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  • Teenah Maria Denyse

    In regards to this piece, I am proud of the author for having the courage to speak on her thoughts on the film we are all entitled to our own opinion and sharing our opinions is a great way to gain insight from other folks that we might not have thought of previously that help shape our knowledge of people and the world, everyones commets have helped me better develop my thoughts on this article.

    I was able to watch the movie and will say that regardless of tarantino's intentions this film has generated rich discussion on the topic of slavery and the word nigger. It is really important for our growth as the human species to talk to each other about how we feel in regards to the issue of racism in the name of collective progress.
    We all have had our own experiences in life that shape the way we view the world around us.

    I dont really want to say that it is just a movie but in some ways i dont think it is fair for us to have high expectations that this film be totally accurate or culturally sensitive. Tarantino although a great filmmaker is a regular person like the rest of us that has alot to learn.

  • Hassan Walker

    Had this been any other director, I wouldn't have had a problem, most likely. But this came from a man who said ROOTS wasn't ACCURATE.
    ROOTS. ALEX HALEY'S ROOTS. That is the equivalent of saying real life items are photoshopped.
    His view of Black America is so warped, its unfathomable to him that we don't carry around guns and demean each other.

  • sxfxaster

    I think this is an excellent and very important article.

    I agree that the films use of the n-word is beyond excessive, but I wouldn't necessarily consider the film hiding behind the context of slavery so Tarantino can write the word into his script. He's excessively used that word in a number of his other films, and while his portrayal of black culture does border between fervent admiration and exploitation, I don't think thats the case here.

    I think this film's point is mainly to emphasize that slavery was despicable and morally bankrupt, and harness that moral bankruptcy in order to create a perfect revenge fantasy a la Inglorious Basterds. It is, as most Tarantino movies are, made to be fun and entertaining. In this case, its so successful because it can guide white people and black people alike into rooting for a slave's violent revenge. In Tarantino's films, we don't need to be above gratuitous violence as our tool to back our moral cause (in this case abolitionism). We can agree that people as despicable as Jackson and Dicaprio's characters deserve such bloody, violent demise, and we can have fun watching such demise.

    In the film, the use of the n-word is rarely used for comedy. The exceptions would be Jackson's and Dicaprio's characters, who are the most chillingly evil in the film. The comedic use serves to exemplify their cruelty, and what's funny about it is the extent to which Tarantino portrays their evil. The underlying point is that by using this word so often, so commonly, and as humor, the film portrays them as villains.

    And the Foxx-Jackson scene is a poor example. Jackson's false, contempt-worthy use of the word shows how contempt-worthy the character is. Foxx's role in this movie is tough. I didn't interpret his character as one obsessed with being gangster, but rather as one fixated on revenge well beyond the point of smoldering furiosity. His repeat of the n-word to Jackson is an embodiment of that furiosity, and him making fun of Jackson's character, taking pleasure in killing him. Foxx is toying with the character.

    I think at the end of the day this film makes society less racist by revealing, in a fun, entertaining way that will certainly strengthen the convictions of many lay viewers, the inescapable injustice of slavery.

  • Emily Nagle

    I definitely understand where you're coming from, but part of the beauty of Tarantino's films is that he tells stories about very harsh realities and ironies of society. Maybe why his usage of the N-word is supposed to leave such a taste in your mouth. He is pointing how how harsh the word is. How people, at one time, used it as just another word when really they were talking about people. Today we hear the N-word used in ways that are less obtrusive, joked about in a 'eh, this word makes me uncomfortable' way, by rappers, and by bigots. What Tarantino points out is that this word used to mean so much more than how we understand it today; he reminds us of its original meaning and how absolutely ridiculous it is that anyone would continue to use the word at all. Which, in a way, is what brought you to your article (which is fantastic, by the way).

    As someone who is an ardent fan of Tarantino's, and someone who often gasped 'that is awesome!' during the movie I want to iterate that I wasn't gasping because of the word use, or because some slave is shooting another slave, but because of the background of why Tarantino is having a slave shoot another slave. There is a deep lesson behind his silliness, a dark sarcasm that isn't pointing fingers but instead is a reminder of how far and how little we've progressed as a society.

  • naulston

    Keep your head up Rebecca Carroll! There are a lot of haters out there that don't have much to add to the conversation. However, I think that your point about the word "nigga/nigger" is a tad bit over stated. When Paul Mooney says, "I say the word nigga ten times every morning to keep my teeth white." He has a point about the word and it's usage. When Louis CK says, "I hate people using the N-word because it makes me think of 'nigga' in my own head." He has a point about how society views this word and how it still creates this uncomfortable space for, in general, white people. In general, Black people don't occupy that same space, rather a space of choice, to use or not to use the word. This move isn't going to change those spaces.

