North Carolina Newspapers

The News Argus
April 16, 2007
Opinions and EDrroRiALS
What we need is a new term to replace the ‘N-word’
Kai Beasley
One of the best ideas I've
heard for fighting racism in
America came from the
small Texas town of
It was Mayor Ken Corley
who decided to take a bold
step toward achieving racial
equality by proposing to
make the N-word illegal.
Not surprisingly, this pro
posal was met with a great
deal of protest and eventu
ally was withdrawn.
Attendance at the Brazoria
town hall meeting was so
huge that it had to be
moved outside for a more
inclusive discussion.
The arguments against
outlawing the word were
pretty routine. There was
the argument for free
speech, and the typical, "If
we can't call them nigger,
then they can't call us
cracker, or honky or
Republican (the last one
being the most offensive)!"
I saw the report on CNN
and was amazed at how
using the N-word actually
brought black and white
Brazoria together.
There were white people
who thought that outlawing
the N-word was simply
unfair. That's understand
able, right? I mean, if they
can't call black people by
the N-word, then they
would have to go through
months of research, labora
tory hours and red tape to
find a new word to insult us
And then, of course, some
black people objected to
making the word illegal.
And that's understandable,
right? I mean, of course one
could see that
if...WHAT?!?!? (cue record-
scratch sound effect).
Black people objected to
making the N-word illegal?
This word has been used for
hundreds of years to
demean, embarrass and
dehumanize. It has been the
cornerstone of the house
that lynching, racial vio
lence and prejudice built. It
was often the last thing
heard between the short
drop and the quick stop.
Maybe I'm just not seeing
this whole thing right.
You know what? Now
that I think about it, I am
beginning to understand
why African Americans
would object to getting rid
of arguably the worst word
in the English language.
Allow me to, as the kids say
these days, "break it down
for you."
African Americans have
struggled, and fought and
in many cases been victori
ous over racism, prejudice
and a system that has been
set up specifically for non
whites to fail. And now
Mayor Corley of Brazoria,
Texas, wants to outlaw the
N-word? Is he thinking that
we put in all this hard work
and pain so that we would
not be discriminated against
at all? Does he think that
we want to be completely
successful in stomping out
racist sentiments in
America? Well, if you think
that, Mayor Corley, you're
wrong...dead wrong.
Now does that argument
sound stupid? 'Course it
Some of Brazoria's black
folks raised the argument
that, "I use the word, so if
you're going to outlaw it,
then I'm gonna be the first
one you arrest." My opin
ion? You should be arrested
for allowing your face to be
associated with that com
ment on national television.
Another argument sound
ed like, "These young kids
out here, they use it as
slang, it's cool, it doesn't
mean anything." My opin
ion? Tell me that it doesn't
mean anything the next
time a white person calls
you nigger.
But I ask you, should we
really be the ones going on
record in protest of outlaw
ing such a potent tool of
1«. i
!s*r ■
Photo by Sharrod Patterson
The ‘N-word’ has been a hot topic for some time among WSSU students.
racism? Are we looking for
an excuse to keep racism
Anyway, I'm just
one man. I could be wrong.
Maybe we need to hold
on to words whose sole
purpose is to dehumanize
an entire race of people.
I mean if we were to get
rid of words like that,
we would just have one
less thing to worry about
right? Apparently, accord
ing to some residents of
Brazoria, that's no good.
So if we are in need of
such words, at least look at
the situation logically. The
N-word has gained a lot of
bad press lately...gee, it's
been about what, 400 years
or so, give or take? Because
the media have joined in
giving the N-word such a
bad rap (mainly Paula
Zahn...what was she think
ing?) we should let the N-
word go, and find another
one. Let's see, it should
probably be something that
rolls off the tongue quite
Like, umm... floopa?
"What's up, my floopa!?"
No, I don't like that.
What about "juba?"
"Juba, please!"
I think that works, it's not
as bad because it has no his
tory, and on top of that, if
we use "juba" in place of
the N-word, we can com
pletely do away with the N-
l^ip-Hop is
laHouf peace and
;fun, pioneers say
:By Jeuron Dove
• When people think of hip-hop's
^important female MCs, some of the
■first names that come to mind are
MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and even
I Lil' Kim. But before all of them
there was Sha-rock, who became
the first recognized female MC
when she rapped alongside the
group the Funky Four, founded in
1979, at age 16.
She also recorded one of the
longest hip-hop records of all time,
"Rapping and Rocking The House,"
which was 15 minutes.
Sha-rock, also known as Sharon
Green, was one of three old school
hip-hop artists who came to North
Carolina A&T State University to
educate the current generation
about "true hip-hop."
"We dealt with the streets and
gangs, but hip-hop was a way to
get away from all that negativity.
The culture itself is not negative
and rap music should not be all
about violence," said Sha-rock.
She emphasized that rapping is
just one aspect of hip-hop and
encouraged audience members to
embrace all of it. The four ele
ments of hip-hop are rapping.
beat-boxing, graffiti and break
Two other early MCs, Busy Bee
and Grandmaster Caz, were also at
the event, which featured break-
dancing by A&T students.
