(Please see the update below)
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the other day on Twitter white rapper Asher Roth made a “nappy headed hoes” comment/joke while at Rutgers University for a performance. The shit quickly hit the fan, and the tweet and a subsequent apology tweet were promptly deleted.
Now there’s all this back and forth bullshit about whether or not the kid is racist and should be lynched for a tasteless joke. I think any rational person would conclude that the kid isn’t a racist, and anybody who labels his comments as ‘racist’ is either a moron, or is looking for a reason to start controversy.
It seems pretty obvious to me that the comment was meant to be a funny reference to the fact that dude was at Rutgers, the epicenter of the 2007 Don Imus controversy. So then the question becomes, what was the nature of the joke? Was Asher jokingly implying that he was going to Rutgers to hang out with the predominantly African-American women’s basketball team, or was he taking a swipe at Imus and his comments?
Now, if it was the former, and even if it was intended as a joke, that could be a problem. We can throw around the term ‘post-racial’ until we’re blue in the face, but for the foreseeable future, it will remain an empty phrase. The fact is, if a white kid from the burbs decides he’s going to utter those 3 infamous words, he’d better be damn sure that whatever he’s saying isn’t goin to be the least bit offensive and can’t be taken out of context. Obviously, that wasn’t the case here.
On the other hand, what if Asher was taking a shot at Don Imus? I understand that that’s what he claimed in one of the subsequent apology tweets, and I’m inclined to believe it, because really, what other fucking reason would a white boy have to say something like that? And now if that’s the case, how can anybody be mad at a shot at Don Imus?
I’ll tell you how.
The first place you fucked up Asher was by making the joke at all. Like YN said, when it comes to race, if it’s not funny, it’s offensive. And it wasn’t funny. Most “nappy headed hoes” jokes aren’t, because they conjure memories of an ugly incident. This is especially true for jokes made by people of the Caucasian persuasion. Double standard? Sure, but it is what it is. I thought we all understood this at this stage of the game, but maybe I was wrong.
Beyond it not being funny, it’s like, come on man, I thought you were smarter than that. Even if the joke had been funny, you gotta know that there are people out there who were just waiting for you to slip up on anything even remotely related to race so they could play the ‘racist white rapper’ card. I mean,there are fat fucks out there that spend 20+ hours a day trolling Twitter for fuckery.
And that’s the aspect of this whole thing that really pisses me off personally, because as a Black blogger who has shown support to Asher in the past, it puts me in a position where now I’m expected to respond to this fuckery.
Which brings me to my second point: Why’d you delete the original tweet and the apology? You should know by now, as someone who made their name on the web, that nothing you write on the internet ever goes away. Especially if you’re in the public eye. In my opinion, if you would’ve left the apology tweet up, this would be a non-issue and I wouldn’t even be writing this post right now.
Not to mention that by deleting the tweet, you are acknowledging that you did something wrong (which is actually a good thing), but more importantly, you are creating an air of conspiracy. The apology tweet was the perfect, public acknowledgment that you know that you did something wrong and you’re sorry for it. People were free to read both tweets and decide whether or not they were mad. Deleting both is a shady move that suggests that you have something to hide. When you fuck up in public, you have to take responsibility for your actions. Any grown man should know this.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little concerned that, as of this afternoon, Asher has STILL failed to make a public statement about this whole debacle. Look dude, your album is in stores this week and it looks like it’s going to be moderately successful. You successfully rose from a little podunk town in PA to a bonafide, Billboard charting artist in a predominantly Black genre, and while you got your fair share of hate, you also got your fair share of love. I don’t think a sincere explanation and/or apology (that won’t be deleted later) is too much to ask.
Some people have implied that I have been accepting money to support Asher, or that I was ignoring the “nappy headed hoes” comment because I was in bed with his management or some such nonsense. Of course what nobody seems to have noticed is that there hasn’t been one Asher related post on Nah Right since the controversial tweet. And it’s not like there hasn’t been plenty of Asher related content in the last few days that I would have normally posted. On Friday I mentioned on Twitter that I was waiting for a statement from his camp before I responded, and some idiots took that to mean that I was giving his PR people some time to spin the situation.
I don’t know what I’ve ever done in my history as a blogger that would make anybody think that I would ever in my life cater to any fucking artist in such a way, but ok. The fact is, if I decide I’m going to blog about something, I’m gonna blog about it on my own fucking timetable, not whatever timetable you assholes think I should adhere to. So my challenge still stands for anybody out there to find anybody who has ever paid money to me or been asked for money by me for coverage of an artist. But I’m also announcing a new challenge, and this one is for Asher Roth. Step up and acknoweldge what you said and explain yourself homie. It’s only right. Until you do so, there will be no more Asher Roth posts on Nah Right.
UPDATE: Ok, so I just got off the phone with Asher’s manager Scooter Braun and he asked me to point out that, in all fairness, he did reach out to me over the weekend with an explanation of Asher’s comment. He did tell me that the remark was intended as a shot at Don Imus and that the tweet was in no way meant to offend anybody. Now in my opinion, and this is where Scooter and I disagree, I feel like Asher owes Hip-Hop, as a collective, an explanation. Becauase, yeah sure, I heard his side of the story, but the rest of you didn’t. Scooter feels that if Asher responds to the fuck boys who took the original tweet and blew it out of proportion, that’d he just be catering to…fuck boys. And while I agree with this somewhat, I still think Asher should speak on it. Stay tuned.