Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alec Baldwin Tweets the Word Niggas But Black Folk Aren't Allowed to be Upset

'DSC_5466' photo (c) 2010, Viva Vivanista - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
When I think of the phrase pompous douchbag, Alec Baldwin is one of the first people that comes to mind.  I know that he believes that he has a veneer of a liberal, but his anti-woman behaviour coupled with the fact that he has publicly claimed to be a men's rights activist is enough to put him on my douchbag list.  Baldwin is White, male, cis, straight, seemingly able bodied and has enormous class privilege.  When it come to the top of the food chain there can be no doubt that he is riding high.  Typical of men like him, Baldwin recently decided that he had the right to attack a marginalized group when they dared to suggest that him using a slur was inappropriate.

The following are Baldwin's tweets:

For the record the people complaining that his language was racist were Black and yet he had the nerve to describe them as "a disgrace to the human race."  Of course he's not racist, he did after all profess his love of Kanye West.  As long as you have one Black BFF that apparently gives you a pass to use all kinds of racial slurs.  I wonder if West knew that he was signing up to be Baldwins magical pass when he did something racist?


Recently we have seen quite a bit denial about the harm that slurs cause.  It seems that some believe that depending on the context in which the slur is uttered that it can be potentially be acceptable and that of course is born of privileged thinking.  It is simply an excuse for dominant bodies to actively oppress marginalized ones. Slurs cannot be said without causing harm because they are based on a legacy of dehumanizing and actively oppressing marginalized people.

Alec Baldwin didn't just repeat the title of a Kanye song he suggested a title of a song that he would sing. I am sure that he thought that this was funny but any kind of denial of a racist slant to his commentary went out the window the moment he decided to expand upon Kanye's song.  The words "Kanye and I are doing a song called niggas in Motauk," were of his own creation. 

I think that some will be willing to give him a pass because he said niggas and not nigger due to the fact that niggas is supposedly a more friendly version of the word but point in fact is that any word in which nigger is the derivative, is racist coming out of the mouth of a White man. The very fact that he believed that he had the right to then attack those who were justifiably complaining about his language, further proves how determined Baldwin is to deny any of his various privileges.

In closing, if you happen to be White and have an inkling to say the word nigga, niggers, niggaz, niggas, do the world a favour and shut the hell up.  You will never ever erase your historical privilege enough to be able to say this word without being viewed as an outright racist.