"The Origins of Hip Hop" was
the result of a collaboration between
the Residence Hall Association, the
Eta chapter of Phi Beta Sigma
Fraternity and Segwick and Cedar, a
New York-based clothing company
that attempts to preserve hip-hop
culture. Brian Tennie, president of
the association, was working with
the Segwick and Cedar to produce a
basketball game. The company had
the old-school rappers under con
tract, and Tennie made a deal to
bring them to A&T. On March 16,
students learned the true history of
hip-hop from some of its earliest
Busy Bee is often considered the
first official solo hip-hop MC. He
was known as the "Original Chief
Rocker" for his ability to start block
parties and keep the attention of the
crowd with his shout-outs. Bee was
involved in one of the first beefs of
hip-hop when he battled the equally
legendary Kool Moe Dee.
"When I first started doing this in
'76, people thought that this hip-
hop thing would last no more than
about three weeks, but it's 2007 and
the culture of hip-hop has taken
over the world," said Busy Bee, also
known as David Parker.
He stressed that hip-hop was
built on the principles of peace,
love, unity and having fun.
Grandmaster Caz, also known as
Cassanova Fly, was an original
member of the pioneering hip-hop
group the Cold Crush Brothers.
He said he wrote some of the
original lyrics to the 1979 hit
"Rapper's Delight," but was not
"I started out as a graffiti artist
because that was what the girls
liked in high school. I had no idea
that I wanted to be a DJ or an MC
until I went to a party that DJ Kool
Here threw, and from that point on,
I knew that there was nothing else I
wanted to do," said Caz, whose real
name is Curtis Fisher.
Caz said he harbored no bad feel
ings over the "Rapper's Delight"
incident because he had new
worlds to conquer. He helped make
the Cold Crush Brothers one of the
most memorable groups in hip-hop
After the panel discussion, stu
dents asked questions ranging from
who the speakers considered the
best MC today to the role of female
rappers and the purpose of "beef"
in today's hip-hop scene.
Grandmaster Caz named
Ludacris as his choice for best MC,
citing his creativity and consistency.
Sha-Rock chose Black Thought of
the Roots for his socially conscious
subject matter. On beefs. Busy Bee
said that nothing should be taken
personally. It is strictly about skill
Photo by Sharrod Patterson
Hip-hop developed in the ’70s and is still alive today.
on the mic and the quarrels should
be kept respectful, he said, adding
that violence should never be a part
of them. Sha-rock said the music
industry forces women MCs to
dumb themselves down, selling
their bodies for records, instead of
being strong and intelligent, as is
an artist such as Lauryn Hill.
Before the event was officially
over, all three MCs performed.
They had the crowd rocking with
them, although these artists were
making tracks before most of the
students were born.
Grandmaster Caz performed his
2000 response track to "Rapper's
Delight," "MC Delight."
Attendees said they found the
event informative and learned
"I'm into old-school hip-hop, and
I can't believe that I got the chance
to see some real rap legends in per
son," said junior Reggie Warren, a
business major.
Debate continues over student athletes getting paid for playing sports
Michael Shipp
Staff Reporter
For years, people have questioned
whether or not student-athletes
should be paid for competing for
their schools.
There are those who say that col
lege athletes should get paid, and
others who say they should not get
salaries or stipends. They contend
that, since many athletes are award
ed full scholarships, they should not
receive further compensation.
: While these scholarships are a pos
itive part of college sports, they only
"r|take care of tuition. Athletes must
■bear the cost for many other expens-
5es, and with no source of outside
income, they often struggle with
xnoney matters.
p Jamel Virgil, a junior computer sci-
(^nce major at Winston-Salem State
University, believes athletes should
receive salaries for their efforts.
"They should get paid because
they bring money to the school. But
if you do that, you would have to
start paying cheerleaders, etc. ..."
Michael Rosebrough, a senior
political science major, said student
athletes "should get paid money for
their contributions to the school."
Some would then argue that ath
letes should simply get a job, but
with the demands of school and
sports, time for a job is hard to come
by. Every player of a college sport
puts in countless hours of work to
the sport. Instead of going out and
getting a job, they must devote much
of their time to their sport. Many
Division I college athletes get around
$200 to $250 a month for living
expenses and spending money, but
this is small compared to the student
who has time to work.
While the NCAA and its member
schools make millions, even billions,
of dollars in TV revenues, clothing
deals and advertising contracts,
some of the very athletes that the
organization promotes can barely
scrape by. Simply put. Division I ath
letes are making the money, or at
least allowing the NCAA to make
their money, yet they receive nothing
in return. In fact, they are strictly
prohibited from receiving money
from a source relating to their sport.
This simply does not work. College
athletes need to get paid. They need
to receive salaries or even just small
stipends. The NCAA needs to look
into this issue now and make the
right judgment for the student
Photo by Sharrod Patterson
Student athletes stay competitive by staying in shape.

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