Students Seen Wearing 'My Nigga' T-Shirts at UC Irvine's Shocktoberfest, Say It's Not Racist

Categories: School Daze

myniggashirts.jpg
Screenshot Statigram

Non-black students were seen wearing "My Nigga" shirts at UC Irvine's annual October celebration, Shocktoberfest, last Friday. Some posted photos of themselves to photo-sharing service Instagram, garnering dozens of likes.

The shirts referenced one of the Shocktoberfest performer's hit songs. Rapper YG, who opened for headliner A$AP Rocky, released "My Nigga" earlier in September. The song has since peaked at 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart under the edited version titled "My Hitta."

"It really saddens us that anyone would see this as supporting anti-black behavior when that clearly was not our intention," wrote the two girls, who are not UC Irvine students but wore the "My Nigga" shirts in question as shown above, said in a message sent via Facebook. "Everyone we came in contact with at the concert only had positive things to say about the shirts and knew it was referencing YG's song by that title, not meant to be derogatory."

Incidentally, the Associated Student of UC Irvine funded a "Language is Powerful" campaign in March in hopes to teach students the effect certain words can have. The irony of trying to teach students to be sensitive and then hiring an artist whose hit song includes 80 uses of the word "nigga" hasn't been lost on student media.

"Now, our memory may be a little bit off here, but didn't ASUCI fund an entire social justice movement called 'Language Is Powerful?'," wrote the New University in this week's editorial. "Didn't they pass out pamphlets, fliers and t-shirts, police the language of others, and conduct workshops, all in the name of eliminating toxic and offensive language from this campus? But I suppose that's not a surprising contradiction from the people who misspelled 'Income' as 'Icome' in their annual budget report presentation. Whoops. Guess they could've gotten around it by slapping a nice big '#TRIGGERWARNING' in front of the venue, right?"

This incident is the latest in several questionable decisions regarding race at UC Irvine. In May of this year, a Black student found a note in her backpack that read, "Go back 2 Africa slave." The student's mother also claimed an Asian person called her daughter "nigger."

In April, UC Irvine Asian Fraternity Lambda Theta Delta saw heavy backlash after producing a music video with one of its members performing in black face and posting said video to the organization's official YouTube channel. The video started protests across campus, and the fraternity placed itself in self-imposed suspension after posting an apology.

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Screenshot YouTube
Anyone remember this?

Following the April incident, both UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Thomas Parham issued statements reaffirming the University's commitment to diversity and committing to expand on education efforts.

"We will use this regrettable incident to redouble campus education efforts about the toxic effects of insensitivity, and will continue to work toward building a truly inclusive community," Drake wrote.

Whether those efforts have had any appreciable effects remains to be seen.

A request for comment from rapper YG was not returned.

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Email: clam@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @charlesnlam. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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57 comments
shaggyhartig
shaggyhartig

This shit is a fucking joke, Stupid ass people need to move on. this shit isn't even news.

BKEG
BKEG

i was there and i see no wrong with this. Guys, there were worse things happening inside the event than those girls wearing these shirts. Anyways, what happened inside the concert stayed in there so no big deal! i honestly can't see how this is offensive. The other incidents reported are WAY out of range for this act, this article stinks! 

Shoogi
Shoogi

I am only offended when asians use the word!

Brii
Brii

There are plenty of other things that could be discussed about, maybe racism fueling a fight at a school or something. The fact that the shirt was a reference to a song automatically makes this pointless. And, if black students want the word "nigga" to stop being thrown around, they themselves need to stop. Common sense - where is it in this article?

Bushonya
Bushonya

So much more convenient to raise a fuss about a couple of Tshirts than to confront the (internal) problems and factors than ensure many AAs will remain a permanent underclass.

MJS562
MJS562

This is a news story? Who fucking cares! Get over it! 

okgay
okgay

ill have to agree with charlesmynigga, wouldn't it give more credibility to your article consult an actual black person, instead of having a yellow opinion?

btw im white.

charlesmynigga
charlesmynigga

My nigga Charles. Your article is very poorly written. And judging based on your other articles on this site, you are the least qualified nigga to write this piece of work. 

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Why's everyone in Socal so PC? It's quite ironic actually since this is the birthplace of ethnic gang culture. People here segregate by race/ethnicity all the time yet get outraged when someone says a word. You'd lose your minds if you ever went to Alabama. You people need to harden up and stop worrying about such nonsense. Be glad you're not being hung for saying hello to a white girl. Enjoy your affirmative action for getting into law school when your grades suck. Just do you and don't worry about what other people say or think. You'll be happier and better off for it. I mean what's this got to do with you? Do you really think you're doing yourself a favor by playing victim here?