    The underlying point to this movie is that Spike Lee couldn't get this movie made. Will Smith couldn't get this movie made. Nobody in black Hollywood could have gotten this movie made. Isn't that more the point? The fact that even today it takes a white man to make a big production slave revenge story? That stories of minorities are required to be "sanitized" through the lens of white america. Red Tails, needed Rick McCallum and George Lucas. If Tyler Perry isn't making it, a movie with a majority black cast isn't being made for wide release.

    Keep on writing Rebecca!

  • palmerdavis

    I totally agree. I found the writing style of this piece inconsistent, perhaps because the writer was hiding a more visceral response to the film behind stiff formality. I wish more of the piece was as direct as the paragraph where she writes "in the way that a video clerk film geek. . . can now do and say whatever the hell he pleases."

  • Laura Mallory

    I am not big on censorship, but I am not a big Tarantino fan, I think it is important to critique these misguided overdone attempts at entertainment.Thank you for the article!

  • Kirsten Smythe

    I think people need to relax. This movie shows the side of the story that no one has told so far. So what if he uses some language that's Hollywood

  • zphoenixdownz

    Django Unscathed: Rebecca Carroll's Misappropriation of Judgment

    I'd rather see a movie where Quentin Tarantino did nothing more than film people saying the word "nigger" than read this article again. Did you even see Inglourious Basterds? A bunch of Jews got to kill Hitler. This is an extension of that very same idea: reclamation fantasy. Pull your head out of the self-righteous sand pile and go watch a documentary next time.

  • ellication

    I think the use of the n-word is what it is... offense and used. People continue to give it power by either using it or talking about those that use it, right or wrong. I, for one, enjoyed this film, with all the n-words included. They could have left the upside-down buck-naked footage of Jamie Foxx's exposed genitals out though.

  • tvgirl

    I read the juxtaposition of the "gangsta" personae of Django and Stephen in the pre-Civil War South as an effort to draw a direct link from the "dead" white institution of slavery to the modern day institutionalized slavery vis-a-vis the "gangsta" or "ghetto" culture that has continued to shackle black America. I didn't read it as a conflation of the contemporary stereotype of the black male, but as pointing out the modern day result of slavery.

    I think a more explicit blaxploitation version of this revenge story would be to drop two literal modern day "gangstas" into 1860 Mississippi a la Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, & have them seek vengeance for slavery that way.

    I felt Django - like most of Tarantino's films - gave the vengeance a personal, singular narrative, which for me eroded any potential reading of this film as a 'hood movie for the white people to laugh at. RIGHT below that primary motivation - to avenge what has been done to him & his wife - is the vengeance for the entire institution of slavery, but because that is in actuality a byproduct of the main storyline, I have a hard time reading this film's content as misappropriated.

  • stonerwalljackson

    why are people so obsessed with films, music, comedy, etc being offensive? while i would never use the word 'nigger' in daily conversation, i also don't treat it as if saying it summons the Dark Lord to my location to enact profound doom upon me and my kin. while that may sound hyperbolic, a lot of people on this forum are simply afraid of the appearance of the word.

    Quite frankly, I think what scares people the most about this particular film is that many white americans are afraid of the implication of another white american making a movie about slavery. i HAVE seen the movie, and while it doesn't solve the problem of racism in America (does any one artwork solve racisim?) it's a fantastic work.

    Additionally, no movie is for everyone. And, quite frankly, Michael Strassman (below), but if you haven't seen the film than you aren't in a position to comment on it at all. It's the same song-and-dance of people who deafly ban rap music because they are afraid of words and people.

  • noisyblocks

    Ms Carroll, as Basil Fawlty's wife, Sybil, once admonished him: "You never get it right, do you? You're either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some benzedrine puff adder." You manage to do both here; at once reprimanding and congratulating him on his curious--though not damaging--fascination with African Americana.

    That "Django Unchained" is clearly framed as a celebration of the dignity and individual power of the common man--any man--seems entirely lost on you.

  • Azap

    You are way off, at least with your points about the language, I am not going to get in to issue of gun violence. You are viewing this whole movie from an outdated perspective. I don't mean to say that you are alone, or necessarily incorrect, but when Samuel L Jackson's character gets shot at the end that audience member next to you isn't "that's awesome" about the use of the N word. They are appreciating the way retribution is delivered to one of the most evil characters in the movie. They are commenting on how a simple line and act mean so much more, and relishing the justice that's delivered. That line is a clever turn on the expected empty gun/final struggle scene. The pronunciation is off, but it's to make him sound like a gangster on purpose, that is the only blaxsploitation that I saw, and its a conscious choice to appeal to a modern audience because while this movie is a western, it is so stylized and historically inaccurate that it cant be called a period piece or carry the expectations that go along with that title.

