Thursday, March 2, 2006


I learned of this story on yesterday. I really had no intent to talk about this because some things are just so freakin' ignorant and embarrassing, you just wanna look over it. But in the end I'm glad to bring this to you today, it was time. And it finally allows me to get some things off my chest that I've talked privately to some folks about over the years but never really touched on in cyberspace. Plus I wanted to stay on course with our Black Fist: Everyday Black History Series that I'm getting great responses and feedback on (thanks to all of you who have read them and stop me 'round the nati to say Black Power!!!) Now getting back to the topic at hand...

It never cease to amaze me the length at which our black folks will go to get paid. I started to call this story "Paid For Our Degradation!" But decided to call it exactly what I was thinking when I first read it. And for that reason, I also decided to reprint it in its entirety.

We'll call this edition another Black Fist 'Round The Nation Special Report. Check this out, read it carefully and give us some feedback. I must give one of my thoughts right now before you even read this one and ask the question: "When will black folks realize some things just shouldn't be allowed/tolerated?" And "When will black folks realize dignity and self-respect is never for up for sale?"

You can find this embarrassing but oh so real story at: by Rogers Cadenhead


The Actor Damon Wayans has been engaged in a 14-month fight to trademark the term "Nigga" for a clothing line and retail store, a search of the U.S. patent and Trademark Office's online database reveals. Wayans wants to dress customers in 14 kinds of attire from top to bottom, and use the controversial mark on "clothing, books, music and general merchandise," as well as movies, TV and the internet, according to his applications.

But, so far, his applications has been unsuccessful. Trademark examiner Kelly Boulton rejected the registration dated Dec. 22, citing a law that prohibits marks that are "immoral or scandalous." A previous attempt by Wayans was turned down on identical grounds six months earlier.

"While debate exists about in-group uses of the term 'nigga' is almost universally understood to be derogatory, "Boulton wrote to Wayans's attorney, William H. Cox, according to the application.

Cox and other representatives of the actor did not respond to interview requests about the registration.

Wayans can appeal the rejection, but experts in trademark law differ on his chances for success.

Lynda Zadra-Symes, a trademark lawyer in California, said Wayans may be successful. She compared "Nigga" to the successful registration of Dykes on Bikes. The San Francisco Women's Motocycle Contingent fought the Trademark Office for three years to overturn an initial rejection of a Dykes on Bikes trademark. The mark was published Jan. 24

"Because the application was by a group of lesbians it was eventually allowed to publish," Zadra-Symes said.

"This is a great victory," the group proclaimed on its website. "It affirms our right to determine who we are and how we present ourselves to the world."

However, Tawnya Wojciechowski, another trademark attorney practicing in California, compared Wayans' application to the ongoing legal case where Washington Redskins trademarks have been challenged by seven Native Americans. "They're going to have a really tough time," Wojciechowski predicted.

The word "nigga" is ubiquitous in hip-hop music, where it provides half of the rhyming couplet radio listeners never get to hear in the Grammy-winning song "Gold Digger" by Kanye West.

Ol' Dirty Bastard used the term 76 times in the 1999 album Nigga Please, not counting repetitions in a chorus.

In January, an episode of the late-night Cartoon Network series Boondocks was criticized for putting the word in the mouth of a fictionalized Martin Luther King Jr.

The effort to commercialize "nigga' drew a sharp response from a black school official who participated in a forum about the word earlier this month at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

"I don't care for it in any form," said Dr. Lonnie Williams, associate vice chancellor for student affairs. "Either way you pronounce it, spell it, anything associated with it -- I find offensive."

If Wayans succeeds in persuading the Trademark Office to permit the mark, he may have to deal with Keon Rhodan, a 29-year-old entrepreneur in Charleston, South Carolina, who has been using the word "Nigga" on a line of T-shirts, hoodies and other attire for six years in a part-time, trunk-of-his-car business.

Rhodan attempted to register "NiggaClothing" as a trademark in 2001 and was denied by the Trademark Office.

"They said it was disparaging," he said.

Rhodan, who is black, said that he's sold around 2,000 of the shirts at events. When he began selling the shirts, emblazoned with the term "Nigga," he thought he would take criticism, especially from older people.

"I was in the mall with one of the shirts on, and an old lady said, "Where did you get that shirt from?" he said expecting the worse. "She followed me to the car and bought five shirts for her grandchildren."

Rhodan believes that affectionate use of the term within the black community should make it an acceptable mark, but the Trademark Office has thus far has not been persuaded by that argument.

"The very fact that debate is ongoing regarding in-group usage, shows that a substantial composite of African-Americans find the term 'nigga' to be offensive, " Boulton wrote in rejecting Wayans.

Though attempts to commercialize "Nigga" coincide with a generational shift in how the word is perceived, the clothing line is still likely to test some boundaries, as Rhodan demonstrated in a phone interview.

"You couldn't wear it," he said.

The story ends here.

Now a few more thoughts from General Nikki X:

The first thing that always strikes me as odd is the fact that the whiteman invented the word "nigger" in the frst place but are now the first ones to say, Oh hell no, you blacks can't use it. Just as this same whiteman was the one who perfected beating the hell out of blacks as slaves on the plantation, but it is the black man, and so many other black parents who have stood in front of Judges right here in Hamilton County and in similiar courtrooms around the country for physically disciplining their children. I'm not talking about beating the hell out of them like the whiteman oppressor "legally" beat the hell out us, No, I'm talking about whooping them in a disciplinary non-abusive way.
Not to veer too far off course, but that example had to be made.

Second thing: In my opinion, it makes not a damn bit of difference what the lesbians fight for. Especially some silly term like "Dykes on Bikes"...,When they [the lesbians] started calling themselves by that term. We [black people] never called ourselves (before slavery) by a filthy derogatory ignorant term like "nigger, "nigga," or however these black dummies running around today wanna write or pronounce it!

Thirdly: In my opinion, once again, (not to disrespect my elders) but whomever the "old lady" was "who bought those five shirts for her grandchildren," had to be suffering from some form of debilitating disease of the brain to purchase and give that type of shirt to her grandchildren. "What was she thinking?" Now if this was an older white lady.....I can certainly understand.

Final thoughts: Damon Wayans is our brother, true enough but he is trying to get paid off the back of degradation and past human dehumanization of the African blacks sold here in chains by the whiteman in order to recieve free labor in this land and line his [white] pockets.
Damon Wayans should be ashamed of himself and I say that for the likes of Kanye (Bush don't like black people) West, and (rest his soul) Ol' Dirty Bastard and the like.

Let us as, The first man and woman on the planet Earth, The Black man and The Black woman, remember who we are and always have dignity, respect, honor, and class about ourselves then we can demand and command that same respect from others.

If we don't honor us.....Who will?

General Nikki X had to give it to 'ya straight no chaser because......




Anonymous said...

this is the first time of heard of this. i always liked damon wayans but he's wrong on this one! no one should be using that word and i like whta you said that white people made it up but don't want us to use it. i don't agree that wayans should be trying to trademark it but i agree that whites need to stop being the lords of masters over everything.

Anonymous said...

Souls were sold the first time somebody layed down a hundred dollar bill for a pair of poorly made sneakers, that never touched the hand of an American worker, put together by Honduran children for 60 cents a day just because Michael Jordon's name was on them. It's gone downhill from there. Jordon can take the credit for people shooting other people for a stinking pair of shoes. It's called social engineering folks. Noam Chomsky can tell you all about it.