And what about the Puerto-Ricans (Boriqua, Morena...)

Yes, it happens from time to time. Anyway here is commenter Prajk speaking on the appropriation of "Nigger" by nonwhites:

Great post. You have any thoughts/opinions on other racial groups appropriating nigger/nigga? In college, I got the impression that the various ethnic cliques used the word to each other. I know many of the Indian kids did it all the time.

I've also noticed that when college kids segregate by race or ethnicity, they often imitate popular images of so-called black culture. Lord knows I went through that phase.

Of course, I am a single data point...but I get the distinct impression that it happens in many places.


Shockingly, I have none. I'm sure, in the time of colonization, the English came up with quite a list of insults, so I'm not sure why those don't suffice. But this doesn't make me groan so much, as much as it just seems a little stupid and immature. I know my white people are going to think that's completely unfair. Hey, I don't know what to say--I'm a ball of contradictions. Next week, when have our poll for White Spokesperson, perhaps the winner can lead a protest.

Anyway if you really want to hear about unfairness dig this: In New York, Puerto Ricans sling around the word "Nigger" maybe more than black people. This never bothered me for a couple reasons. 1.) When you're not from New York, you can't necessarily tell Puerto Ricans from other light-skinned black people. I would not have known Big Pun, Fat Joe, or Nore were Puerto Rican if they had not said it. Having lived in New York for some time now, I can tell the difference, but it wasn't always obvious to me. When I saw Do The Right Thing, for instance, it wasn't clear to me that Rosie Perez wasn't "black." I didn't think that Mookie was in an interracial relationship. I mean, I have African-American cousins that could pass for Puerto Rican.

2.) Even once the difference became clear to me, I still wasn't bothered. I always felt that in New York, there was a weird kinship between African-Americans and Puerto Ricans, unlike anything I'd seen. Typically, American ethnic groups tend to have frosty relationships with African-Americans. Maybe it's because Puerto Ricans aren't immigrants--they can relate to the whole "Plymouth Rock landed on us" deal. But frankly, the realtionship is like nothing I've ever seen.

I remember being out at a club one night (back when the Freedom Party was at Star Foods) and watching a gang of Lower-East side cats grooving to all this 80s R&B. It was shocking to me because, African-Americans party in a very particular way--they love music, not so much more than whites, but just in a different way. The Puerto Rican cats I was watching were partying in that way which I commonly associated with blacks--it was more the spirit of the thing, than anything tangible. I mean, they did form a Soul Train line, so that was tangible, but, as I said, it was more the spirit of thing. Being straight out of West Baltimore, where the only ethnicities are Black, Blacker, and Blackest (I pledged myself to the latter) I was completely shocked. One of my best friends, whose half-Puerto Rican and half-Dominican, happened to be with me, and he just got a great kick out of my naivete.

What I was witnessing was quite simple--the Puerto Ricans (and maybe the Dominicans) are probably the only other non-black ethnic group in America that Rakim could point at and say, "I know you got soul," and there'd be nothing ironic about it. To paraphrase, Bobby Byrd, if they didn't, they wouldn't be in here. Obviously, a lot of Puerto-Ricans (and Dominicans) have African ancestry, and from what I've heard, there some issues around that. But, hey, from what I've heard there some issues around African-Americans having African blood also, so who am I to talk. During the Puerto-Rican Day parade, I see Negroes who I know are only two generations out of the South, who don't speak a lick of Spanish, waving the flag. But those same Negroes could care less about the St. Patrick's Day parade. I know some black folks do have a problem with Puerto-Ricans saying "nigger"--but most of them have a problem with African-Americans saying it also. I don't know. Its never really bothered me. I've come to think of Puerto-Ricans as my long-lost cousins--even if I was the one who was actually lost.

FIXT: Two great examples of what I mean: