Alpha Phi Alpha Members Encouraged to Stop Hiring N-Word Using DJs

The battle to ban the N-word marked a new chapter Saturday (Aug. 11) as the general president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity urged members of Alpha fraternities on college campuses to not hire DJs who use the controversial word."We want to go on record and tell our college brethren not to use DJs or play music that contains lyrics that are offensive, demeaning or degrading," said Darryl R. Matthews Sr., who issued the challenge while addressing 3,000 Alpha Phi Alpha members at the organization’s annual convention in Orlando.According to the Orlando Sentinel, Matthews continued to express his views afterwards, as he felt the N-word should be purged from music lyrics, movie dialogue, talk radio and playgrounds."I don’t know many ethnic groups other than the black community that use such harsh language with each other and empower other people to think it’s OK to use it," the 53-year-old fraternity head explained. "The word has evil intent. It's not a term of endearment. It is not just symbolic."Matthew's crusade against offensive behavior and language isn’t limited to the N-word.According to the Sentinel, Matthews spoke out against the influence of "gangsta rap" earlier this year as he labeled the music genre as "a bomb that is blowing up our children and neighborhoods."Alpha Phi Alpha is the nation’s oldest and largest black fraternity.The organization, founded in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., boasts an impressive roster of members which include the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, writer W.E.B. Du Bois, scholar Cornel West, historian John Hope Franklin, former Atlanta Mayors Andrew Young and Maynard Jackson, athlete Jesse Owens, football coach Eddie Robinson and NFL players president Gene Upshaw.Its mission, Matthews stated, is to help the less fortunate as well as lead, inspire and motivate the black community through positive action.During Saturday’s address, the father of three encouraged parents to listen to their children’s music in order to open a discussion about negative message in the lyrics of some the songs they listen to."This is not a legislative action," said Matthews. "This is a moral attitude action, it’s a common-sense action. We have tolerated as much as we can tolerate."Matthews’ remarks are the latest in a string of viewpoints expressed by black leaders in the wake of outrage over the use of the N-word by black and white people.The issue came to a head in recent months when comedian Michael Richards used the word repeatedly during a comedy routine.Radio personality Don Imus fanned the flames further with his racially offensive remarks regarding the Rutgers University womens basketball team.In July, the NAACP held a mock funeral at its convention in Detroit to symbolically bury the N-Word.The action resulted in similar burials in Houston and Philadelphia.