Close to two point eight-five score years ago, a man whose hallowed name is still echoed on signs identifying at least one thoroughfare in some sketchy black neighbourhood in America proved that the pen could be superior to the sword. In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist par excellence, gave what came to be known as the “I Have a Dream” speech. He stood righteously in his corrupt nation’s capital, giving his oration at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. It was reported that over 200,000 people assembled on the steps of the statue that late August day in the District.
The audience, composed of downtrodden yet unrelenting African Americans and their white counterparts—dewy-eyed, sympathetic visionaries—salivated in anticipation for words of hope and designs for progress. All watched desiring a signal that America was finally on its way to honouring the equality its founders thought so obvious and sacred.
Born Michael King Jr., the civil rights leader’s father, formerly Michael King Sr., was inspired, after a visit to Germany in the 1930’s, to rechristen himself after the nation’s Protestant reformer, founder of Lutheranism, Martin Luther. Michael’s father was moved by his exposure to Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist government’s totalitarian and anti-Semitic policies. What he may not have accounted for was that his namesake had published a book entitled “On the Jews and Their Lies” back in 1543. The contents of that book indicate that the Nazis may have shared an affinity with the original Martin Luther.
What the speech lacked in practical substance and strategy, it sure made up for in its surplus sentimentality. That part about the dream was so saccharine Augustus Gloop would find it cloying. King sold the crowd a vision of a wonderful future, omitting instructions on how it might be made into a reality. He is doubtless tossing and jerking in his grave now. Not just because we are barreling towards 2027—I encourage the reader to look this up—but instead, because of the grievous injustices which persist today purely due to his oversight.
In America and most of the West today, there is a strict prohibition being enforced against most non-blacks—and particularly whites—from saying the words “nigger” and “nigga”. Even blurting out a homophone would be to risk facing the levels of extensive and crippling ostracism a malignant, reoffending pedophile ought to expect. Rest assured, you will be treated like a skinner.
Think about it: where is the equality in banning some races from using certain words, all the while permitting and glorifying the use of those words by others?
To play off of something Thomas Jefferson once quipped: we have not any angels in the form of kings—nor civil rights activists, for that matter. We have not any angels. Period. Devils, on the other hand, seem to abound. So with that sentiment in my heart, I can overlook MLK’s shortcomings. Endeavouring to tie the loose ends that his assassination had prevented him from handling.
MLK would not be a-ok with a society wherein the races could not openly and liberally exchange all epithets and slurs. The current state of affairs are an affront to just about everything he stood for. After all, as things stand any super predator can diddy-bop his way over to any honky, cracker, peckerwood, kike, devil, or Karen, and address them in that fashion. The reverse would be un-fucking-thinkable.
So with desires to unfetter society from this anchor of regression, I write today to dramatize this shameful condition. To remind the reader of the fierce fuckery of now. To urge her to reject the temptation to tie off and take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. We need cafes, Nascar stadiums, trailer parks and suburbs, chalk full of white people saying the N-word. Now! This is the most expedient way to emerge out of this dark and desolate valley of inequity!
We are to learn from the errors of our forebears. Unlike them, we must not consider the task complete before laying out a blueprint for its execution. To that end, I present to you some salient examples of those scathing sayings falling out between the dome of the white man’s mouth.
CHILDISH GAMBINO – BACKPACKERS
Self-proclaimed white rapper who is allowed to say the N-word, Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover, has done a damn good job in the fight for racial parity. It appears that when writing his first bars, Gambino had decided to push the envelope. Using the N-word in the most creative and unexpected ways.
In his catalog, there are inventive and self-deprecating passages like,
Along with what might be considered more traditional, braggadocious lines such as,
To the clansmen and blacktivists who have surely begun to voice their revulsion and condemnation, please be still. I ask you to remain calm. Your rage will only betray you as the divisive, hateful heathen you are. It will do little to retard, much less stop the fruition of the good doctor’s dream—a world where people of all races, among other things, are treated equally.
Even reaching back into his stand-up comedy days, a joke about his being brought to sexual ecstasy upon hearing his Armenian girlfriend utter the word nigger can be found.
Ultimately, birds of a feather do tend to flock together. Glover married and sired three pickaninnies with an Aryan queen by the name of Michelle White. Still, I commend and admire him.
JELLO BIAFRA + THE DEAD KENNEDYS – HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA
It is hard for this writer to believe that Jello Biafra, former frontman for punk rock band the Dead Kennedys, chose the second half of his stage name at random. In my opinion, his name—which he shares with a now defunct West African nation—was selected as an expression of amity with black boys—most notably, the Biafran albino boy.
This is no baseless assertion. To the contrary, the evidence mounts. It is with pleasure that I inform you of the Kennedys’ BLACK drummer, D. H. Peligro. Frankly, there are loads of other esoteric factoids I could lay out for you, like the cover art for the band’s second album, Plastic Surgery Disasters. Nonetheless, I think the point has already been satisfactorily made: Jello Biafra is what writer Jim Goad might call a negrophiliac.
It is enough to say that when Jello allowed the word “niggers” to escape his lips, to be recorded by a microphone, and featured in a song that went go on to be heard by millions. He did so without an iota of malice for the black man in his heart.
