All or None

March 1, 2013
Last year, Gwyneth Paltrow, the actress that plays Tony Stark’s love interest in the Iron Man series, flew to Paris to hang out with her dear friends Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Throughout the night the group drank champagne, shared laughs and went to a concert that was performed by Jay-Z and Kanye West. At some point in the night, Gwyneth tweeted a photo of her and Beyoncé captioned, “N*ggas in Paris.” Although she was simply quoting the title of a hit song that the rappers performed, many African Americans were outraged. They simple couldn't believe that a white actress would say such a dirty, nasty word. Was she actually wrong for quoting a song that contained a word that is used by the same people that readily scolded her? Although some people, such as rapper Ice-T, came to her defense many still felt that her language was unacceptable. As an African American I believe she wasn't wrong. Although she should've known what kind of trouble that caption would cause, she was repeating the name of a song that was ignorantly titled. It was unfair that she had to put up with the discrimination and anger from saying the n word if she wasn't saying it to intentionally offend anyone.

As we all know, the n word was used as a racial slur against African Americans back in the days of slavery and segregation. So it’s a no brainer that a word with such an ugly history should be considered unacceptable to use at all. But in my opinion, this has caused African Americans to have a feeling of ownership and protectiveness over the word because they are the ones it was originally addressed towards. Almost like how you can terrorize your siblings, but if anyone else does it then you're out for blood. Whatever the reasoning is behind the mindset of who can say the n word or not, everyone should still be able to say it, non-offensively of course, if they wish to.

Over the past 30 years, the n word has been made popular in African American vocabulary due to African American music, movies, and comedy sketches. It was exclusively used in the black community for many years but recently it has started to branch out to other racial communities. All over social media websites and throughout school hallways the n word is being used more often by people both black and otherwise. While I don’t believe that it should be used at all because of its ugly history, I think that if one group of people can say it then everyone should be able to.

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