Kelli Clendion
Kelli Clendion

Racism is a birth defect of this country. It started with your people. I am not "selling" anything but dignity. Why do you want to use the word so bad? What is it about "no one should use it" you don't understand. Your argument is null and void in the face of the reality of many intelligent Blacks. This word is not and never was our legacy. You were using the word well before any rapper was. My argument stands. If rappers weren't using the word, do you really believe that whites wouldn't still be using it? After 400 years of using it freely? You might THINK I am stupid, but that does not make is true. We agree to disagree. Good day, sir.

Chris Wäggänër
Chris Wäggänër

The more posts I read from OC Weekly, the more Orange County just seems like a really, really terrible place.

Tom Slick Pearson
Tom Slick Pearson

You are completely misconstruing, and confusing two entirely different words here. There is a huge difference between the word "N--ger", and "nigga"...As proven in the rap songs themselves. Why should the word "nigga" sound like the offensive predecessor "---ger", if a white person uses it, but if another African American uses it, it becomes ok, and fashionably cool and "street" to do so? It is the same thing with the word gay. It once was defined as: fun, carefree, enjoyable. Then it was adopted by the GLBT community at some point to "soften" public scrutiny. Now they get offended when you use the word gay in a detrimental way. "That's Gay".... Maybe if people stopped trying to adopt existing words to identify themselves with as a whole, we would not even be discussing this. The hypocrisy and double standards in this Country needs to stop. It is what is ruining us as a whole. That is the only way racism will end. You cannot "sell" a product, and then revoke the rights to use or express said product...

DaniGirl949
DaniGirl949

First off, NO ONE should be wearing a shirt like that!!!! Period! It has a negative tone to it. Regardless of who is saying it now or in rap songs, I don’t care. It’s negative and everyone knows it. It’s just some stupid girl(s) trying to push the envelope and she (they) should be ashamed of themselves!

Tom Slick Pearson
Tom Slick Pearson

If you are asking me(?) Come on... of course not. However, black rappers are the predominant ones who use the word "nigga" in their songs. Tell me how many "other than black" ethnicities who use that word in their songs as frequently?

Sam Chong
Sam Chong

So all black people are rappers?

Tom Slick Pearson
Tom Slick Pearson

Answer: No, whites were not using the term "nigga" before rappers. White buyers of rap music adopted that exact word as the rapper themselves did in the late 1980's/early 90's. What about the large number of blacks who listen to soul, jazz, blues and rock? I'm not sure if you are asking a question there? Understand the greed in the music industry, and why rap moguls refuse to stop glorifying booze, drugs, prostitution, hoes, G's, nightclubs, lowriders, and the infamous 'word' itself. You cannot expect to sell the ghetto to white folks, but then turn against them for trending and using that lingo that comes along with hip hop/rap music... Right or wrong, you need to blame the Corporate music industry and YOUR own people like Snoop Dog/Lion, Dre, TuPac and the rest, first. They are profiting off of the whites, and others. How is it fair to point the finger at the users, without first pointing the finger at the suppliers? Myself, I don't listen to that garbage anymore. For some though, it is a lifestyle. But when I was a teen(early 80s), I grew up on Sugar Hill records and electro funk, slowly watched the decline of hip hop shortly after N.W.A. appeared on the scene(early 90s), ever since. There are some artists who tried to deflect the negative aspects of hip hop like De La Soul, but failed for the most part in changing the direction.. So here we are, and I know listen to Hampton, Armstrong, Brubaker, Waller, Sinatra, Miller, Dorsey...Etc.. I agree it is silly and ignorant by anyone of any racial background, to use the word. You can never reclaim something to empower yourself, that was detrimental to begin with. That is nonsense.

Ozzy Ramirez
Ozzy Ramirez

ok not all white people but there is alot out here that act that way. speaking from a living in newport beach and the people i have met here.

Ozzy Ramirez
Ozzy Ramirez

im just speaking on how people act in o.c dont act like you dont know what im talking about.

Santiago Nicolas Aguilar
Santiago Nicolas Aguilar

From my experience, the word "nigga" being seen as racist coming from non-blacks is strictly a West Coast thing. In the East Coast and the Midwest, all kinds of people (blacks, hispanics, asians, even white people) call each other "my nigga" and no one thinks twice about it. Having grown up in Chicago, I didn't think it was so un-PC here until I saw Jackie Chan's "wasap manigga" scene in Rush Hour, haha.

