Race, Privilege, Music, and The N-Word
On Wednesdays on the Mindless Diversion blog, I’m quite regularly pleased to play one of my favorite songs or one of my previous favorites or something that just gets stuck in my head… and, yeah, odds are that if the song is from between 1988-1997, it’s got a story or three associated with it as well.
There is a problem that I’ve encountered, however… specifically, the fact that a non-zero number of really, really, really excellent songs from this time period happened to use the N-word (as an aside, I can’t think of a single instance of a white rapper using this word…).
Now, my thoughts aren’t on when or whether it’s okay to use the N-word or if it’s okay to sing/rap along to songs that use the N-word. These topics have been tackled by far more thoughtful writers than this one (and it’s kind of moot when it comes to blogging). My question is whether we, as a community, would want to avoid listening to songs that happen to have the N-word used in the song, whether these songs are no big deal, or if posting them would be within acceptable parameters so long as if we have a warning (and if the warning should say “explicit language” or “contains slurs” or what)?