Sing ‘nigger’ and your song will be blacklisted
New York’s City Council has asked The Recording Academy, home of the Grammys, not to nominate musicians for Grammy awards if they use the word ‘nigger’ in their lyrics. Critics say it is a limitation of free speech
On 28 February 2007 the City Council unanimously declared a moratorium that carries no penalty but aims to stop youth from casually using the word, considered by most Americans to be the most offensive in the English language. The campaign hopes to expunge the most vile of racial slurs from hip hop music.
A Grammy spokesman said to Reuter’s Daniel Trotta that he doubted The Recording Academy’s 11,000 voting members would support any measure that might censor artists.
“They are not going to be supportive of something that excludes someone simply because they are using a word that is offensive,” said Ron Roecker, vice president of communication for the Recording Academy.
The city resolution calling for the moratorium traces the etymology of the word from the Latin ‘niger’, meaning black, to its first documented written use in 1786 as a term slave masters used to label their African slaves. Use of the word by blacks exploded with the rise of rap music in recent years.
|Sources on the internet
Search ‘nigger’ + ‘banned’
Search ‘Russell Simmons’ + ‘bitch’
Reuters – 28 February 2007:
‘New York City bans racial slur’
MediaBuyerPlanner – 19 April 2007:
‘Radio Station Bans Music with Violent, Racist Lyrics’