Comedienne Lisa Lampanelli is in a whole lotta Twitter trouble after she dared use the "N-word" when she tweeted a picture of her and Girls star Lena Dunham. She wrote: "Me with my n***a @Lena Dunham ... I love this beyotch!" Of course, she got called racist. You know, it's about time we got over the word "n***a," which I won't even spell out because I don't even want to risk some idiot calling me racist. Anyway, Lisa refuses to apologize for her use of the word and explains that it means "friend." Um, duh!
After Twitter lit up with gripes (when doesn't it?) over her use of the term, she defended herself, saying:
The N-word ending in 'er' is far different context from the word ending in 'a.' Ask any person who knows the urban dictionary, it means 'friend'. I have been using these words since I started in comedy and guess what, people? I won't stop anytime soon, just because your ass is up on Twitter.
It's not a term I'd use myself but I'm allowed to write about it. You know why? I live in Brooklyn. I hear this word all of the time. And it's always used to mean "dude," or "guys," or even "you."
Last night in the gym, there were three young guys (late teens or early 20s) working out near me. I kept hearing, "N***a, you have to do 10 more reps! N***a, you're out of shape!" This was three white guys talking to each other. No one gave them a "black pass." It's just a word they use to mean "dude," and they aren't thinking about the sociopolitical ramifications of it.
Then there was the time I heard a group of black teens say, "Hey, there's the n***as from Occupy Wall Street." They were referring to a group of white people protesting near a bank.
Were any of these people racist -- considering they were using the term for Caucasians? As was Lisa?
The term has clearly evolved from what it used to be ... at least, if done in a certain context and with the all important "a" at the end. I think it's an amazing thing that has happened -- one of the most derogatory words in history has morphed into something positive! (I'm actually thinking "cracker" might have morphed too ... at least judging from the "Cracka, you're looking fine!" comment I got from a black guy a few weeks ago.)
Like I said, I wouldn't use the term. For one, at my age, it would sound ABSURD. It would be like wearing a Wet Seal miniskirt at 80. (Though if my legs are still good, hey, why not?) But I also wouldn't want anyone having some ridic, unfounded excuse to call me racist. Don't want an African-American nurse touching your white baby? Racist. Calling your good friend "n***a"? Not racist.
What do you think about the term?
Image via Lisa Lampanelli on WhoSay