Nigga clothing?

I am not sure if you heard yet, but for 14 months now, Damon Wayans has been trying “to trademark the term Nigga for a clothing line and retail store, a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s online database reveals.” I guess in my short 23 years, I have almost heard it all.

This is the most outlandish idea I have heard in a while. I actually wanted to write on the war today but whoever sent me this email made me detour. Now I won’t front like I don’t use nigga but could he not have thought of anything more creative? For all the comedic genius that the Wayans are famous for, this is not funny. In fact, I feel tricked, I feel hoodwinked, I feel bamboozled!!! (In case you forgot, Damon Wayans played the leading role in Spike Lee’s, Bamboozled)

But this is not the movies and even if this is an attempt on Damon’s part to spark a national discussion on race while getting paid, he is sorely mistaken. Aside from the myriad of problems that will be raised from White people rocking these clothes, is it really good for uplifting the Black Community? I remember growing up wearing Karl Kani and Cross Colours and these clothing lines were designed by Black folk and it caused a sense of pride. I feel the same today about Sean John and RocaWear. I say all that to say I wouldn’t mind wearing “Wayans Wear” if his stuff was on point. But why nigga?

And I realize my contradiction in using nigga in private amongst my people but being against the idea of this clothing line. But what do you think? Is it hypocritical for Black folk to use nigga amongst Black people but to be against Damon Wayan’s idea? And how is it different from rappers using the word nigga in their lyrics? Could Damon be on to something that will ultimately help Black folk?

Looking forward to your comments.

Stay up fam,
Brandon

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10 responses to “Nigga clothing?”

  1. Laqueesha Higgins says :

    Personally, I don’t like or use the term nigga, unless of course a brother gets me real mad or does something shady….then I would call him by his appropriate name, “Nigga!” (JK).

    All jokes aside, to have “nigga” trademarked for clothing line is absolutely ludicrous. We have come so far from getting the word “nigger” out of our vernacular why try to bring it back and trademark it irregardless if “nigger” has been tweaked, modified and transformed to the word “nigga”. Regular White folks, separate from the Vanilla Ices, just won’t get it. Would you be fine if a White colleague of yours greeted you in a business meeting by saying “What’s up my nigga” or a judge saying to you “Nigga, you got 3 months probation for doing so and so” or a professor telling you “nigga, you did really well on that exam”? No, you wouldn’t. So why have some Black folk choose to use this term in our everyday speech, but get pissed off when some White people uses it. That’s absolute hypocrisy on our part.

    Let’s not try to brand the word “nigga” because ultimately it’s a demeaning word and is a dishonor to our ancestors who had to endure the derogatory label, “nigger”, for centuries. We have come too far to try to fight to get it branded on a clothing line rather than get’n it out of our vocabulary system completely. Come on Black folks, smart’n up.

  2. chaka says :

    come on people,this is crazy as hell.to coin the word nigga for a clothin line is freakin nuts. now i will admit to using the word and i know some white boys that say it to black folks they cool with but for me its outta the question. if this happens i think it will just be another way for white folk to belittle black folks. racism is still alive and kickin in america and for white people to justly walk around with the word nigger on their shirt or jeans would be a huge blow to the head of our race. i wonder what the wayans would do if they saw a known racist walkin proudly with their brand on and boldly said “what up nigger”? will it be ok cause they are “spotin their gear” or would it be as demeaning to them as im sure it would be to millions of black people. its not okay to call us niggers but its okay to wear it on a shirt? if this happen it will be a even crazier world to live in. god help us.

  3. Free says :

    I used the word when I was younger. Age and a lot of exposure to more sublte forms of racism broke my habit. I watched 1 part of the tv special “That’s What I’m Talking About.” Diahann Carroll & Harry Belafonte had different views on the use of the word than the younger Toure and Paul Mooney. For older people, the word is more painful while younger people found it freeing and rebellious. I lean toward the “painful” side. There is a place for the word, but Mr. Wayans crossed some kind of line with it.

