Chester Hanks, son of Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, is defending his use of the “N-word” in a string of posts on his now deleted Instagram account.
Hanks is a rapper who goes by the stage name Chet Haze and Yahoo’s The Insider reports that “What began as a means of promoting his new song quickly went south when he referred to his collaborator using the epithet in his caption over the weekend. But that’s not all! Tom Hanks’s 24-year-old son used the inflammatory term in yet another Instagram caption, seemingly in response to the backlash he incurred from the first message.”
One of his posts was captured by USA Today after an outpouring of angry responses and prior to his account being deleted or disabled:
As USA Today reports, Chester posted a flurry of videos to Instagram as well and offered the following explanation:
If I say the (N-word) I say it amongst people I love and who love me. If I say “(expletive) yall hatin ass (N-words)” it’s because that’s really how I felt at the time. And I don’t accept society getting to decide what ANYBODY can or can’t say. That’s something we call FREE SPEECH. Now I understand the older generation who grew up in the Jim Crowe era might have strong feelings against this. And that’s understandable… But what I’m saying is this is 2015… And even tho we are still far from where we need to be and black people are still being literally KILLED by a RACIST and (expletive) up system… We have also reached a point where the word can no longer have a negative connotation if we so choose. And who is to say only black people can use it? The way I see it, it’s a word that unifies the culture of HIP-HOP across ALL RACES, which is actually kind of a beautiful thing. It’s a word that can be used out of camaraderie and love, not just exclusively for black people. What’s the point in putting all these built up ‘rules’ about it. It’s time to let go. You can hate me or love me for it, but can’t nobody tell me what I can or can’t say. It’s got nothing to do with trying to be a thug. It’s about the culture of the music. And that’s all I have to say about that (no pun intended) lol. It’s all love. Some people will get it, some people won’t. Either way, Ima keep living my life however the (expletive) I want. ALL LOVE.
Tom Hanks spoke about his son’s rap career back in February of this year while attending the National WWII Museum’s 2015 American Spirit Award Gala: “What I love about my kid is that he’s doing it,” adding “sometimes I can’t honestly say I love to hear some of the language in it, but that’s not just his stuff, that’s other people’s as well.”
You can watch Chester attempting to explain himself in the news clip, below, from Yahoo Celebrity: