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Let’s Talk About Gina Rodriguez

Dear my black brothers and sisters, 


We need to talk about the N-word. I know no one really wants to talk about it, but it’s a conversation that needs to be had. Recently Hispanic actress, Gina Rodriguez, was dragged on social media for using the N-word. Rodriguez is an actress best known for her role on the popular show “Jane the Virgin,” and won a Golden Globe in 2015 for her performance on the show. 

She posted a video of herself getting her hair done on her Instagram story. In the video she is singing along to the legendary rap group, The Fugees, song “Ready or Not.” The rap group consists of three black artists. On the popular and iconic track the artists use the N-word multiple times. Rodriguez said the N-word while reciting the song and social media went wild. Rodriguez was being called a racist, ignorant and a bigot for using the word while singing the song. 

After watching her get dragged on social media, all I could say was, “Dammnnnn Gina!” in the style of Martin Lawrence of course. As a black woman I was very conflicted and confused seeing this controversy play out. Keep in mind that Rodriguez was reciting the lyrics to a rap song, now let’s take a look at the hip-hop community.


The popular music genre that is hip-hop was originated by black people and still mostly consists of black artists. However, there are very popular white artists like Eminem, Mac Miller and Post Malone, who have never said the N-word in there music and wouldn’t get away with saying it. There are also some very popular Spanish artists in hip-hop like Tekashi 69, Fat Joe, Cardi B (who is half black), Big Pun and the list goes on. 


The specific Spanish artists that I’ve named all have at least one thing in common. They have all said the N-word multiple times in their very popular songs and have never really received any backlash for it. 

In the past two years the popular and controversial rap artist, Tekashi 69 who is Puerto Rican and Mexican, reached massive popularity in the rap game. His debut album “Dummy Boy,” released in late 2018 peaked at No.2 on the Billboard 200 chart. On this album 69 uses the N-word repeatedly, but his album wasn’t boycotted nor did he really catch any heat for using the word. 


69 has famously been involved in a court case in which he “snitched” on his fellow gang members. He has received more heat for “snitching” on his crew than he ever has from the black community for saying the N-word. 

While Cardi B is half black, she has been called out multiple times for calling black women offensive names like “roaches.” On some of her most popular Latin-themed tracks, like the No.1 single “I Like It,” she uses the N-word repeatedly. 


Fat Joe and the late Big Pun have also had massive success in the hip-hop community despite using the N-word repeatedly. So, I must ask, is it really fair for us members of the black community to drag Gina Rodriguez for using the N-word when we allow multiple Hispanic artists to rise to fame using the word? I don’t think it is.


In the black community it seems as if we pick and choose who can say the N-word which isn’t fair. In pop culture with artists like Cardi B and Tekashi 69 using the N-word, Hispanics using the N-word has become normalized. We all agree that white people shouldn’t use the word for overwhelmingly obvious reasons, but we aren’t on the same page when it comes to other brown people? 


While I don’t know the answer to this very confusing issue, I do know what isn’t the answer. Telling black people to not use the N-word if they don’t want anyone saying it, is not the answer. 


Black people took an incredibly hateful word, once used to hurt and break a black person’s spirit and now use it as a form of endearment. Marginalized groups like the LGBTQA community have done this same thing with multiple homophobic and transphobic slurs.


Overall, we need to be on the same page and open the discussion of who can really say the N-word to avoid issues like this again, no more picking and choosing as it confuses and dividends the black community.

Your neighborhood Marvel nerd who loves music and writing.
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