My 2 Cents on Eminem as a Racist

I thought I’d chime in on the Eminem controversy. Madison at Diesel Nation has done a great job of rounding up some pertinent information about this situation. And I generally agree with his opinions of Eminem and Benzino.

My take is that I doubt that Eminem is a racist right now. I can accept Eminem’s explanation that he was just an angry kid when he said those words. When you read his words they come across as very juvenile and it’s seems clear that he was just venting steam because some Black girl played him. However, unlike some, I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that Eminem would say such things. Given his background (not to mention some of his other lyrics) I’d almost expect that kind of sentiment from him.

As Madison points out, if we’re gonna hold Em responsible for his words we have to do the same for other (Black) rappers. Which is more damaging, a lower class white kid talking shit about Black women or some black men dissing (what can be assumed to be Black) women? I say the latter, by far. Compare Eminem’s lyrics (which were never meant for public consumption) to the misogynistic lyrics on oh so many commercial CDs by Black rappers.

As for Benzino, I’m not sure what his goal was in releasing the Eminem lyrics. (I won’t get into dissing him… that’s already been done to death.) But if he was expecting to negatively affect Eminem’s record sales I doubt this method will be very effective. I doubt that the majority of Eminem’s (mostly white) fans will be moved enough by this to not buy his music any more. And if Benzino was trying to boost sales of the Source it looks like that may backfire too. He just can’t win from this.

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  • Duru

    Here, here! I agree with you on this Mike, although I am not even sure whether I would call Eminem a racist “right now.”

    Regardless, let’s check ourselves before we go around checking others who are mimicking the very things we do when the mic is in our hands! This all reminds me of the quasi-controversy around J-Lo using the “N” word. Let’s clean up our own acts if this stuff is REALLY important!

    And by the way, I WISH we could eradicate the “N” word from our vocabulary completely and forever! That is definitely something I can appreciate about listening to Eminem…at least I don’t have to suffer through “N”-this and “N”-that a million miles a second…that is until a Black rapper drops on the set.

  • We do sound a bit hypocritical if we get all up in arms about Eminem’s lyrics and don’t call out our “brothas” who express similar sentiments on the regular. I ain’t feelin’ Eminem anyway, so what he does is irrelevant to me. I am much more concerned about what WE have done to hip-hop.

  • nya

    I think that em should have never had a song like that out because it doesn’t matter that one black female dissed him, because him and his wife are like a off and on relationship. I don’t think em could handle a black girl and that’s why he’s always dating some white girl.

  • Buckra Bob

    If people really wanted to make an investigation into whether Eminem was a racist they should have told Benzino to shut up and let some respectable institution with no economic or personal interest in Eminem’s situation do the investigation/ask questions/ etc..

    And what does the debate exactly mean by racist? Racist like some Klansman at a cross burning? Archie Bunker racist?

    p.s. If black rappers can make cracks about whites, then why not vice versa? To quote a very non hip hop artist Warren Zevon: If you can’t take the punches it don’t mean a thing.

  • Asian Stunna

    if eminem has to apologize to the black community for saying “black bitch”, then all the rappers who say “asian bitche” in their songs should apologize to the Asian community!!!

  • NYA

    DIG DIS! ALL THE FOLKS OUT THERE TALKING BOUT HOW M&M AIN’T A WHITE SUPREMACIST, AND THAT HE WAS A KID AT THE TIME, AND THAT HE WAS JUST FREESTYLING, AND ALL THE OTHER BULLSHIT EXCUSES THAT THEY’RE MAKING FOR THE WHITE BOY, CAN BEST BE CHARACTERIZED AS SELF-HATING AND IGNORANT FOR THE NEGROES, AND FOR SO-CALLED WHITES, THE CLASSICAL PERPETUAL PATHOLOGICAL DENIAL SYNDROME AND PHONY NAIVITE THAT THEY ALL SUFFER FROM. CHEW ON THIS! TRICK!!

