2007_01_cityhall.jpgCity Councilman Leroy Comrie wants the city to ban the n-word. Comrie said he hoped that a dialogue would be sparked by his resolution and that society can move "toward a place where the n-word is simply unacceptable to be used in any context." And hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow, who joined Comrie at the press conference, said, "We need to stop looking at ourselves like we are niggas or niggers, so that we can elevate our minds to a better future. So I challenge the hip-hop community, I challenge you to abolish that word during the month of February - Black History Month - and beyond."

The power of the n-word was at the center of last year's Howard Beach hate crime trial. Because Nicolas Minucci used the n-word while beating Glenn Moore in 2005 (to the point where Moore now has lasting damage to his hearing, vision and memory), his was charged with a hate crime. Minucci's lawyer tried to argue that the n-word is common parlance. Minucci was found guilty of a hate crime and sentenced to 15 years.

Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and City Council Speaker support the resolution. The City Council will vote on it in later this month. Here's the Abolish the N Word website, plus here's a Salon article about the epithet.

Photograph of City Hall from Wally G on Flickr