Monday, January 29, 2007

But Chris Rock Said I Could Say the N-Word

Fools. No, he didn't. Here's the last bit of the routine that appears to have confused a lot of dumb white people into thinking they could say it:

I know what all you black readers think.

"Man why you got to say that? Why you got to say that? It isn't us, it's the media. The media has distorted our image to make us look bad. Why must you come down on us like that, brother? It's not us, it's the media."

Please cut the shit. When I go to the money machine at night, I'm not looking over my shoulder for the media.

I'm looking for [redacted].

Ted Koppel never took anything from me. [Redacted] have. Do you think I've got three guns in my house because the media's outside my door trying to bust in?

"Oh shit. It's Mike Wallace. Run!"

And here's the very next thing Rock says after it. The only text in-between the excerpt above and the excerpt I'm about to transcribe below is a subheading which reads, "Mommy? Can I say '[redacted]?'"

That oughtta be your first clue as to what the answer's going to be, but some of you are a little slow, so let's not skip anything:

I just said "[redacted]" a whole lot. You probably think I shouldn't use the N-word, but that rule is just for white folks. Any black person can say "[redacted]" and get away with it. It's true. It's like calling your kid an idiot. Only you can call your kid that. Someone else calls your kid an idiot, there's a fight.

Yet some white people still wonder why black people can say "[redacted]" and they can't. Believe it or not, it's a very common question. I hear it all the time.

WHITE PERSON: Chris, can I say "[redacted]?"
ME: Why would you even want to?
WHITE PERSON: I don't mean anything bad by it. I've traveled the world. I got a yacht. I fucked Raquel Welch. Now, if I could just say "[redacted]," everything would be complete.
ME: No. After I smack you upside the head everything will be complete.

So, white people? If we could all never again justify using that word because a black comedian said it that one time, literally only that one time, years ago, in a routine he'll never perform again because guess why--

This controversial routine on HBO's "Bring The Pain," made Rock a star back in 1996: "There’s, like, a civil war going on with black people, and there’s two sides. There’s black people, and there’s n------. And n------ have to go."

Why does he think it got so much attention?

"I think a lot of people were thinking in those terms and hadn’t been able to say it. By the way, I’ve never done that joke again, ever, and I probably never will," says Rock. "‘Cause some people that were racist thought they had license to say n-----. So, I’m done with that routine."

--then, everything will be complete.

(Honestly, this has been one of those days when I feel like I'm stuck in this movie. Next thing you know people are going to be putting sports drinks on the crops and wondering why they won't grow.)

31 comments:

Tom said...

Chris Rock got where he did on shock value, just like Eddie Murphy did

Then Eddie felt bad about his whole gaybashing routine once he was famous enough not to need it anymore

Anyone who wants to see an end to people saying nigger, should stop using the word. As long as black people keep using it, they're helping to keep it alive. And if they're going to use it non-stop, it becomes impossible to take the outrage seriously.

If I called myself a shithead all day, can I then get outraged when someone else does it?

ilyka said...

Chris Rock got where he did on shock value, just like Eddie Murphy did

No. Chris Rock got where he did on talent.

If I called myself a shithead all day, can I then get outraged when someone else does it?

Yeah, I remember when black people used to oppress whites by calling them "shitheads" all day. Man, they kept that shit up for decades, even after they emancipated us. Hey! Did your great-great-granddaddy pick cotton or tobacco?

Seriously, Tom? You need to find a hobby.

Tom said...

Yeah... talent. Just like Andrew Dice Clay. Except if Clay had been black, then all the media reviewers would have been applauding him too.

Yeah, I remember when black people used to oppress whites by calling them "shitheads" all day.

Why stop there. I bet the Normans used to call the Saxons stuff too. Let's nurture the grievances some.

And can we make sure Spanish finds another word for the color black too, because their existing one is racist because it was used as a slur. And why do we still have Indian mascots anyway?

Political correctness is just an endless box of toys, ain't it.

Bottom line, anyone who doesn't want the word which we redact so none dare speak its name, out of general circulation, needs to stop using it. Black or white. Otherwise they have no one to blame but themselves.

Auguste said...

Anyone who wants to see an end to people having sex with their spouse should stop having sex with their spouse. As long as husbands keep fucking their wives, they're helping to keep the fucking of their wives alive. And if wives are going to fuck their husbands non-stop, it becomes impossible to take the outrage seriously.

Like it or not, Tom, African-Americans constitute an in-group, not EXACTLY like a marriage but certainly sharing some similarities for analogy purposes.

And even if there was a case to be made that such in-groups are artificial, I think that white people pretty much forfeited their right to try to make that case for, what, 400 years?

Sylvia said...

With all due respect, the problem isn't the word itself; it's how it's used. I don't understand why white people don't get that. I don't understand why black people have the onus of censoring themselves because white people don't have the good sense to know that particular word in their mouths almost always becomes a weapon. It wounds; it doesn't build solidarity. There are very few contexts when it doesn't have that effect.

