HSAN Issues Statement Calling For Removal of Derogatory Words

By Alexis Jeffries

The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, headed by Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis, issued a statement today (Apr. 23) calling for the recording industry’s removal of the words “b**ch,” “ho” and “n***er” in all of its future recordings.

The statement contains recommendations after Simmons hosted a closed door meeting with various record label executives last week.

“We recommend that the recording and broadcast industries voluntarily remove/bleep/delete the misogynistic words ‘bitch’ and ‘ho’ and the racially offensive word ‘n***er.’,” Simmons and Chavis said in a joint statement.

The statement requests that the three words should be considered with the same objections to obscenity as “extreme curse words.”

Simmons and Chavis said “the words are reminders of the misogyny that “African American women have experienced in the United States as part of the history of oppression, inequality, and suffering of women.”

“The word ‘n***er’ is a racially derogatory term that disrespects the pain, suffering, history of racial oppression, and multiple forms of racism against African Americans and other people of color,” the statement read.

HSAN is also calling for the formation of a new body called the Coalition on Broadcast Standards, which will consist of leading executives from music, radio and television industries.

The Coalition, the statement says, would be responsible for recommending guidelines for lyrical and visual standards within the recording and media industries.

Additionally, HSAN is calling for the creation of an artist mentoring program and forum to be established, designed to promote dialogue between fans and artists in order to work for positive change in the Hip-Hop industry.

“Hip-Hop is a worldwide cultural phenomena that transcends race and doesn’t engage in racial slurs. Don Imus’ racially-motivated diatribe toward the Rutger’s women’s basketball team was in no way connected to Hip-Hop culture. As Chairman and President of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), respectively, we are concerned by the false comparisons some in the media are making between Don Imus and Hip-Hop. We want to clarify what we feel very strongly is an obvious difference between the two.”

Founded in 2001, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is a non-profit national coalition of Hip-Hop artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents, and youth leaders.

The organization was created to harness Hip-Hop music for the purposes of educational advocacy and youth empowerment.

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