“A white person like you couldn’t wear it but I wouldn’t mind if someone my own race did,” said Sam Houston State University sophomore Veronica Simon is response to Damon Wayan’s attempt to introduce a new apparel line called “Nigga”. Wayans who has been in a 14- month battle with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office not only wants to dress America with the clothing line but wants them to put it on books, music and other general merchandise.
As for now Wayans attempt has proven unsuccessful.
The U.S. Patent Office has rejected the application dated Dec.22, citing a law that prohibits marks that are “immoral and scandalous.” Trademark examiner Kelly Boulton in a letter to Wayans attorney stated “While debate exist about in-group uses of the term, “nigga” is almost universally understood to be derogatory,” she said in an interview with Wired reporter Rogers Caldenhead. SHSH student Helena Troy Curvey agrees, “I find the clothing line Wayans is trying to create using the word “nigga” offensive. As an African-American we have fought not to be referred to in this
SHSU junior Stu Neimeyer says although he doesn’t agree with the commercialization of the word”nigga” he owns a shirt that says “cracker” with a picture of a saltine cracker on it.
“It wouldn’t bother me to have it but again it raises the question, why is it offensive when a white person says it but black people can use it as a term of endearment?”
Entrepreneur Keon Rhodenan was also denied use of the N-word as a registered trademark in 2001 now sells his clothing line out of the his car. In Wired, Rhoden said he has sold about 2,000 of the shirts and that one grandmother followed him to his car and bought one for each of her five grandchildren.