  • Jamal_PC_James

    Wow,Nya calm down ma, yo when em first came out i was like who is this white boy, now he on my top 5 list, i don’t think boy boy a racist, i think he really was venting, and it ain’t right for a white person to use the word “nigga”, but its funny how the same nigga’s that are goin wild bout eminem are the same niggas that curse off women in general. so check yaself before u tryin to stand up for people. Jamal J.

  • Bo

    Yeah i used 2 like that white muthafucker but he is jus like any other white man in america, they think they’re the superior race and it is quite disgusting.You white muthafuckers wanna be racist huh, did you forget you brought us muthafuckers over here.For Ems sake he better hope that Suge Knight dont get a hold of him, he’ll really be able to think back on how the niggers as he puts it, would whoop on his punk ass back in D-Town. He’ll get his. Later

    OH YEAH FUCK ALL U BITCH ASS DICK RIDING EMINEM FAGS YEAH I USED TO LIKE HIM BUT HES A FUCKIN’ RACIST, OH WAIT THATS WHAT AMERICA STANDS 4, WHITE SUPREMACY..FUCK AMERICA

  • Candice

    Eminem is so obnoxious! How dare he ridicule black women and call them derogatory names. He should pay for what he has said. It’s one thing to say that he doesn’t like black women, that’s fair enought, he’s not the first to have said that and he won’t be the last but to use the N word is utterly disgraceful. Oh, and how old was he 10 years ago? 20? 21? I don’t know about you guys but I would not call a 20 year old MAN a kid. There is absolutely no excuse for making racist comments.We should stand together and refuse to tolerate the unfair terms racist people, like Eminem, use to describe us.

    When I hear black rappers calling black women names, I get so mad, but I know that what they say is not racist. If a black person calls you a ni–er, you know that they don’t think that they’re superior to you, some claim to use the word as term of endearment. On the other hand if a white person, whose ancestors have been calling your ancestors “Niggers” for centuries in order to make them feel inferior, calls you a “nigger”, of course you’re going to be outraged.

  • Haven’t we all said things we regret?I know that if somebody taped a phone call between me and my friends, and released it I would be in a lot of shit coz of the stuff I say. Leave Em alone, he was venting and he never meant for that to come out. You can’t hold someone against what they have said or done if they did it out of anger. If you’re a black woman, don’t take it personally he wasn’t rappin bout you he was rappin bout his ex but he just generalized it. Have you ever had your heart broken by a male and said “I hate guys!!!” It’s the same thing. Peace out.

  • WELL SAID! couldn’t have put it better myself!!!!!

  • haileesmith

    Your all dickheads. Stop taking everything Eminem says so seriously, get a sense of humor. If you dont like wot he says in his songs, dont listen to them, stupid motherfucking fags. Go fuck your dog.

  • Stop spending so much time riding Em’s jock and learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”. You ignorant motha…

  • Janine

    You might want to ignore my comment on a conversation long over. Also (full disclosure), I’m a black woman who mostly listens to rock, so I don’t have my Eminem lyrics down pat. But when a white woman hurts his feelings, he talks about chopping her up with a chansaw and putting her in his trunk. When a black woman hurts him, it’s all: “black women are shady!” Amidst all the name calling, if I remember correctly, there’s no talk of violence. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but he seems to at least know the black woman would eff him up (or at least arrange to have him pummeled).

