The star of “Dear White People” tried to explain why it’s okay for black people to use “nigga” but not white people in a video for HuffPost Black Voices.
Justin Simien, the show’s creator, sat down with his lead star Logan Browning this week to discuss why it’s not a double standard for black people to use the term exclusively. Browning argued that white people already have everything, so black people should be the only ones allowed to say it.
“How many things do White people have? How many?! All of the things!” Browning began, before launching into a defense of the term.
“They have all of the things. There is this one thing, this one word that Black people took and used as a form of endearment and it’s ours, let us have this one word,” Browning continued. “There’s so much hatred behind it when it comes from the mouths of others, and this is something that we’ve turned into a very special casual term not to be used by everyone.”
The term “nigga,” derived from the racial slur “nigger,” now serves as a term of endearment for the black community. Simien also agreed with Browning, saying that black people using “nigga” provided a way for them to turn the word into something good.
“We made medicine out of our poison,” Simien said.
Others have pointed out that changing “nigger” to “nigga” doesn’t really change the brutal history behind the term.
“You change a vowel or two. It doesn’t change the meaning,” Dineytra Lee, a black and Puerto Rican youth activist told The Washington Post previously.