When black people use it, it's like a family nickname. Familiarity. Skepticism. Love. Hate. It's all there. Since all of us got lumped into some culturally imposed blackness, and the power of that imposition carried under that word as a banner, it shouldn't be hard to understand that when black people became self-determinant and worked on forming their own identities, that word traveled with some of them.

It's not an issue of "if you don't like this, then don't do that;" that's too simple. We don't like racist fucks that undermine one of the many identity builders we've retained. We don't like our intentions being manipulated for inclusiveness in a system that previously rejected us. We don't like hearing something determined for ourselves packaged into a soundbyte with no context of understanding and thrown in our faces.

Or perhaps that's just me: a nigger trying to live her life, happy with her blackness.

Chris Clarke said...

Except if Clay had been black

... and at all humorous...

Lesley said...

And can we make sure Spanish finds another word for the color black too, because their existing one is racist because it was used as a slur.

Yeah, because nobody can tell the difference between English and Spanish and make adjustments for words used differently! We're all just too dumb! Is it really so hard to grasp that it isn't a specific grouping of letters that's a problem, but the meaning of them? If I say to my boyfriend, "let's fuck," don't you think he'll react differently than if I say "You're a fuck?"

If I called myself a shithead all day, can I then get outraged when someone else does it?

Yes. This has been another edition of easy answers to simple questions.

If that's still to difficult for you, what Sylvia said. I get to call my brother pest, because I do it with affection. You call him pest, and I guarantee you; you'll get a different reaction from him. And if someone thinks that my calling him pest gives them license to do so, then that person is just irredeemably stupid.

And this time, I don't feel bad about bringing the snark. Not everything that gets said deserves to be treated like it's an intelligent commentary. Especially not when real life abounds with reasons why it isn't.

Tom said...

Except if Clay had been black

... and at all humorous...


Then he wouldn't have been anything like Chris Rock... except for the black part

Tom said...

I think that white people pretty much forfeited their right to try to make that case for, what, 400 years?

How can people "forfeit" a right to make a point? Especially based on the color of their skin?

Either something is a valid argument or it isn't.

Can we use racial metrics to determine who gets to make the case for mathematical theorems too?

This is how political correctness degrades and is as racist as a klansman.

Tom said...

With all due respect, the problem isn't the word itself; it's how it's used. I don't understand why white people don't get that. I don't understand why black people have the onus of censoring themselves because white people don't have the good sense to know that particular word in their mouths almost always becomes a weapon.

Black people don't have the onus of doing anything, but if black people want to see that word go out of currency then they can be part of the problem of part of the solution.

When black rappers and stand up comics market themselves to white audiences with the N word and make it seem cool, and then turn around and whine how racist white people are because they think they can use it too, they're laughable hypocrites. It's black comedy and rap that's done more to keep the use of nigger alive among white people, than racism has.

Either that or complain that white people don't get all the "nuances" of the whole thing.

Sylvia said...

Black people's use of the word isn't causing the problem.

sheila said...

Ilyka - you've been on a roll lately. I love it. Love Chris Rock, too.

Hubris said...

As long as black people keep using it, they're helping to keep it alive. And if they're going to use it non-stop, it becomes impossible to take the outrage seriously.

- Not all black people "use it non-stop." See how stereotyping works?
- Even if people from different groups using the term were the same (I don't think it is), you're really applying a tu quoque argument on a mass scale.

It's black comedy and rap that's done more to keep the use of nigger alive among white people, than racism has.

If that assertion is true, how about white folks try not saying it and the comedy and rap artists will have nothing left to subvert on the subject? That'll show 'em!

gennimcmahon said...

Is it just the overall, entrenched sense of entitlement that drives white folk to think that they can say the N-word? Is the key here the fact that white folk just aren't having any of this, "Black folk can do this, but you whites can't" nonsense from a group they traditionally oppress? After all, there's nothing worse than a minority group getting all uppity.

Also? That Andrew Dice Clay example? Complete mistake, see, because Andrew Dice Clay wasn't putting down his own group (men), he was putting down WOMEN. Chris Rock is BLACK, so he can say what he wants in terms of his own group. You actually back up Ilyka's argument with that particular example, Tom.

Tom said...

Black people's use of the word isn't causing the problem.

If you define the problem as being white people using the word, then black people using it, especially in stand up and music, is a major cause.

Tom said...

Not all black people "use it non-stop." See how stereotyping works?

Did I say all black people use it non-stop?

See that's how strawmen and assumptions work.

If that assertion is true, how about white folks try not saying it and the comedy and rap artists will have nothing left to subvert on the subject? That'll show 'em!

There's no vast conspiracy of white people to say it. There's a multiracial culture of Americans and within that culture both white and black people say it, which helps perpetuate it.

Tom said...

Is it just the overall, entrenched sense of entitlement that drives white folk to think that they can say the N-word?