  4. Anonymous says :

    I personally stop using the word in high school when my boyfriend at the time said, “I’m your boyfriend not your nigga.” Then I went to UM and decided I definitely had no love for the word. Now I work with high school students and talk to my family back in Detroit who still use it. There is no consciousness around their use of it and it’s not just Blacks using the word. My students are not reclaiming the word or sparking discussion about the history of the word. They tell me the word means ignorant and stupid. They said, “A white man could be a nigga if he’s actin’ ignorant”.

    IF WE ARE NOT RECLAIMING IT (which it does look like we’re doing) then WE SHOULD CONDEMN IT and educate folks about why it shouldn’t be used.

    Damon should find another way to agitate people into discussion.

  5. Brandon Q. says :

    Thanks for the posts everybody, I thought they were really on point. But let me throw out two possibilities for you to ponder. Do you ever forsee a day when the word nigga fades out of existence? And secondly, is there any use for someone in the Black community to trademark the word in order to keep it from being used?

    Stay up fam,

    Brandon

  6. The Blog says :

    Just in case you don’t see my answer to your question…
    I don’t really know what the benefit would be. I don’t use the word at all and no one in my family does either. It’s a word attached with too many emotions and it just conjures of images of violence and lynchings.
    Maybe Damon Wayans thinks if he trademarks ‘Nigga’ it will take the sting out of the word, but for a whole other generation it doesn’t. For most African-Americans today if a white person were to say it, a riot would probably start. My question to Wayans more or less would be: What happens when white people and little white kids start sporting this ‘Nigga’ gear to work or school or on the streets? I can only imagine the violence that would ensue after someone sees them doing that. They think it’s cool or they think they have freedom to know use it and express it. I also wonder if racist will use it the clothing to mock blacks and feel it will give them leeway to use the word (not that haven’t) but I think you get my point. The consequences of trademarking this word have not been thought through. I just think Wayans is completely social irresponsible. This is the one time I’ve agreed with Cosby: Why do we want to make fools of ourselves?

    P.S. You can come back to my blog anytime and post. I’m pretty random about what I talk about but I try to mix it up with politics, entertainment and law.

  7. Anonymous says :

    Well, I am going to start off by saying I am “white” to be more specific I am American Indian. I can understand how painful the word “nigger”, “nigga” or in whatever form it takes can be.
    However, “Do you ever forsee a day when the word nigga fades out of existence?” no I do not. The reason being is because the black community has put it back into American vocabulary. How long has the word nigger not been used in such excess…quite a while, and I will thank Mr. King for that.
    As of late, the black community (when I say black community, I mean the puplicized black community, rappers, comedians, etc.) has been shoving this nigga word in everyones faces, you cannot go a day without listening to the radio, or watching T.V. without hearing the word….it’s being used more then “dude” today….which is very wrong.
    If the black community really wants to overcome this word, its quite simple, don’t put it the American civilians face everyday. If this word keeps getting used in the way that it is…generations of children of any race will feel that it is ok to say, and they will say it. And I agree with the above poster, how can the black community use it in such excess then turn around and accost someone of another race for using the exact same word…most of the time in a non-deragatory context.
    I will end this rant with a small example of my life. I grew up in a mixed-race area, mostly of lower income housing. When I was young the word never came out of my mouth…never. As I grew up, and day after day, after day, after day of hearing the word, 100’s of times a day…I began using it. I can sit here and say I don’t use the word anymore…but then I would be lying, this word is like a virus, once your bit its extremely hard to remove from yourself.
    Sorry If I cross any lines, but this is the way I see it, and Damon Waynes is a detriment to your race if he feels that a clothing line named “nigga” is appropriate.

  8. Ellen says :

    Yes, it is a HUGE contradiction. Personally, I don’t use the word. I never have and my intention is to never use it. It is degrading, demoralizing, and regressive. Furthermore, it blurs the line of acceptable use amongst groups of people.

  9. orgen says :

    nigga nigger whatever
    would u lend a pencil to either

  10. ray says :

    Nigga Please!

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