    As our society continues to evolve, and we get further and further away from the despicable acts of that characterized a much less honorable America, the words of those times hold less and less weight. Tarantino's use of the N word is more a commentary on how commonplace it was in speech back then and its a reflection of the times and the ignorance of those characters. Jamie Fox's character is ignorant in his own way, having been surrounded by the horrors of slavery he doesnt flinch when something awful happens to a slave (the dog attack).

    This movie constantly highlights the lack of intelligence of every single white character except the one who abhors slavery.I'm almost suprised there hasnt been a more vocal reaction from white supremacists upset at how they are portrayed. Both Jamie Fox (On NPR) andSamuel Jackson (interviewed by Jake Hamilton) have commented on the use of the word and I encourage you to listen to both of them.

    I personally would be more offended by a that has slavery, racism, and graphic violence at its core but abstained from using the N word. That's like saying "It's totally okay to torture a black slave, but we will not use that filthy word". That doesn't make sense and continues to give that word more power then it has ever deserved.

    • Pedro Freires

      Couldn't agree more. Would also appreciate reading your thoughts on the issue of gun violence.

  • lechzayenpara

    I appreciate critical analyses of films and how they could have an impact on a culture. And I haven't seen this film yet. But I just want to point out that reclamation of words that were once used as a tool of oppression is a real thing that people do, and that really did happen with slaves in America as well. So in the given example, an exchange between two black men, this very much could have been what was being represented - using the word as a sort of stick it to the man, ala the "cunt" monologue in VMs or thousands of years of oppressed and exoticized cultures during colonialism who turned around the images of them being overly sexual and said "no whities, you're the ones who are exotic sexual beings who need to be put in their place." As I said, though, I haven't seen the film yet, so I very well might be wrong and this might have been very explicitly not what was being done. Maybe today people shouldn't use certain words, and it shouldn't have been used back then by white men either, but it was, and blacks had to deal with it somehow.

  • drumbumxd

    Crane your neck really, REALLY far back, and you may see what you missed: The point.

  • Michael Strassman

    Forget the 'N' word. It's a minor issue beside the larger question of QT's intent and what is conveyed by the film. I haven't seen the film, but judging by all his others and the trailer, I would say the film is in bad taste and a piece of high-concept fluff. His style and his obsessions and the tone of what happens in all of his films is arch, un-serious, tongue-in-cheek, and generally sensationalistic. Sometimes is works to great affect and great entertainment, but I think the seriousness of the subject matter and the depth of people's feelings on this subject, and the fact that he IS white make it incumbent on him to treat slavery with gravitas and not to trivialize it and simply use it as another backdrop to mash together his schlock-movie obsessions. Simply put, he's taking a serious subject and making a joke of it for his own purposes. He can do whatever the hell he wants, and people can see whatever the hell he wants, but it's not art and it is somewhat offensive.

    • teammayhem

      Always appreciate reviews of things by people that haven't seen the thing in question. Well done sir, you're an idiot.

      • Michael Strassman

        you've hurt my widdle feelings.

        oh, and I see you didn't deny that this film more or less follows suit with all his other films, generally being un-serious, blackly comic to no meaningful end, and slightly obsessed with the stereotypical aspects of black culture as seen through a pop-culture and trash-culture lense.

  • Vicky Johnson

    I saw the film yesterday and while watching it i was immediately upset that far too many people had tried to fashion my perspective of the film before I had a chance to see it for myself. There was a conflict in my head, which was eventually won by Tarentino about the film. Knowing his work the film fit perfectly into his style and I enjoyed the overall project. Was it gory? Yes. Were there parts that made me cringe? Yes. But i didn't feel as though He set out to make a film to house people just use the N word over and over again; I didn't get that. Everyone has an opinion but with this one, I don't agree.

  • FrenzyHunter

    Ms. Carroll, if I understand you correctly, your opinion, and the point of this article, is that you believe Quentin Tarantino hid behind the context of slavery to grant [himself] permission to "overuse" the N-word? Are you serious?

    You really believe he was like "Hey, I really wanna go overboard with saying the N-word in a movie. How can I accomplish that? Eureka! I'll set it during slavery times! And no one will know my true purpose. Muahahaha...ha?"

