The Governor of South Carolina came out yesterday and said it’s time to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol.
There’s really no discussion there.
It’s way past time.
But here’s the big discussion.
The President said the word nigger in an interview and people lost their minds. He said, “Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not.”
Let the debate begin, as of course it did yesterday on CNN.
Case in point, CNN’s Sunny Hostin and me on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer debating when or if the word should be used:
Don: “We should not sanitize that word by saying this person called someone or that person the N-word. No that person didn’t call that person or someone, Sunny I know you’re gonna get upset, but this person didn’t call someone the N-word they called them a nigger. As journalists. Journalists are purveyors of..
Sunny: “I can’t believe Don that you as an African-American man is going to use that word so flippantly. Words matter and you should know that.”
Don: “I do know that. I have said the entire time that I’ve been here I don’t think we should bastardize the word. I don’t think it should be used freely in songs over and over again. If you’re using it in context of a story and its relevant then you should be able to say it. In fact I encourage people to say it because you should use the impact of the word”
Well, that didn’t go so well.
There are a number of influential African Americans who agree with my colleague Sunny like NAACP President Cornell Brooks and National Urban League President Marc Morial.
Both gentleman say the word should never be used, not even by the President of the United States; that it’s beneath the dignity of the office.
I say the President is a university professor who knows the impact of words and how to give impact to a message.
I say he did the right thing because if he had just said the N-word no one would be talking about it.
It would not have had the impact that it had.
Now it’s time to discuss what the President actual message was beyond whether the word is offensive.
Listen to Don’s full commentary on the Tom Joyner Morning Show after clicking the “Play Audio” button.
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