  • Bronx Bomber

    EMINEM,

    LIKE ALL OF WHITE AMERICA, WILL STEAL FROM BLACK PEOPLE, AND DISRESPECT BLACK PEOPLE AND THEN SAY.. OH I WAS YOUNG.. OR ITS IN THE PAST.. JUST LIKE THE NUMBER ONE SLAVERY ARGUMENT.. BUT, YOU LOOK AT AMERIKKA’S AGENDA OF BUILDING JAILS INSTEAD OF SCHOOLS.. ITS POLICY OF RACIAL PROFILING, AND ITS NEVER ENDING POLICY OF TRYING TO MAKE ATROCITIES IN AFRICA SEEM WORSE THAN THEY ARE IN AMERICA (SEE: THE AIDS EPIDEMIC, DRUGS EPIDEMIC OR MY PERSONAL FAVORITE WHICH STILL MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.. THAT STUPID SONG “DO THEY KNOW ITS CHRISTMAS”.. HAHAH.. THEY ARE BLACK PEOPLE WITH THEIR OWN RELIGION, BUT THEY ARE STILL SAVAGES.. DO THEY KNOW ITS CHRISTMAS.) BUT I DIGRESS.. BASICALLY, F EMINEM FOR BEING THE MODERN DAY ELVIS.. I WILL STEAL THEIR MUSIC AND HATE THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT CAUSE ULTIMATELY I AM A WHITE BOY ON THE OUTSIDE OF BEING BLACK LOOKING IN.. AND LETS FACE IT.. THATS THE REAL PROBLEM

  • Leland

    I Don’t think Em’s racist i just think he’s gonna say what comes up on his mind first just like any other rapper when their tryin to spits some rymes cause when i spits some rymes i sometimes say NIGGA n i’m not black i’m NATIVE so whats the big deal its not like i get affended when anyone says NATIVE I just say thats what I am n proud of it. racisim is when someone talks about ur culture in what ur people do, thats racisim in my opinion any way. well I’ll be talkin to ya in the future cause their’s a lot of things I’d like to ask u cause this native has a lot to say n I want the government to here it n I need some advise from the smartis rapper that their is out there today[“wwwhitch is U”] PIECE OUT DOGG!!

  • jacob

    U hella trippin, Im black and asain and I have got a-lot of racist comment in the past, but to eminem, the mother fucker was mad when he said that, just like if you got mad at yer girl and called her a bitch, you will regret it someday, and em said sorry, anyways I would of said the same danm thing he said.

  • Mart claus

    i htink em is not racist despite the tape that came out, he was just a boy when he made the tape, i even i personally say anything that comes out mouth when i am mad,and i really dont see what the big deal is anywayz, in my hood a lot of black kids think i am inferior to them because i am from Africa. a lot of other rappers call black women bitches for no reason it’s nothing , but cause em said it even though he was mad it’s still a big deal come on now get your your heads right ladies and gentlemen.

  • David

    I’m white, and I believe that eminem said some very foolish things that there really is no excuse for, but I don’t believe that it means he is racist. He is on a label with 50, Dre, Lloyd and all them…and I am sure he considers them good friends. I sure as hell have judged someone in the past for their religion, gender, race, etc, and I’m definitely not proud of it and regret it a lot, but I am a human and we make mistakes. So, I don’t think what Em said makes him a racist, but just someone who said something dumb and wishes he could take it back.

    I have a question for Bronx Bomber though, maybe I’m just a naive kid from the suburbs…but do you think white people have an agenda or some kind of plot against black people? You have a lot of hate in your post…maybe I can’t understand what you go through, but I can assure you that it’s not like white people go day to day thinking about what they can do next to screw over black people. I understand what white’s have done in the past…but what is it about the present day that makes you hate white’s so much? I’m probably just naive and dont see day to day racism that doesn’t affect me. But I would really like to know

  • Dee

    In my opinion there is a lot of confusion about what a racist really is. People have images of cloaked KKK Knights, lynching black people and burning crosses on their lawns. That is, I admit the very image of racism I had before comming to America, but when I came I found the truth to be more subtle and in many ways, much more disturbing.
    Generic dictionary definition of Racist:
    1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
    2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race