  • Michael Conti

    This was a poorly written article. The only specific parts address her "brief experience with Tarantino" and a bunch of little tics that she has about the filmaker. The serious, meaty stuff, like black objectification, ISN'T EVEN EXPLAINED. I don't know if I agree or disagree with your point of view, because you have yet to express one. Point to more than one specific instances, not just the standoff with Samuel L Jackson. LAME, as usual GOOD.

    • FrenzyHunter

      If GOOD is usually LAME to you, then why visit the site at all?

  • gscholar

    To make this film without that word would be nearly impossible. Today no one should use that word;that being said it is the same narrative as his previous film Inglorious Bastards just for black people. So it is with a heavy heart that under the guise of entertainment and free speech that we must allow this artistic expression no matter how detestable we may find the language or subject. Slavery is a painful legacy that still affects both black and white America to this day. We must eliminate racism and all other "isms" that do not fit with the American promise. The film has got people to think and I believe that was its major purpose.

  • White Male

    This person is an idiot. Did it ever cross her mind that when the guy said the scene was "awesome", that he was saying it because it was fucking awesome to see the good guy kill the bad guy? Not because of the use of the n-word?
    This woman is just upset that the movie was made by a white male, whom she does not like as a person. If it was made by Spike Lee and featured a little less violence, she'd probably be praising it for how accurate of a portrayal it was of the horrors of slavery.
    One more point - the fact that in this day and age a movie can be made about a black guy slaughtering a ridiculous amount of white folk is a testament to the fact that the never-ending racism in this country you talk about is essentially non-existent.
    You are a narrow-minded woman

  • budoinbatu

    This writer has no idea what she is talking about, and proceeds to spread her own prejudice, behind a the veil of a pathetic excuse to lead a personal crusade for racism in the year 2012, against a "period film" which is most accurately portrayed. Thanks you for spreading idiocy and attempting to poison people against, a truly brilliant piece of cinematic art.

    • drich811

      Hi budoinbatu

      You are grossly misinformed. Yes it was a "period film" but definitely not an accurate portrayal. I mean c'mon -- there is tons of poetic licencing in this film. You seem very passionate about the topic, which is great. I think it would serve you well to read a little more about Antebellum chattel slavery pre - civil war. You might surprised by what you learn.


      • budoinbatu96

        Dude, I'm from a comfortable white family in the south. I've know people first hand. You might be surprised what you'd learn if you'd get out and about.

    • Rebecca Carroll

      I'm confused by "a pathetic excuse to lead a personal crusade for racism" -- what do you mean by that? That I am pro-racism?

      • budoinbatu69

        Yes, you are pro-racisim, for the obvious fact, that you were so blinded with juvenile emotions that, that's all you took from the film, was an offense at a word. You missed the point entirely. Your prejudice is appalling and disgraceful. Please remove yourself from the internet if you are going to be publishing ignorant subjective garbage. We don't need people like you, selfishly re-opening scars, claiming to speak for others. Keep your b.s. "offenses" to yourself and quit wallowing in the muck.

        • Amy Wazny

          I haven't seen the movie so I have no idea whether I would agree or disagree with Ms. Carroll, but I had hoped this forum would contain thoughtful and respectful conversation. Your name calling toward Ms. Carroll and sweeping assumptions about and dismissal of her opinions as "ignorant subjective garbage" certainly do not fit that idea. You seem so personally offended by Ms. Carroll's opinions that you have forgotten your manners and how to have a spirited debate versus coming on to read the opinions of others simply to tell her to "keep [her] b.s. 'offenses' to herself and quite wallowing in the muck." How then should we have discourse about societal topics if someone can't lay out their thoughts with specific examples? Perhaps you could just tell us what to think and it will all work out.

  • Bradley Urso

    I don't think as a society we need that word. It was created out of hate in the context of elitist values as a method to dehumanize human beings. Why not just use first names to refer to one another, the names our mothers gave us, then we are all just plainly humans irregardless of skin colors and other features ect... Additionally I don't believe Tarantino, Jamie Foxx, Samuel Jackson, should be held up as the definers of cultural norms. They only really make movies, movies often times simply attempt to be "cool" or use other modes to catch our attention. I'm sure a lot of what this movie teaches is that Tarantino and company are pretty baddass. Which they are not really, but they created a false world in which they are. So that in itself is interesting. Good acting is neat and entertaining but other than that it simply is only entertaining. Maybe this movie can teach individuals about ourselves, maybe it can hold relevant meaning; however, I agree with Rebecca's final point, don't use context as a justification especially since this is an action movie and most likely contains little historical relevance.

