After Gwyneth Paltrow’s Twitter flap, a debate over the use of the n* word

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After Gwyneth Paltrow's Twitter flap, a debate over the use of the n* word
After Gwyneth Paltrow's Twitter flap, a debate over the use of the n* word
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

On The Ed Show Tuesday, guest host Michael Eric Dyson talked to hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons about whether it’s ever okay for a white person to use the n* word.

Earlier this month, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow caused a stir by posting a tweet with the word while attending a Jay-Z/Kanye West concert in Paris, referencing a song title from the rappers’ album.

Paltrow later explained herself, but did not apologize for what some consider to be a racially-insensitive comment.

Hip-hop icon Q-Tip said he thinks Paltrow should apologize.

Nas, Russell Simmons, and journalist Toure have all come to the actress’ defense. 

For professor Michael Eric Dyson, “What we’re seeing is one of the internal debates that happen within the African American culture. It’s the most heinous word in the American vocabulary, but there’s also the argument that it is used as a term of endearment by African-Americans to take the venom out of the viper of the n* word.”

Russell Simmons, on the show, said that “Unless you have a direct bloodline to a slave… I don’t recommend you use the n* word… but intention has got to be the most important thing… this particular incident with Gwyneth is innocent. Her getting a pass by Nas and people who know her and love her— and us letting it go— is one thing. But it’s not something I could recommend she continue to do.”

Dyson offered his opinion. “I would suggest to all white people, here’s an iron-clad law that will help you at all points. Here’s when you can say the word: Never.”

What do you think?

After Gwyneth Paltrow's Twitter flap, a debate over the use of the n* word

Updated