You mean the entitlement of suburban white kids to sound like their favorite hip hop stars and stand ups who cynically market racist stereotypes of black people to those same kids and then get upset when those kids actually repeat them back?

Is the key here the fact that white folk just aren't having any of this, "Black folk can do this, but you whites can't" nonsense from a group they traditionally oppress? After all, there's nothing worse than a minority group getting all uppity.

40 acres and a mule! 40 acres and a mule!

I love it when white liberals get all outraged and begin saying 'uppity'. Then they begin talking about the plantation and picking cotton, Ilya already got there.

I think they get confused if they're parodying or perpetuating the racist stereotypes. Or both. It's easy to get confused when you're an outraged white liberal.

In closing I'd like to add they buried my heart at wounded knee and my best friend got his head blown off at Margaret Cho.

Hubris said...

Did I say all black people use it non-stop?

Yes:

As long as black people keep using it, they're helping to keep it alive. And if they're going to use it non-stop, it becomes impossible to take the outrage seriously.

Perhaps you meant to put a "some" in there somewhere. If that's what you meant, thanks for the clarificiation.

Since we apparently agree that not all black people use it non-stop--are those who don't allowed to be outraged?

Twisted Ovaries said...

Genni got to where I was going there with the Dice Clay comment-Dice Clay was the King of Misogynists (like the King of Beers, but with worse hair. And no Clydesdales. That'd be key here.)

Sorry, I see the same point as Sylvia made-I too belong to an "ethnic minority", and my Taiwanese friend and I would routinely call each other "Zipperheads". I know this is absolutely not a term that I would support anyone else using about us or about any Asians, and strangely not a term I would use with a fellow Asian unless they weer close friends of family. It's what we used as a collective, as a bonding, if you can pardon the gag-worthy reference.

The other day someone I know called one of my family members a Jap (which is not so much a negative term here in the UK) and I threw down. If you're not a part of that group, you don't have the right to hone in on the terms-if you lack the background, words do indeed become a weapon.

Political correctness is just an endless box of toys, ain't it.

Yeah, and you're being kind of a dick too, Tom, but I'll only say so if you go around calling yourself a dick all day, too.

Tom said...

The context in which I was discussing stand up and music makes it pretty obvious which black people I meant

Lesley said...

The context in which I was discussing stand up and music makes it pretty obvious which black people I meant

OK, but Hubris' last question still stands. What about blacks who don't use it? Are they "allowed" to be outraged when a white person uses it?

Auguste said...

Tom, the amount of logic and reasoning you're using in this argument wouldn't hold down a sheaf of papers in a stiff wind.

Twisted Ovaries said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twisted Ovaries said...

The context in which I was discussing stand up and music makes it pretty obvious which black people I meant

What the...? Now just what is that supposed to mean? "which black people I meant"? I dunno, mate. Did you mean the ones who live on the outskirts of Santa Fe? Black people who fell into the Gap? Or wait-a sub-division of black people, like those who belong to the Harvard Chess Club but who AREN'T being included in the Harvard "black people" census? Those the ones you were referring to?

Because as far as I can see in all of your arguments so far, you seem to lump all black people into one category (the only exceptions to that being your fourth comment and your sixth comment, in which you seem to scattergorize with blazing random abandonment! Yes, in those you vaguely mentioned hip hop and rap, but I wonder if you're also stereotyping there, too.)

So how about you just clear up "which black peopele [you] meant" because otherwise I'm thinking the black students art shop, seeing as your paintbrush is so big and all.

(I accidentally deleted my own other comment, sorry.)

Sylvia said...

The context in which I was discussing stand up and music makes it pretty obvious which black people I meant

So you can use it around rappers and comedians without suffering bodily harm? Or, to use the same reasoning Ilyka quotes from Chris Rock:

"Oh look, it's a black person! We can say it!"

*Buzz!* Wrong. Guess again.

ilyka said...

Tom, it's time to fold or step the fuck off. I'm not playing host to your sense of inflated entitlement.

If that assertion is true, how about white folks try not saying it and the comedy and rap artists will have nothing left to subvert on the subject? That'll show 'em!

Right. It's the part of what I quoted that guys like Tom gloss over: "Why would you even want to?"

Good grief. Is this really the kind of pigheaded imbecility they're graduating from the Protein Wisdom Academy for Whiny-Ass White Boys these days?

Tom said...

Seriously, how hard is this?

"The context in which I was discussing stand up and music makes it pretty obvious which black people I meant"

ilyka said...

And you get to decide which black people can say what because why again?

Tom said...

I don't get to decide anything. But I will bring rationality and common sense to the table and point out when people riding on their high horses are just perpetuating the problem themselves

Sheelzebub said...

PLEASE! Won't somebody help the oppressed Whites?? No one will be free until White people can say the N-word with no condemnation!

Twisted Ovaries said...

But I will bring rationality and common sense to the table and point out when people riding on their high horses are just perpetuating the problem themselves

Jesus? Is that you?