  • Chance Rearden

    This is a period piece. In a WWII film Jews or Japanese are often referred to by despicable names, but no one watching those appears to forget it's a period piece, why the disconnect with this period film?

  • Pedro Freires

    Words mean almost nothing on their own. "Nigger" can sound different depending on who says it, when it's said or how it's said. Words exist do be used, not to be censored. A word can be repeated 100 times in a movie and still mean something different each time it's used.

    I couldn't watch "Django Unchained" yet since I live in Brazil and who knows when the movie will open here, but I'm sure a Tarantino movie cannot be reduced to the number of times "nigger" is spoken. I've read reviews of the movie elsewhere on the web and they also raised this issue. I think it's a very narrow-minded way to watch a movie.

    For example, when Stephen and Django engaged in a fight and the white guy screamed out "awesome", was he really cheering because two black guys would fight? Maybe the story was built in such way that the guy would cheer anyway, whatever was the color of the characters. The scene can't be pulled off its narrative context and simply analyzed that way. This is just an exemple of the narrow-mindedness I talked about that's been repeating itself on reviews of Django throughout the net. I know it's a spikey theme the movie treads on, but there's a bigger picture that's surely being missed in every review I've read so far. Let's try to find it.

    • Charlie Bronson

      I can happily agree with this entire post. The narrow minded thinking clouds a lot of films on touchy subjects.

      I am a huge fan of Spike Lee films, but the man has really made some statements that changed how I feel about the kind of film maker he is, and the kind of person. If you can say things people are saying about Django, whether they have even seen it or not, then you are doing the industry as a whole a disservice and that is a lot of the reason we dont get many major films so different like Django Unchained.

  • Denzel Franklinson Jr

    Racially speaking, I'm proud of the United States in its present state and its rapid improvements towards racial equality. Simple everyday unspoken feelings of genuine equality between races as they intermingle amongst themselves is far more important than what a Hollywood film portrays.

  • US2

    There is no difference between the word nigger and nigga. It's just a continuation of the madness by people with an AfroSaxon mentality. Try calling a Latino a spic or spica, or a Jew a kike or kika, or an Itatian a wop or wopa, and see how far that gets ya.

    This is why people of African descent have so little respect for each other, and why others continue to disrepect us. It's like putting honey on manure (changing nigger to nigga), it still smells and I'm sure would taste the same. Isn't it insane that out of all of the words in the english language, many people of African descent still choose to describe themselves and others by this word?

    Racism is the belief that one socalled race is superior to another so called race, and then acting on it. Too many people of African descent have an inferiority complex. They believe that others are superior to them. An example is anyone who accepts a racist rhodes scholarship, and a community that says nothing.

    • Ayarri Conway

      With all due respect, nigga shut up.

      Honestly, this is ridiculous; We have taken a word the was used to subjigate and humiliate us, and turned it into a term of affection among ourselves.

      It is a fact of life that language constantly evolves. The word "nigga" is just one word that has evolved.

      • Panda Laura

        I just want to say this is one of the best comments i read so far about the article. I think this is the entire point of Tarantino's use of the word "nigga": words evolve, and the best we can do to "destroy" an offensive word is not censoring it, but totally changing its meaning. And is the same with other discriminating words.

      • Hassan Walker

        Because THAT didn't prove my point...

    • Hassan Walker

      Thank you, exactly how I feel.

  • US2

    When the word nigger is used in it's original vile, vicious intent, I understand its context. But the contemporary use of it, as a recontextualization of the word that the hiphop generation has made infamous," is the height of obscenity and cultural illiteracy.

    A word used to condone castration, rape, lynching and the mass murder of people of African descent. To now used it as a term of endearment, is sick, insane and a severe case of an on going enslaved mentality. (like Sam's character)

    Anybody is free to use the word. I just don't trust anybody who does. It's like someone having a rhodes scholarship.

    • Fu_Basho

      "the height of obscenity and cultural illiteracy?"

      are we still not agreeing that "Nigger" and "Nigga" are not synonyms, just like Negro isn't the same as "Nigger"?

      it's funny that you mention on-going enslaved mentality (a social doctor referred to it as Post Traumatic Slave Disorder). Ironically, I agree with some of this theory...but I really think you guys are approaching this in a way that is more demeaning than you claim the word is, for our people.

      I'm not attached to the word as I am simply used to hearing it, and saying it on occasion (though rarely now). That being said, I understand why some people say it--habitually. I don't know why I'm approaching it this way again, but it's like kids who grew up in the suburbs who say "dude" a lot.

