What does niggas mean

"You probably think I shouldn't use the N-word," black actor and comedian Chris Rock once joked on American TV, "but this rule only applies to whites. Any black can say niggers with impunity. Like when you are yours." Kid an idiot. Only you can do that. But if someone else does it, there will be trouble... " But the fronts have never been so clear: Why is "nigger" considered a friendly greeting in some circles, while others are fatally insulted by its use? And who is allowed to say it to whom, when and in which variant?

Not only in America such questions heat up the minds. In Germany the initiative "The brown mob" has just turned to the media with a request for a politically correct designation of black people. At the same time, an Internet initiative supported by rappers in the USA is fighting for the abolition of the dubious "niggers" - Salutation. A few weeks ago, the African American daily Chicago Defender had put the N word in bold letters on the cover. "Was it our aim to shock you with this lead story?" The editor S. Martin addressed the readers. "Absolutely. But are you also shocked when you hear the word in pop songs, cable TV or the movies?"

Discussion sparked: The trial of 19-year-old white New Yorker Nicholas Minucci, who attacked the black passerby Glenn Moore with a baseball bat - after he called him "nigger". A racist insult? Or just one thanks to HipHop in Depending on the interpretation, the baseball attack would be classified as "hat crime" or "normal" assault. The prosecution argues that Minucci only attacked Moore because he was black in a predominantly white neighborhood dared in Queens, which could mean 25 years in prison for Minucci.

Now one could dismiss the whole thing as sad evidence that the neighborhood in Queens, which was the scene of violent attacks on blacks as early as 1980, is still inhabited by racists. If Minucci's defense attorney hadn't called black hip-hop producer Gary Jenkins, of all people, to the stand.

"The word has long since lost its sting in certain circles," says Jenkins, who once worked with Mary J. Blige and Sean ¸¸P.Diddy "Combs as the manager of Uptown Records. It was turned around by a generation of young people socialized with HipHop - in the manner of a self-help trick: Those who constantly use the worst possible insult and turn it into a concept of respect rob the word of its hurtful effect. ¸¸What "s up nigga" than cooler version of ¸¸Halli-hello "?

However, Jenkins added, he had to know more about the background of the defendant before he could assess whether he had used the N-word as a hip-hop aficionado or a racist. ¸¸A white teenager with gold clasp, hanging baggy pants and a baseball cap on the side is considered an official hip-hopper and receives the permit. "At least legally. But whether that also applies if the speaker is swinging a baseball bat? Jenkins, known in cross-examination today Lawyer and president of a hip-hop record company that he personally abstained from the N-word: "My people were hanged on that word ... I wish it would go away forever."