Ciara and Dania Ramirez stopped by Access Hollywood Live yesterday to talk about the always controversial “n-word,” in light of the Paula Deen scandal. Both women had interesting perspectives. Dania said she grew up in a predominately African-American community where people used it as a term of endearment and admitted that she has used it in that context, even with Black friends. However, she said that her perspective has changed now that she’s older and she feels that no one should use it. In Ciara’s case, she felt that it was okay to use in her music and that the word has as much power as you give it. Here’s a portion of what each of the women said word for word:
Dania: I don’t see the point in allowing certain people to be able to use it and then others to not be able to use it. I have used it. I’ve actually worn it one time down the red carpet … it was printed on a shirt. This was back when Nas was coming out with his album, he titled it the ‘N-Word.’ I would say it to my friends. I have African-American friends. I don’t see a problem with it. I’ve used it talking to Spike Lee, who I worked with.
For me it’s about, if there’s really a problem with it then it shouldn’t be a part of our vocabulary, period. …Who knows, there’s always a problem with the way people use things depending on how you’re using it.
Ciara: I’m all about empowering myself a human being. I would never use any word that would degrading to myself first because I love myself. I do want to say that. That word has as much power as you give it. That word is so old that it references the context of where it comes from. I want to make sure I’m clear about that, it doesn’t mean that same thing that it could have meant years ago, especially when we can have fun about it.
As an entertainer you have fun and it’s all about the context it’s used in. I am an African-American woman, so I can identify with that word in different ways. I know where I’m coming from… If we have fun with it and you can understand where it’s coming from, then you can probably receive it in that way. I have the power to speak in a light-hearted way about it, [but] I cannot hear another person of another race saying, ‘You this and you that.’ It’s all about how you say it…
Here’s the video:
Spotted at Necole Bitchie.