For the most part, the “Rihanna Navy” is pretty loyal to its fearless Bajan leader– but that doesn’t mean they won’t call her out if need be. Some of Rihanna’s fans flipped on the singer for posting a picture with a baby on Instagram, and calling him her “little ni**a.”
Pictures of the braided-up unidentified toddler were sent out to Rihanna’s more than 23 million followers late last week, and they weren’t too happy with the caption.
One person wrote, “Why call the child a little ni**a. To the rest who think its cool wth?” Another expressed a general distaste for the word. “I love the hell out of [Rihanna] but I hate that word,” while another adds, “That word is derogatory. If some cultures aren’t allowed to say it, no one should.”
Others stood up for her, with one person using the typical excuse. “Just bcuz y’all accept the negative meaning that a word carries doesn’t mean everyone else has to as well, open your mind a bit people.”
Rihanna has latched on to the derogatory term, which has become a colloquialism in Black culture–depending on the color of the person using it. Jennifer Lopez, who is Puerto Rican, was criticized for dropping the “n-bomb” on the 2001 remix to “I’m Real,” and Rihanna has even lashed out at non-Black people for using the word.
Last year a Dutch magazine called the “Pour It Up” singer a “ni**a b***h,” claiming it was a joke. She responded via Twitter calling the publication’s action “disrespectful” and “desperate.”
Check out the full flics of Rihanna and he baby buddy in the gallery.