Sense Should Be Common
Over the weekend Gwynth Paltrow (I’m guessing a slightly intoxicated version) decided to tweet the words “Niggas in Paris for real” while dancing on stage with her best friend Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z during the 11th chorus of his extremely popular song “Niggas in Paris.”Who’s a nigga Gwynth? Because I know you don’t believe your pale, blonde, and privileged behind is a member of that tribe. Maybe you were tweeting for Jay and Kanye because they were too busy holding their mics?
Gwyneth knew better.
I mean I get it. I’m pretty culturally competent. Yet even I this past March could not resist playing the song while I was vacationing in Paris, and riding the elevator to the top of the Eifel Tower. The song is hot; especially if you’re Black and successful. If we break the song down to its barest -it’s about two Black men escaping from never dreaming they could even be in a place like Paris, to running the city of lights! Something about Paris screams wealth. It is an old, rich, and very White city. And they don’t like Niggas. Just ask any African the next time you’re in the Chateau Rouge. She got caught up in the fever pitch that was Jay, Ye, and that crowd. It’s a song about making it. But she should have made it without tweeting.
I hate when people try to play dumb about the origin of the word nigger and why if you’re White we’re going to look at you sideways if you dare to speak it. From my previous post in January about a White teacher using the word Nigger in his social studies lesson, you know I have zero tolerance for Anglo-Saxons using that word in any context. Here are some of my words from that post.
We must understand this argument is not about what seems logical or rational to American pedagogy. It is not about who says the word to entertain and who does not. The context of a word does not change its history. The word Nigger is written on the American psyche with Black American’s blood. Modern context is not a strong enough solvent to accomplish that type of erasure.
Now were Kanye and Jay a bit culturally incompetent for naming the song that in the first place, ehhh that argument can go either way. But no matter what way that wind blows, Gwyneth still said it, and she’s still dead wrong. She must be reprimanded. Because if you are White, and truly friends with a Black American, then I think you should know and understand why you should never refer to your Black FRIENDS with that word.
Plus, you can’t convince me she didn’t know the power and implication of her words when she tweeted them. She probably felt a little of the excitement that only comes when you know you’re about to do something daring (and that usually happens when you have some courage juice in your system). Daring in the sense that it could make thousands of people love or hate you in the morning. A move that dares anyone to say something to you because you believe you are above cultural law, simply because of the zeroes in your bank account and the Negroes you hang with.
Well Gwyneth. The morning was not a good look for you.
As far as her bestie Beyonce goes, I don’t expect her to say anything either way. That chick is about her paper. She’s not touching this with a ten foot pole until people calm down. Do you blame her? But I do hope she takes her girl to the side and kindly reminds her: she don’t want this life.