Armando Jr Solis
Armando Jr Solis

I call my mexican ftiends " my nigga" in a non racist way..just means "my buddy" or best friend..get over it

MainlandChinese
MainlandChinese

UCI student here.

We're generally far more concerned with cheating on midterms and fucking over our labmates in group projects more than whatever an exceedingly tiny racial minority thinks.

bphood
bphood

I think "my negro" would have been much better for all involved. Racist white hos

Kelli Clendion
Kelli Clendion

Question? Were whites using the word before the existence of rappers? And what about a large number of Blacks who listen to soul, jazz, blues and rock? The other forms of music WE created. I don't understand why everyone wants to say this word so bad.

Kelli Clendion
Kelli Clendion

I don't understand why people want to use the word so bad. And let's be real. Pointing the fingers at rappers when whites have been using the word for centuries is intellectually dishonest. I don't use the word, none of my family or friends uses the words. So why do intelligent and conscious Black people have to put up with rappers and people feeding off the ignorance of rappers? Black people listen to more than just rap. We invented these small things called Rock and Roll, Jazz, Blues ect. I call bullshit.

Jöhn O'Dönnell
Jöhn O'Dönnell

no one talked any shit on any mexicans or blacks in this article you racist fuck

Karen Ward
Karen Ward

Have about a good laugh Dave Williams wanna go with me

Karen Ward
Karen Ward

If you guys feel so comfortable with the word let me take to Compton or Oakland.

Jöhn O'Dönnell
Jöhn O'Dönnell

Thats because you're old. All people are niggas now not just black niggas

James Camacho
James Camacho

The term "my nigga" is used today to mean my friend or my homie. It came from a bad word "nigger" but it has been remolded into something positive. I understand that it will be offensive to most people. But the current generation has heard it being used as a positive affectionate term for their entire lives. It isn't a term about race anymore. And to me I think that's awesome. We've taken a completely negative ugly word and turned it into something postive. I hear every race calling each other "my niggas" And they're not doing it in a derogatory fashion, but rather in a loving way. I know it's not an easy thing to understand or be okay with but I think it's a testament to how far we HAVE come as a society.

Ozzy Ramirez
Ozzy Ramirez

white people are so stupid. o.c white people talk a lot of shit about mex and blacks cuz they dont have to face them .. ya those shirts are stupid

dale_c
dale_c

It's deja-vu all over again!

Tom Slick Pearson
Tom Slick Pearson

Maybe "rappers" and hip hop artists should start using non-derogatory lyrics and words, then. The hip hop music industry doesn't cry foul when the million dollar profit albums/songs sells to whitey....So why should it be a problem when they repeat what has just been sold to them? Stop glorifying the stupid shit said in rap music, and the problem will fix itself. We are living in a double standard society...

Aron Muro
Aron Muro

the only thing UCI is good for is pointing fingers and boo-hooing over who's a racist and who's not.

Shannon Tiare
Shannon Tiare

Not a shocker rich white Irvine kids would think calling each other "nigga" isn't racist. Their parents probs still have lawn jockeys in their front lawns.

Shoogi
Shoogi

@Kelli Clendion If rappers werent using the word constantly, young white people would rarely use the word, it fact, it might just disappear! Take some responsibility for the part "your people" play in keeping this word alive!

angrysexmachine69
angrysexmachine69

@Santiago Nicolas Aguilar You must be hanging around some really low class East Coast people.

angrysexmachine69
angrysexmachine69

@Armando Jr Solis No. It means you are completely uneducated and socially clueless.

DaniGirl949
DaniGirl949

@Kelli Clendion

Let’s be real, shall we. More Rappers then not use the word like it's the next best thing to sliced white bread, yah and some whites use the word as well. We all know that, let’s not play like we don't! Wrong is wrong regardless of who is using the word, the word needs to be flushed down the toilet! Pointing fingers, and saying well "whites have been using the word for centuries is intellectually dishonest". Pointing fingers one way or the other doesn't get us (we the people of the good ole’ USA) very far. That’s the problem today, simply back up what the article is about, don’t get into the "were whites using the word before existence of rappers" because when you start posting questions of comments to that nature, others start to question who the racist really is.

angrysexmachine69
angrysexmachine69

@Ozzy Ramirez I face Mexicans everyday. They are wimps. It is the El Salvadorians that have earned my respect.

angrysexmachine69
angrysexmachine69

@Aron Muro As opposed to scientific research and a very good education.

n2bigmuscle
n2bigmuscle topcommenter

but, but, we were told as long as it has an "a" and not an "er" it's ok.  And that's from Rachel Jantel so it must be true. 

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