    Is Eminem a racist? I don’t know because I don’t know him personally and have not followed him enough to make an opinion, but it is sad, that someone who claims to have so much contact with the black community, would feel the need to address his ex’s race rather than simply sticking to her gender.
    When I broke up with my ex, who happened to be jewish, I did not feel that his actions were because he was a male, or because he was white, or because he was jewish, but because he was a jerk.
    You are right, white people don’t go about their day thinking about how they can screw black people, any more than blacks go about their day thinking how they can be a menace to whites.
    The problem comes, when assumptions that people have about people based on their race, affects how they treat them, hire them, fire them, represent them in the media, treat them in the courthouses, in credit card companies, loans, housing companies, hospitals etc. This is all happening, today, not yesterday, or way back in the past.
    The problem is compounded by people who refuse to look at the problem with an open mind and assume that there is no problem because they don’t see it.
    It only takes few moments of research, with the internet it is so easy, to find the true extent, and effects of racism today.
    Looking at the above dictionary definition, and then at his statments, which I believe (If I am wrong I am sure I will be rapidly corrected) included words to the effect, White women are better than black women, who are only out for your money, appear to me to qualify as racist statements.
    The harm? When you stop seeing the damage that hurtful words have on people, it is easy to start thinking that hurtful actions based on those words are also acceptable, or that day to day behavior based on those actions are ok.

    When black women own most of the property in the US, run most of the corperations, banks, hold most of the seats in both the house and the senate, have been elected president, 27 times consecutively, are the largest and most powerful group in the US and have been so, for over 50 years, then their pissed off comments about white boys who are only out for booty will be much more serious in nature.
    Sometimes people forget that you can’t treat statments by different people equally, because the impact of those statments will be different depending on who is making the statements.
    For this reason, the statement by Eminem, which seems to be one of many stupid, cruel and hurtful things that have come out of his mouth, for me are irrelevant. I am much more concerned about laws that are being considered by the senate, and house that would take food stamps away from parents of poor kids that need them.
    Here is a website to get you started on a rational search for the truth about racism: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/
    Do a search for articles about the harvard study, and look up the book Blink.

  • mike

    what about all the people dissing eminem, they call him racist white names but no one thinks they’re racist right?? or what about in other songs where rappers say “white bitch” or any time they talk about a white person they alwayz emphasize the “white” or any other race for that matter? Why is it so different? wut he said isn’t much different from wut other rappers say about other races yet we’re not having this big arguement about it, n he only said it that one time but other rappers talk like that all the time.

  • I’m not overly fond of Eminem & I hate most rap “music.” Still, I’ve heard black rappers trashing white women & it wasn’t a problem until a white rapper (Eminem) did it to black women! Then you had all these black girls saying,”Oh, no, that white boy didn’t!” How hypocritical. It would be okay to trash a white girl, though…

    The same people who accuse non-Blacks of discrimination/racism are the ones who perpetuate it. This really isn’t about racism. It’s about sexism. I’m a woman & I’m often offended by woman-hating lyrics and statements.
    Whether it’s directed at White women, Black women, Asian women, etc. Eminem isn’t what I would call loving towards the female sex (maybe he is with his daughter, I don’t know). Most rappers hate women.

    If you haven’t noticed, Eminem has trashed both his mom & his ex-wife on many occasions. They happen to be white. He is a white male. He seems to forget this fact. How many Black boys do you know named Marshall Mathers? I’ve heard Black women complain about Black males doing this to them. So it’s not about him being racist. I’ve encountered more Black racists than white, to be honest. If anything, I would call him sexist, not only in lyrics but in lifestyle. I respect the fact that this is how he earns his living, but some people have it all wrong. Being white does not immediately make somebody privileged, nor does it make them racist.

    He trashed black girls. Whoop-de-doo. He also beat up his ex-wife and talked about hating his mom. They’re white. He has problems with women, period, whether they’re red, white, or blue. Somebody posted a comment above that I’m still trying to figure out. Candice said: “When a black person calls you the N-word, it’s a term of endearment…when a white person does it, it’s an outrage.”

    WTF?! Sorry to be blunt, but this made no sense at all. The word “nigger” is an outdated term that should never be spoken in polite society. I don’t care who says it. You can try to justify it, you can put your own spin on it by dropping the “-er” and substituting an “a” (as in Wuzzup, My Nigga?)to make it sound more hip but it is still a word that has always been used to belittle & control blacks. Why anyone would want to be called that, even playfully, is beyond me. The connotations are racist. Maybe I’m missing something here, I don’t know.

    And Mike, I totally agree with you.