Tim Allen and the N-Word

The comic gives some pretty privileged thoughts on the word in an interview; Twitter is unimpressed.

Tim Allen (Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
Tim Allen (Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

(The Root) — Tim Allen can now be added to the list of white people who really, really want to be able to use the n-word.

In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Allen talks about his distaste for the euphemism “the n-word,” saying that the phrase is more offensive than the actual word it represents. He longs for a time when comics could say the word in their stand-up routines, and whines about how confusing it is for white people to hear blacks use the word, but not be allowed to use it themselves.

“You want to take the power away from the word so that no one is offended by it,” said Allen, who was apparently certified as a Negro Whisperer sometime ago, which would explain how on earth he would know what black people want to do with the word.

In Allen’s lust for the n-word, he covers all the typical privileged arguments: Black people say it all the time; the word actually means a lazy/ignorant person; he’s got black friends who say it to him (the black friend in this case happens to be Martin Lawrence, with whom he once did a movie).

Shockingly, these age-old arguments aren’t any more convincing coming from a big, relevant star like Tim Allen.* Unsurprisingly, none of this went over well with black folks on Twitter, who had plenty to say about his comments. The general consensus is that Tim Allen, along with every other person campaigning for access to the word, needs to commit himself to several seats.

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