      So basically, you're saying, like many, we've inherited these "bad vibes" from slave days, and it's really not just a socialization. Just like our ghettos. And by socialization, I mean--no, they're not thinking "I'm a slave--my n*gga J over here is a slave and so is his moms", they're actually just saying a word repeated near or to them over and over again.

      As far as the indications of being a set-upon race, that was left there by the forces that eliminated segregation and did not do enough (dare I say, nothing at all) to fully integrate people of colour into the mainstream of society.

      Ironically, if they did what they should've done (which probably would've taken a long time, but would've totally eliminated any chance of any guilt they could've had about slavery--because they would've eliminated most--if not all of it's traces)--people wouldn't have been used to hearing/using the word "nigga" to refer to one another--nor would people be using the word "nigger" least I'd hope.

  • Fu_Basho

    I think you're perhaps mis-appropiating the use of the term "black culture". Use of the "n-word" (which has two variants, and is, in fact, basically two different words due to not just contextual meaning but pronunciation) is common in Urban culture. Heck, I've even heard *to my face* white people use it, during my life--then again, context, context, context.

    It didn't offend me like someone yelling "nigger!" out at me, because "nigga" is basically "dude". Or "Bitch", or "Bitchez". C'mon.

    Yes, QT is pretty crude, irreverant--that's his schtick. And his love for "black culture" is akin to my love of Japanese stuff (and culture) because, the Japanese are just awesome(!). Maybe you just shouldn't watch his films, period.

    And yes, before you wonder, I am, indeed, a person of "African Descent"

    • Hassan Walker

      The word, in any context is very vile. Using the prospect of a slave narrative in order to have permission to use the word 'nigga' or 'nigger' is wrong. We aren't learning anything from it. The really sad part is that if you are going to display a culture, don't exploit it. What if all Asian films had Asian guys with small penises, waving around katanas, and calling each other'Chink' or 'Jap'? I like Japanese culture as well, but my Black brothers always come first in my book.

      • Bradley Urso

        Good point Hassan there is a difference between a proper representation and exploitation based on misconceptions. This movie was created to make money.

      • Fu_Basho

        sorry for the late reply, discuss has been acting lame.

        I think the word can be pretty vile. I think the word is running it's course, and we can let it. Lots of groups of people have taken pejorative labels and used them. I can mention a bunch of cultures and subcultures where this has happened. One that comes to mind first that isn't as offensive as many “adopted” labels is “Punk”... Most people don't even know where that actually came from. There are tons of -words- like these. We forget this: they're words, and words have meanings (sometimes just a squint of intention shifts it). If I was a bigot, I'd call someone who was gay that particular “f-word”. I wouldn't though. Then again, I have known people from the LGBT community who use it facetiously.

        Obviously it's meant to be jocular. We're not calling each other the Negro that a racist or slave trafficker, owner, or overseer would call us.

        As far as what you said regarding the Asian cliche`s...ironically I was talking about that with a friend. Stereotypes are called so for a reason. Sometimes we use them, and we harness them in fiction, referring to them as “tropes”--but they are what they are:

        A representation of something that occurs frequently. Comedy does this A LOT. QT is a comedic writer, at heart. He's a joker. And his irreverence and ability to make crazy stuff the basis of jokes (or just sheer irreverence, period), is part of his skill set. And fortunately he writes movies, instead of doing stand up (lol).

        If I createda character from Asia who was a martial artist or assassin (who rode a “rice burner”), or a member of the Yakuza or Triad (which are way used tropes in Asian cinema and fiction) unless I did it in an insulting and mocking manner, what would be the real issue? If I'm presenting something for you to see, that you can see just by looking out into the world, I don't see many people getting up in arms. Then again, if I had them running around constantly bowing and mixing up their L's and R's in pronunciation of english—gratuitously, then that might be a problem.

        Problem with this, is that, well...(and this comes from someone who grew up in urban settings around the United States) black folk do be sayin' “Nigga”, a bit. It seriously is basically, to us, like saying “dude”, or “bro”, or “fool”--actually, based on etymological roots, alone, “fool” is, at default an offensive word, period, isn't it?

        Seems like I'm splittting hairs, here. I sort of am. To explain: I am not as much attached to the word, more than I am, the part it has in the culture. Growing up, I always knew there was an intrinsic difference between “that's my nigga” and “that's a nigger”. Maybe it's perspective.

        I do understand how it can make certain people feel uncomfortable, especially if you never had a bunch of people throwing it around you a lot, growing up, and definitely if you may have some issues of guilt (if you were a person of non-colour) and just shock when you hear it.