I cannot say with any certainty whether Jello had been guided by the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—as I firmly believe I am. Nevertheless, he certainly had a commensurate degree of love for the Negro. As a way of showing that his love stands the test of time, he should find a place to insert the same word into his old band’s catchy tune “Riot”.
TEKASHI 6IX9INE – POLES1469
Admittedly, the way that the present circumstances have been described above may give the impression that they are pitiably dire. This writer, in good conscience, stretched the truth only about as far as one of Lupita Nyong’o’s velvet-like pubic hairs would go. He would dare to go as far as to pull it with his very own teeth—if you catch his meaning.
The reality is that whereas attendees of the March on Washington were given a glimpse of a future where parity is the highest value, through Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, all today with access to the Internet, can experience something approximating that. They only need stream the provocative, impassioned works of one Tekashi 6ix9ine.
The tenacious, rainbow-haired, Mestizo rapper and Internet troll, has had absolutely no qualms about screaming those dreaded words in just about every song he has released. Despite this, as if by lighting, he was struck with wealth and popularity after releasing a song entitled “Gummo”. In the chart-topping single, he notoriously describes how he pops iffy, silly niggas like wheelies, nigga.
Though, perhaps inadvertently, 6ix9ine has been creating an opportunity for us to begin a deeper conversation on this and other critical topics. For example, when ratting on his fellow Nine-Trey Blood members in a racketeering case launched by the Federal government, Tekashi set the stage for a discussion of the ”no snitching” doctrine practiced in the streets. Maybe driving the concerned to think about reasons why conviction rates in places like the Bronx, Chicago, and Baltimore are relatively low, and falling yet.
Many of the young rapper’s critics assert that his artistic activism is purely selfish. That 6ix9ine does not really care about the people or issues he howls about in his music and online platforms. The writer feels the same. What can he say? He is an iffy nigga.
He is highly reluctant to test what the self-declared King of New York referred to as his “gangsta,” in addition to his grasp of civil rights and criminal justice reform. He has marked and cowers in abject terror at Tekashi’s words:
“If a nigga try to test me, I off him
Put a hole in his head, he a dolphin”
STEVE IGNORANT & CRASS – WHITE PUNKS ON HOPE
Arguably at the vanguard of this movement, English anarcho-punk band, Crass recognized the trend of whites looking upon blacks pitifully and condescendingly. Taking unto themselves a false modern version of the white man’s burden, and so viewing themselves as the long-awaited saviours to the benighted Negro. Focusing on and exaggerating the disparities between the two groups with the ulterior aim of making themselves feel superior. In proper punk fashion, Steve and the gang called things as they saw them. Lambasting white “freedom fighters” for their hypocrisy.
For Crass to utilize that verboten verbiage was, at once, to reveal the altruistic devils’ true motives, as well as express genuine solidarity with their dark skinned peers.
“Thousands of white men standing in a park
Objecting to racism’s like a candle in the dark
Black man’s got his problems and his way to deal with it
So don’t fool yourself you’re helping with your white liberal shit
If you care to take a closer look at the way things really stand
You’d see we’re all just niggers to the rulers of this land”
As opposed to toeing the line and taking up the usual policy of mud baby coddling, Steve Ignorant acknowledges the black man’s strength in two ways: by pointing out that he is capable of solving the problems that beset him and his community, then by using the words “niggers” challenges and reinforces his resilience. Making it clear that he holds any Marquis, Deja, or Terrell to be able to withstand hearing that supposedly spiteful word.
SHAUN KING – THE NIGGER MONOLOGUES
While the writer has rarely fancied modern or conceptual art, he cannot bring himself to ignore the brilliance and dedication of civil rights performance artist, Shaun King and his work. Though he was clearly born to two Caucasian parents, the good brother King—who has come to also be known as Talcum X—takes on the persona of a bi-racial man.
Using all his imaginary fast-twitch muscle fibers to sprint down the trails blazed by comedians like Jim Norton and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Chip Chipperson and Ali-G characters, King went so fast that he inadvertently tore space itself asunder. The laws of Nature were violated. He managed to tear through reality, as if cruising through a ribbon marking a finish line.
This finish line was also representative of the borders of performance art.
His fabricated identity’s ultimate purpose is not to bring entertainment and laughter, despite its being an abundant source for both. What he has set out to do is provoke the kind of social reform articulated so emphatically and eloquently by MLK. Doing so by forcing his minstrel show beyond the stage, screen, and airwaves, elevating and expanding it into his everyday experience. As Pinocchio was made a real boy, Shaun became a real black man.
Only difference is he did so by behaving in the opposite manner—by lying.
One remarkable aspect of the project is that it has been in the making for over three decades. King claims to have been a victim of racially motivated violence when he was 15-years old. He has even attended Morehouse College, an all-male historically black school on a scholarship from Oprah Winfrey’s fund. Those scholarships are only awarded to black men.
If it is the case that those who make a significant impact will inevitably face invective and criticism, Talcum X is the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. Any audio recording of him actually using the N-word has been suspiciously erased from the Internet—I’ve heard word that they once existed. What remains are articles wherein he has typed it, conspicuously hosted only by sites and publications that have voiced their appreciation for his message and artistic vision.