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Should Mayor Ban N-Word at Upcoming Jay Z Concert?

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images); Jay Z (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images); Jay Z (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Dom Giordano, at the Philadelphia Daily News, asks whether Mayor Michael Nutter, who was critical of Eagles player Riley Cooper's use of the n-word, will take a similarly hard stand against Jay Z and the hip-hop industry "that profits off slurs and guns." The hip-hop star is slated to perform in Philadelphia.

I ask this because Jay Z and the other "entertainers" are serial users of the N-word in their acts. As Phil Mushnick, of the New York Post, noted, "Jay Z has done more to return the N-word to mainstream dialogue than any 10,000 white racists working as one." 

So, the question I ask is: Will the mayor rule that the concert will be an N-word-free zone, or else?

You will hear the argument that Jay Z and many of the serial N-word exploiters are African-American and that that gives them a cultural/racial/poetic license to use the word to make big bucks … I'm sorry, I meant to say to advance and chronicle society. I dispute this argument, but I'll put it aside for a moment.

Mr. Mayor, do they also have this special license to call women bitches and whores? Do they also have a license to slur gays in both English and Spanish? Will this concert feature these slurs?

Mr. Mayor, how will these entertainers approach the issue of gun violence? As Mushnick, of the New York Post, notes, "Jay Z has written and recorded so many odes to street murder that it's hard to keep track. Glocks, Tecs, chrome, 9-millimeters, AK-47s. He has sung love songs to guns for over 15 years. They're not cautionary tales of lament from the mean streets; they're boasts, threats … "

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Read Dom Giordano's entire piece at the Philadelphia Daily News.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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