        As far as the solidarity between us “brothers and sisters”-- I'd say, it'd be more important we stop robbing each other, and selling our people crack and smack, and hating on the ambitious (and even smallest) among us, than to quibble over a word that was “misappropriated” for racist use from the start. Meaning: it wasn't an offensive word to start with.

        • Hassan Walker

          I understand where you are coming from, and I have many friends and family members who feel the same. The point I am making, is that how can we expect anyone to respect us if we won't respect ourselves? Its called blackspoitation for a reason. They are doing what they do best, exploitation. Even if it is not intentional, it is still racist. Comedy is comedy, but hatred and bigotry are completely different. And it is true we are selling drugs and killing each other, but which race pushed us into this predicament? Reagan released drugs into our community, and he certainly was not of African descent.

          • Hassan Walker

            And the word nigger or nigga is always racist, no matter who is saying it.

            • Charlie Bronson

              So by your logic; a black person saying Nigga to another black person is racist?

              Don't you think Samuel L Jackson and Jamie Foxx read this script for the movie they were in about slaves? I'm sure they were very sensitive to the whole idea, especially when QT is behind the camera.

              First off, the term Nigger comes from the word Negro which is Spanish for the color black. Portuguese slave traders were selling "Negros" and the Americans buying they mispronounced it often calling them "Niggers" so the term itself was just supposed to mean "Black"! Go figure.

              Now them being racist would mean that one group would be superior to another due to the difference in their race or the other would be less desirable. I don't see how the term "Nigga" could be used from one black person to another and be racist.

              You have a misunderstanding of the term Racism.

              • Hassan Walker

                The point you just made is telling me that you want to be identified by a racist term. I mean, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In Asian culture, a swastika is a symbol of good luck, but Hitler twisted it to one of hatred and bigotry. So would you wear a shirt with one on it as well. Don't let your mind be clouded, brother. The second you accept second-best, they've won.

                • Charlie Bronson

                  I dont want to be identified by a racist term. I dont see friends calling eachother "Niggers" and making slave jokes. It seems like you see no difference between the two words like most people do. If you dont like it because the origin is dark thats your right, but for everyone to start bashing this film and QT is ridiculous.

                  The term was just an identification of the color of skin. The fact that whites believed that blacks were "lesser people" and animalistic is the racism that came to be associated with the word much, much later in history.

                  I dont want to wear a shirt that says Nigga but when someone says it in front of me to another black man do you think I care? No that would be ridiculous. In our culture words meanings change. Many examples come to mind that have already been mentioned here.

            • Fu_Basho

              I'm not really debating over respect here. But in response to that statement, people should respect people, period, despite nuances. Racism (and furthermore, bigottry) itself is an assumption that due to differences in people and their ways of being, which essentially have nothing to do with anything but how they interact with each other and the world.

              As you mentioned, drugs were put into our communities, apparently (theorists say), by the Reagan administration. If we're going to act as if this is totally true (it totally might be, but I have no actual idea, just the idea of what kind of crap people involved in our government have gotten into in the past and present)--I think it would surely be as you said, about respecting ourselves. That is, saying no to selling crack-cocaine to our kin and neighbors.

              But this brings me to a point I was trying to make, and mostly to the writer of this article:

              The big bad “diablos blanco” didn't somehow trick those actors (who are comedians) to do what they did—play the roles they did. This is something they commonly did, before Quentin wrote this film (which I have not seen yet). This isn't a case of a White Man exploiting some naïve black actors into “humiliating” their people. As I said, this wasn't stuff they had to summon, it was in their toolboxes, and the truth is, people (our people) are pretty often like that.

              The dialogue in this article, to me, felt more like attacks on Quentin, and how he was basically a film nerd who fetishized “black culture” than a dissection of the usage of the “N-word” by black folk. That really rubbed me wrong, to be frank.

              If we were to dissect the usage of the word “nigga” (versus “nigger”--the slur) that'd be a whole different story. We'd start at “nigger”--an already missappropriated and modified word—and end up at the culturally appropriated version “nigga”--which, by the way is not “racist”, man.

              You can look up the definition yourself. I mentioned a bit of it before in the first part of this post. Now if you want to say “reverse racism”, thats one thing. It's also grasping for straws. As far as the term “blacksploitation” as a genre... there are a bunch of ironically and nonsensically named sub-genres of film. Mumblecore, Spaghetti-Western, Sushi-Western... that last two... look them up. Actually Quentin did a great distopian Sushi-Western.

              Thinking about this, I remember he makes a cameo in that film where he admits to being an “Otaku”--which is actually a term for a fan of Japanese media and culture (most notably anime, games, and comics)...seems to me, he is a lover of cultures not his own. And he tries to depict them in his movies.
              I really don't see a problem with this.

