After a home video of an Omaha 2-year old toddler spewing profanity hit the web, many viewers began to point fingers at the child’s 16-year old mother and the environment in which the child is raised.
But when the video was shared by the Omaha Police Department’s with the term “thug” in the title, many African-Americans viewed the use as a racist act.
CNN’s Don Lemon decided to touch on the topic of the term “thug” and dig deeper into the meaning of the word. During his segment, Lemon invited Houston rapper Slim Thug to talk about the word thug and how Slim sees it as simply an economic meaning of “someone coming from nothing to something”:
It’s really — It’s deep than just being an entrepreneur because when I say ‘from nothing,’ I mean from nothing for real. Like Momma not there, Daddy not there. You know, you’re looked at as a thug because of how you look. You might have saggy jeans on or whatever and you come from the hood. [...] You’re always looked at as a thug. Everybody’s looking at you like you’re about to steal something from them or rob them. [...] And for you to come from that to being successful, man, that’s what we call it coming from nothing. That’s what we call thugging.
Eventually the conversation turned to his music and how he flaunts how he hangs out with gorillas and killers, and how kids listen to hip-hop/rap music and interpret his lyrics in a cultural way:
I understand that. Just like I think y’all definition of thug and mine are different. So I can understand that people can get it wrong sometimes. But at the same time, it’s like I do all that and I do hang around those type of guys. That’s the environment I was raised in. [...] I was discriminated on so much because of how I look and how I dress. So I want to show the other kids who are from where I’m from [that] just because I have braids and grill, with tattoos everywhere, it doesn’t mean I’m trying to snatch your purse.
Slim Thug went on to say that it wasn’t cool that the child was labeled as a thug and that he was simply raised in that type of environment. But when Lemon brought up how music like his can oftentimes influence listeners to perpetuate a negative stereotype, Slim disagreed:
It’s the environment. It ain’t the music. If anybody listens to music and is influenced by what a rapper says, then that’s just not good – they weren’t raised in a good home anyway.  That’s bad parenting off top. You’re supposed to know better than that.
As for the 16 year-old mother, she and the toddler are in protective custody and will be reunited once they are placed in the same foster home. What do you think about Slim Thug’s opinion? Peep another clip from Lemon’s “Is ‘Thug’ a Racist Term?” where he talks about the history of the term.