Earlier this week on ABC’s The View, one of the topics of discussion was the controversy involving Rick Perry, a potential Republican presidential candidate. The 61-year-old Texas governor took much criticism over the weekend for a rock outside the Texas hunting camp that his family once leased. It was discovered that the rock had the word “N***erhead” painted on it. When asked about the rock sitting at the entrance of the camp, Perry’s initial response was:
“When my Dad joined the lease in 1983, he took the first opportunity he had to paint over the offensive word on the rock during the 4th of July holiday. It is my understanding that the rock was eventually turned over to further obscure what was originally written on it.” [Source]
Nonetheless, while the ladies of The View were discussing the issue, Whoopi Goldberg initially used the actual N-word while reporting the story to the audience and viewers, in an effort to point out how useless it is to pretend that the racial term doesn’t exist. As she was pointing out the fact that opposing candidate Herman Cain didn’t hesitate to use the real N-word in his critcism of Perry, Barbara Walters jumped in and elaborated on the story and allowed the real word to slip out of her mouth. Once Sherri Shepherd heard Barbara say the racial word, she immediately took offense and addressed Walters:
When I heard you [Whoopi] say it, it was fine. You said it a different way. When I heard you [Barbara] say it, I didn’t like the way you said it. Because when you say it, you say n****er. And I don’t like n***er. You [Whoopi] didn’t say n***er…It’s a semantics thing. It’s something that goes through my body. It’s nothing on you, Barbara. It’s something about hearing you say it. I don’t like it when you use the word. Now I have used it with my friends and family. I don’t say it like you. When you say it it’s a different connotation.
A confused Walters didn’t quite understand where Shepherd was coming from and apologized, “Forgive me if I didn’t say it the right way. I mean I’m repeating what was on the rock.” You can watch the clip below.
What are your thoughts on using the N-word? Why is it still considered okay for those within the black (even hispanic) community to use the watered down version of the racial slang?