              • Hassan Walker

                I see what you're saying, but let me ask you something: What makes you think that the word nigga isn't just an aside way to put each other down. When I think of slaves calling each other nigga, this would be because that is all they know. I don't care what it's denotative meaning is, nigga is a racially charged word. Calling us each other this is basically hands-free racism; why should they say it, if we'll do it for them?

                • Fu_Basho

                  Oh surely, it was, to begin with a way for slaves to put each other down. But we forget that back then, they were slaves, we're just the progeny of people who were slaves, then second-rate citizens, and then simply an impoverished (in more ways than one) minority. We're down the timeline and only know, by historians what it means (and apparently many people don't know that it was used as a way to refer to—nay, describe the Africans, before it was used in a derogatory way). Now the meaning is different, again. The connotation is different. There are plenty of words like this. I already mentioned “fag” but think about it deeply. Where did it come from? A Faggot, which originally meant a bundle of wood for burning. Apparently in antiquity they wrapped up homosexuals with kindling and burned them, probably a lot like witches were burned at the stake. Sometimes it's used derogatorily and sometimes as a term of endearment or a friendly chaff or even a jab.

                  Words have as much power as human intention gives it. Thats why it's always context which must be considered, and even then... some people will say things they don't mean, sometimes.

                  Here are some other words, kinda like that, ranging from insensitive to downright offensive in some connotations

                  Canuck – an insensitive way to refer to a Canadian, but is also one of their Hockey teams (Vancouver)
                  Cabron – a term that has lots of (vulgar, insensitive, disgusting) meanings, but is also used casually by men of Latin descent to refer to each other--
                  Fag, -got – need I say more?
                  Dyke – even the Wiki for it says “it has to some extent, been reappropriated”
                  JAP – No, not that one, Jewish American Princess
                  Jew – yes, Jew. Ironically.
                  Native American – it offends some, and yet others may refer to themselves as this, as well as:
                  Indian – what a foible, Christopher Columbus made...jeez.
                  Packie – a Packistani
                  Gypsy – some say it was started due to the predessecors of modern day nomadic Romani being directly from Egypt (They were referred to as “Egyptsies”, apparently), but now its actually considered a slur to many. However, some would use it casually.

              • Charlie Bronson

                You are absolutely right.

                QT has been clear about his fondness of other cultures and most of his films include homages to different cultures styles of film making. Most of the negative reactions to his use of the N-word have come from people who have disliked QT ever since Jackie Brown. Spike Lee has taken offense to that film and created a wake of accused bigotry. There is a big difference between "Nigger" and "Nigga" and if you dont think so then you must not live somewhere the term gets used in both ways, often.

                He may not be a genius film maker, he does steal a lot of bits from other films but they are usually not made in the US and people have not seen them or are ignorant to his many homages.

                Do people really think Jamie Foxx and Sam Jackson would be a slave movie playing slaves if they didnt agree with its constant use of N-word and depictions of slavery?
                Granted Jackson will take any role that pays, but Foxx is a good actor with a good reputation.

                Also just to note, Racism is about the power associated with keeping people divided by color. You dont see many slave movies where the main protagonist is a slave who is a badass. Being "African American" I am proud to see a hero role so different and interesting to represent our culture in a time when this could barely be possible QT made it happen.

                • Hassan Walker

                  I love the context of the story. But the gratuitous and useless repetition of the n-word is what ruins it. It carries no weight, in a time where it would have been its most demeaning. It leads me to believe QT has a skewed view of Black people, like we've always said nigga, since the beginning of time.

                  • Charlie Bronson

                    But thats just it, during that time it was NOT ITS MOST DEMEANING! Do some research on the history of the word. It was a description of color, that was said WRONG sounding "Nigger" instead of "Negro" which meant Black in Spanish/Portuguese.

                    If the word Nigga were racially charged then why do so many Black people use it as a term of endearment? Because the word has changed over time, several times. Even becoming different words.

                    Maybe QT has an obsession with other cultures as many know, but Django was a great film, say what you want about Jackie Brown, it deserves it. But if Django's constant use of the N-word is too much for you to handle thank the lord you dont live near me, you would hear it more than 110 times it was said in Django on a daily basis.

                    Im not saying I agree with using the word Im just saying it is apart of the Black culture in both Positive and Negative ways, and Django displayed both in. Its not a period piece, its a Spagetti Western about a pre-civil war bounty hunter slave with modern influences also. If people are this upset about two well respected black actors saying Nigga to one another just because both characters were slaves then we are doomed.