Spurred on by the recent unpleasantness created by Michael Richards going all crazy-racist at a comedy club, then taking every opportunity to apologize, Jesse Jackson is now calling for entertainers of all races to stop using the N-word altogether. Jackson announced this initiative Monday at a press conference in Los Angeles along with several other black leaders including U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and, interestingly, comedian Paul Mooney, a regular guest on The Chappelle Show, and until recently a vigorous user of the N-word in his routines. Jackson said he would be meeting with networks, film companies and musicians to discuss this effort.
While the fracas began over Richards’ anger-fueled racist rant in a comedy club, Jackson thinks all use of the word should cease. “We want to give our ancestors a present,” he said. Of course, the sector in which this term crops up most is undoubtedly music, predominantly hip-hop, and that will also be Jackson’s hardest sell. The use of the N-word has not gone unconsidered in the hip-hop world, as such politically and socially conscious musicians as Public Enemy, Kanye West, Common, Mos Def, and A Tribe Called Quest have all used, explained, and defended use of the term.
Jackson also recommended that the public refrain from buying the 7th season Seinfeld DVD boxed set, which was released last week. Apparently Richards hasn’t done his penance yet.
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