Podcaster Joe Rogan has embarked on an anti-cancel me tour after a clip of him using the N-word emerged on the internet. The conservative media big mouth took to his Instagram to speak directly to the people and apologized for using the racial epithet. However, many Black folks are not buying it.
In January 2020, social media accounts like Patriot Takes started to share the footage of the comedian’s flagrant use of the bad word.
Usually a hard-nosed talking head, right-wing Republicans have stood behind him for standing by whatever derogatory thing he has said in the past. This time was different.
In the almost six-minute not-really-a-sorry explanation posted on his social media, the influencer shared how this was “the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
Rogan then went on to detail why he used the word, referencing late Black comedians like Red Foxx, Richard Pryor, and Paul Mooney, instances where people were fired for using it, and the agonizing unfairness of how Black people being the only group of people able to use the word.
Amidst his apology, he said, “Red Foxx said that clip on television … times have changed since then … Richard Pryor used it as one of the titles for one of his albums … or I was quoting a Paul Mooney bit … or how Quentin Tarantino used it repeatedly in Pulp Fiction.”
He maintained that he was never calling anybody the word, but just “merely saying the word out loud.”
“There is not another word like it in the entire English language because it’s a word where only one group of people is allowed to use it — and they can use it in so many different ways,” he marvels. “If a White person uses it, it’s racist, it’s toxic. But a Black person can use it and it can be a punchline, it can be a term of endearment, it can be lyrics to a rap song, it can be a positive affirmation.”
“It’s a very unusual word, but it’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of it now,” Rogan eventually resigns.
During his tour for his book “We Were Eight Years In Power,” Ta-Nehisi Coates challenges not only the use of a word that one acknowledges doesn’t belong to them, but addressing the strange desire to want to.
Coates said in an interview at a Family Action Network event with Evanston Township High School
“Words don’t have a meaning without context.” One example of context is when his wife calls him “honey,” and how inappropriate it would be for another woman that he doesn’t know to do the same.
“My wife with her girlfriends will use the word ‘bitch,’” Coates further explained. “I do not join in. I don’t do that ― and perhaps more importantly, I don’t have a desire to do it.”
He discussed how LGBTQ activist Dan Savage had the right to call his show, “Hey Faggot,” but he would never do it as a CIS gender heterosexual man.
“I had a good friend who had a cabin in upstate New York, which he referred to as the ‘white trash cabin,’” continued Coates. “He was white. I would never refer to that cabin, tell him ‘I’m coming to your white trash cabin’ ― and I think you understand why. The question one must ask is why so many white people have difficulty extending things that are basic laws of how human beings interact to Black people. And I think I know why,” he added that “when you are white in this country you are taught that everything belongs to you.”
Some people on Twitter have responded to his video asking the same question as one Twitter user, “Why do these ‘heartfelt apologies’ only come when ppl are faced w/backlash? He could have acknowledged this any time over the yrs. And that’s exactly why it falls on deaf ears. I don’t know (nor do I care) if he is sincere. I just know he never stated regret until he was forced 2.”
Another tweeted, “I apologized for taking the last cookie, but I didn’t actually mean it. So I guess no one else in the world gives fake apologies.”
“Unfortunately @joerogan apologies lack any sincerity especially because it was only motivated by the impact on his show and revenue,” another Twitter user said. “#JoeRogan is just like most of the @GOP- steeped in #whiteprivilege and unable to even recognize his #racism.”
Earlier this week, singer/producer India. Arie called Rogan and Spotify out for his use of the word.
The Grammy winner is now boycotting the streaming service, sharing she no longer desires to make money for people who support his antics.
“Hey, y’all. I want to leave a short message here about why I decided to ask my music be pulled off of Spotify. So check this out,” she said in a video uploaded to her Instagram Story.
In the video, included in the N-word compilation, Rogan talks about going into a predominantly Black neighborhood and referred to it as the “Planet of the Apes,” “We walked into Africa, dude. We walked in the door, and there was no white people.”
She stated she understood why others were leaving, bringing up his misinformation regarding COVID-19, however, her reasons are linked to him. She went to IG and captioned, “Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through. I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews… FOR ME ITS ALSO HIS language around race.”
Later she addressed Spotify and its value system and explained how that added to her desire to leave.
“I … think that Joe Rogan has the right to say what he wants to say. I also think that I have the right to say what I want to say,” she said.
“So, as an artist… Spotify is built on the back of music streaming. So, they take this money that’s built from streaming, and they pay this guy $100 million, but they pay us 0.003 percent of a penny,” she said before asking Spotify to “Just take me off.” She added, “I don’t want to generate money that pays this. Just take me off; that’s where I’m at.”
Despite pressure to remove Rogan from programming, Spotify has not released a statement about their plans for the controversial personality.
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