Human behavior expert Wendy Walsh provided context to the history of the n-word and how people are punished for merely saying them. She said, “The more they become taboo, they more they keep their power, and we get even more nervous about using them.” Lemon marveled at how the n-word was perfectly acceptable to say on television in the 1970s, but not in the present day. Marc Lamont Hill said it’s perfectly fine to use the word in context, but white people should “absolutely not” use it.
He said, “You just have to accept that there are some things in the world, just, at least one thing, that you can’t do that black people can!” Walsh countered that white teenagers might use it with their black friends because they listen to hip-hop and consider it more a term of endearment, and questioned why white people can’t merely “sing along” to rap lyrics. An exasperated Hill asked, “Why are white people fighting so fiercely for the right to use the n-word? Just let it go!”
Buck Davis explained the important historical difference between the n-word and “cracker,” adding that a lot of people aren’t able to “connect with the pain” black people feel when they hear it. As they went to commercial, Walsh said, “I’m still gonna sing in my car to music I pay for!”
After the break, Walsh explained that when she and her kids sing along, they just replace the n with a w and say “wigger.” She brought up “the c-word” as an example of a word that personally offends her, but argued that “the power to harm is in the ear of the listener.” Davis suggested people rallied behind Paula Deen because they also use the n-word and if she’s a racist then so are they. Hill said he’s not surprised at Deen’s cultural blindness because she’s “exploiting” her brand on the backs of black labor, “treating us like the n-word.”
Lemon argued Deen should not have been fired, it should have been up to the marketplace to decide. Hill claimed it did, but Lemon called him out and said “corporate America decided” to let her go. Hill shot back, “Because they thought it was bad business, Don!” and cited the millions of people on Twitter who criticized Deen. Lemon responded, “People on Twitter hate all the time.”
Watch the full discussion below, courtesy of CNN:
Good Comment From A Person In The Thread About This, Actually he had 3:
There are two "N" words. The one used by blacks has had the venom drained from it and is as innocuous as the word "homey". It is both pronounced and spelled differently from the one used by bigots (N*gga, N**ger). The former, when used by whites, can't avoid sounding ludicrous since it either assumes a shared history that doesn't exist or refuses to acknowledge that history. Long, short, white folks must get over not being able to access that one thing belonging to blacks that can't be appropriated by whites. Just get over it.
Your denying the creative ingenuity of black folk when you simply refuse to admit they are not the same word. In fact, you're really insisting that you can dictate to black folks what they mean when they talk.
It isn't "brainwashing". Blacks have transformed that word as an act of self-defense. As I've said elsewhere, I know it's hard for some to attribute such subtlety to black folks, but the word N*gga is a mocking reference to the word used by whites, and has been completely transformed in its modern usage. Any considerable amount of time spent in the company of blacks and immersed in black culture would prove my point.