Another day, another writer agonizing over whether it's okay for white people to use the "n" word or some sanitized corruption of the "n" word. The latest imbroglio has to do with a certain wormhole of suck, also known to the world as Gwyneth Paltrow ("GP", because I don't like writing "Gwyneth" more than I have to) came onstage at a Jay-Z concert in Paris, and alluded to a rap song by tweeting "ni**as in paris for real". A few points, to save us all some time:
1) If Jay-Z had any street cred left after naming his daughter "Blue Ivy", he lost it all by letting the whitest person this side of Donny Osmond dancing to Pat Boone get on stage with him. If Jay-Z isn't relegated to ridicule for this, then the world owes Nelly an apology for his duet with Tim McGraw.
2) Much as I think GP is the embodiment of everything that's wrong about pretentious, entitled and absolutely horrible people who harm the world with every day they continue to breathe, I really doubt she's a conscious racist. If GP truly hates and despises black people, I'm sure she has enough brains to keep it quiet. (Though not enough brains to turn down the script for "Country Strong", so who knows).
3) Rappers--if you don't want white people using the "n" word, here's a genius idea for you--stop using the "n" word. It's well known that the majority of your fans are white people trying to get street cred! They obviously will emulate you to try and get some of that sweet, sweet cred, and this means if you keep using the "n" word, they will too.
4) Of course, if it's not the word itself that bothers you, and you care only about the context, then carry on. I doubt white wannabes are shouting the "n" word at rap concerts in the hope of starting a race war in which they'll be the very first casualties.
5) Seriously, I still can't get over Jay-Z bringing Paltrow up on the stage. What, was the rapping granny from "Wedding Singer" not available?