Monthly Archives: June 2012


3 Steps to Fix the N-Word Issue


Racial incidents involving the N-word are still common. But here’s a three-part strategy for preventing them from happening.

At first, I was simply annoyed by the latest dust-up involving Gwyneth Paltrow quoting Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s tune, “Niggas In Paris.”

But after awhile, my heart sank a little. Regardless of the particulars of this story (was she at the concert? Did someone use her phone? Did it matter that she didn’t say the whole word?) stories like this persist because of a confluence of complicated factors and for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Black people are not monolithic.

But I think I have a way to clear all this up. At the risk of oversimplification, I offer an analogy.