It is a debate we’ve had for years, yet one I suggest need not ever be had. These distinctions without a difference as to when, how or who is okay to use the most hateful word in the English language misses the point. If we are to fight to “own” something, let it not be a word, but a history worthy of reverence and respect.
The word is vile, no matter if it ends with -er or -gga. Celebrating it in music, movies or popular culture only serves to popularize its use, not demonize its true history. I parse this issue, not at all. No other word is comparable. And whereas we clearly can not ban any speech, we can avoid the flagrant promotion of that which only belittles us as Black people.
— Carol Costello (@CarolHLN) May 23, 2018