Thursday, September 06, 2007

Comedian kicked off stage for using the 'n'-word.

Kudos to Earl Graves.

Black comedian Eddie Griffin started into a comedy routine in which he repeatedly used the n-word. So Graves, the Black Enterprise founder who was in charge of the show, cut the power to Griffin's mike and announced to the audience that the act was over.

Griffin was 10 minutes into a comedy routine peppered with the N-word, asking the audience "Why are some black leaders telling us to stop using the N-word?"

An unexpected punch line came when Griffin's microphone suddenly went dead and Black Enterprise founder and bossman Earl Graves appeared onstage, like the fabled executioner at Harlem's Apollo Theater, to declare Griffin's set over and done with.

"We at Black Enterprise will not allow our culture to go backwards," said Graves. "Black Enterprise stands for decency, black culture and dignity and we will pay Mr. Griffin all that we owe him - but we will not allow him to finish the show if that's the way he's going to talk."

The crowd went wild. Graves got a standing ovation.

Griffin, who apparently wasn't finished making an ass of himself, reportedly wandered back onstage, hurled an obscenity at his audience and vanished.

There is no excuse for anyone, anywhere to use the 'n'-word. It shouldn't be illegal (as I blogged on last January when a community in Texas tried to make it illegal, but using it-- for any reason-- should be unacceptable.


Anonymous said...

Good take here:

shrimplate said...

Though I never use inappropriate language in work settings or other situations, I have been known to do some monster cussing. But there are some words like this n-word and also the c-word that I just never use.

Of course if you combine the the 'n' and 'c' words you get the ugliest one of all: "neoconservative."

Eli Blake said...

Well, shrimplate,

I'd rather C than B 1.

Eli Blake said...

I just am glad to see this. Like most progressive thinking people, I thought that Don Imus was way over the line, but it is much more difficult to make the case to people who are still defending him that someone like that should be punished when some African-American people say those things about their own community. They may be completely different situations, but most people don't see it that way.

I did watch James Brown's funeral on TV, and I remember one sentence that stands out. Al Sharpton was telling about his last conversation with James Brown, which he'd had shortly before Brown passed away. Brown told him to tell the people there (pretty much anyone who was anyone at all in the black entertainment industry) 'what happened to, 'I'm black and I'm proud? Today we call ourselves n--s and b--s and h-s. Tell them that James Brown said we need to clean up the music.'

Eli Blake said...

Anyway, the crowd reaction made it clear that nobody appreciates using that word anymore.

rafterq said...

I don't use this word myself, but, I have to ask, since libs purport to be so conscious of other's feelings (especially if they're not U.S. citizens): How do you feel about folks using profanity, or other racial and gender based slurs? How about off-color jokes at anyone's expense?? Do you vehemently oppose those as well, or will there always be "a time and a place" for these, because you make no mention of it in your post.

Eli Blake said...


For the record, I oppose any racial or gender-based jokes, if they demean or denigrate an entire group of people based on race or gender.

I personally also choose not to use profanity or tell off-color jokes.

That said, the use of the 'n' word rises above others because of the history around the word, history which includes a great deal of suffering, destruction of entire communities and murder. The only word I can think of in American history that is associated with as much racist violence and murder as the 'n' word also has to do with skin color-- and unfortunately is still used as the name of a professional sports franchise in our nation's capital.