So we all found out that PewDiePie said the N-word on livestream this week. With the “-er” ending and everything. Gaming companies have started pulling the plug on him, and fans and non-fans alike have expressed their outrage. But amongst the anger, there are many, many (like, seriously loads) of diehards who are tying themselves in absolute knots trying to defend his use of the N-word. Here are some of our favourites:
1. “Everybody says it in Sweden!”
Firstly, no they don’t. And secondly, if they did, THAT STILL WOULDN’T BE OKAY.
2. It means something else in another language!
That would be “negro,” which isn’t even the word he used!
3. He wasn’t talking about black people, he was just using it to swear!
If you are using a word that is a racist synonym for black people to describe something or a situation you don’t like, THAT IS STILL RACIST.
4. “What about [insert other important thing here]”
It’s called multitasking, my guy. Look it up.
5. IF THEY CAN SAY IT WHY CAN’T WE!
One is reclamation, the other is subjugation. Seriously, pass round a history book.
6. It’s just internet and gaming culture!
Which internet is this? I don’t know her.
7. Getting angry just gives the word even more power!
Okay listen up. That word was given power centuries ago when it was used to dehumanise and subjugate enslaved Africans. Until the imbalances that plague this world as a result of racism and colonialism are made right (spoiler alert: they haven’t been yet) that word still has a negative power when it’s used by non-black people. And black people can’t do anything about that, because they’re not the once’s causing racial power imbalances.