Kathleen Lights And the Non-Mystery of Slurs
I used to follow KathleenLights, because I have skin drier than the Sahara Desert, and, as a fellow anxiety sufferer, her candid discussions of how anxiety impacted her career were very relatable. She was, at times, funny and her makeup always looked flawless.
But then THIS HAPPENED.
After this debacle, I, and many other black folk, had the same reaction: this is not the first time she’s said the n-word-- this just the first time she got caught.
I immediately went to her page and unsubscribed. Yet, I knew that her slur-throwing would in no way impact her career. No endorsements would be rescinded, there wouldn’t be a mass exit by fans. Lo and behold, I look at her YouTube page two months later, and she is standing at 3.4 million subscribers.
According to SocialBlade, there’s been no impact in her subscriber rate, and there has been no mass exodus.
This is a slur – an ethnic slur that was used to degrade and dehumanize black people for centuries. It doesn’t matter if you switch the ‘-er’ to the ‘-a’, it doesn’t matter if you only said it around non-black people and a black person accidentally overheard, and it doesn’t matter if it’s in a rap song and you’re just singing along.
If you’re not black, don’t say it. Why is that so difficult?
Idil Ali is working towards her PhD in Information Science at Cornell University. She's interested in data, computing, writing stuff, and thinking about people. You can read more of her thoughts on her blog, IdilThinks.