Posted on December 30, 2013

TMZ Poll: “African-American or N – – – -?”

Albert Lin, DiversityInc, December 23, 2013

Gossip site TMZ took some comments by music producer/executive Marion “Suge” Knight a step too far by putting up a poll on whether it is preferable to “refer to Black people as” African-Americans or n — -s.

With more than 80,000 votes, the N-word is winning 54 percent to 46 percent.

Predictably, response from the Black community has been outrage.

In an editorial of sorts on its website, Ebony wrote: “We’re done with TMZ and we hope that any self-respecting Black person who ever visited them for gossip or fun or folly or as a guilty pleasure will say the same. There is no coming back, no apology needed, no sensitivity training, nothing.”

Knight told TMZ that certain uses of the N-word are acceptable. He added, “I like [the N-word] better than ‘African-American.’ We’re not from Africa; we’re Black. Even Africans don’t call themselves African — if they’re from Kenya, they say they’re Kenyan.”


In a separate interview, Public Enemy front man Chuck D told TMZ that he does not believe the N-word can be used as loosely as Knight suggested. “Being called Black in America is the struggle to keep us moving and breathing over bloody water,” he said. “Being a [N-word] without the context of history is like drowning in bloody water, dragging down those yet knowing to swim.”