True Star


True Star students talk slurs

True Star reporter Mina Waight, a Kenwood junior, discusses her personal experiences with slurs during a meeting at True Star’s downtown Chicago office on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. MASH PHOTO

True Star

Students from True Star, an urban teen media program in Chicago, talked about their personal experiences with slurs. Watch the videos below:

Editor’s note: The following videos include sensitive words—many of which society deems extremely derogatory—for the purpose of a serious discussion about their use and place in Chicago teen culture. Listeners are cautioned that the language that appears here may be offensive.


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“Well, one (word is) for I would say a girl that gets around, ‘THOTs,’ ‘thotties’ … ‘that hoe over there.'”

–Braylyn Brown, a Morgan Park junior and True Star youth marketer


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“I have been called Snow White, Rudolph, everything. … Everyone refers to me as ‘foreign.’ My name in everyone’s phone is ‘Foreign’ with, like, this super tropic flower.”

—Mina Waight, a Kenwood junior and True Star magazine reporter


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“‘Sus,’ that’s a slur towards gay people. ‘Suspect,’ like gay. ‘You’re acting kind of sus, bro.'”

–Kristin Brown, a Columbia College junior and True Star magazine reporter


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“I’ve been around groups of black people and there might be like an occasional white person or Latino person or whatever, and they’ll say the N-word. And they’ll say it just like we would say it, but the group of (black) people won’t say nothing. … But then I ask later why do they think that’s cool (and they’ll say) “Ah, that’s one of the homies.”

–Christopher Brown, a Columbia College sophomore and True Star magazine reporter


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“What makes it OK, at least in people’s eyes, is exposure. … At the beginning (of high school at Walter Payton) I felt I was limiting myself because I only felt comfortable around other people who said ‘nigga.’ … If I was around a white person and I said ‘nigga’ and they were uncomfortable, I was uncomfortable.”

—Michael Walton II, a Truman College freshman and True Star magazine reporter



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The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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