justin Bieber and told Justin he could use the n-word when he rapped some of Tupac’s lyrics. At the time, white rapper Kreayshawn had come under fire for using the n-word. Many defended her right to say it and Charlamagne said, “If Kreayshawn can say it, Justin can say it.”
On social media, Charlamagne has often defended his own use of the n-word. But he’s recently changed up his thoughts on the subject. And although he once gave Justin Bieber a pass to use the word, he doesn’t think it’s appropriate to use it any form. Here’s why he doesn’t want Justin to say it—or you.
“I have tried to stop using the n-word because I don’t like being a hypocrite. If it’s wrong when we use it, it should be wrong when other races use it as well. It’s hard to get upset at someone for doing the same thing that you’re doing. Plus, I’m 33 and I come from the era of greeting people with “Peace God, Peace Queen. What’s up my brother? How are you sister?”
The book “From Niggas to Gods” by Akil changed my life. And now that I know better, I should do better.
You have to teach people how to treat you. Jewish folks, Asians, gays…they don’t allow anyone to disrespect them and they don’t disrespect themselves. I’m not ok with Justin Bieber making that joke. It always hurts when you hear someone using the N word. That’s how you know—no matter how you try to flip it and bounce it, ‘nigga’ is not a term of endearment.
I don’t care if it’s -er or -ga at the end—it’s a word with too much blood attached to it to ever be positive.
Now if Justin Bieber was addressing someone saying that’s “my nigga” it wouldn’t bother me as much. But a joke with a punchline that says “Run Nigga Run?” We ran from slave-owners! We’re still running from cops! There’s nothing funny about that.
If people are going to really try to change the word nigga, don’t let it be exclusive to us! White people, Mexicans, Spanish—they all niggas too. If it’s really a term of endearment like we claim it is let it be that way all across the board for everybody. But in the context JB used it in that joke? That’s never right. Only black people can joke like that about us.”
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