In a podcast interview with comedian Marc Maron recorded after the Charleston Church shooting, President Barack Obama gave a speech on the state of race relations in the United States--and OMG he said the N-word.
And then he dropped the mic and ran. Kidding. But that's what many conservative talking heads like Fox News host Todd Starnes made it seem like. In response to Obama's speech, Starnes wrote,
"If he talks like that in public -- I can only imagine what he says in private. It does not appear that the president’s remarks were off-the-cuff. Based on my interpretation of the podcast, he was cool, calm and measured in his use of the n-word. It was disappointing to say the least to hear such a vulgarity come out of the mouth of the leader of the free world.
But there you have it folks – this is man who was supposed to usher in the post-racial America. This is the man who was supposed to unite, not divide. What President Obama said is indefensible. It soils the dignity of the Oval Office. For goodness sake. He's the president of the United States, not a hip-hop artist."
Once again, a conservative has taken something out of context in order to push an agenda.
"I always tell young people in particular, do not say that nothing's changed when it comes to race in America unless you lived through being a black man in the 1950s or '60s or '70s. It is incontrovertible that race relations have improved significantly during my lifetime and yours and that opportunities have opened up and that attitudes have changed. That is a fact.
What is also true is that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution in our lives — that casts a long shadow. That's still part of our DNA, that's passed on. We're 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. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't overnight completely erase everything that happened two to 300 years prior."
So yes, Todd Starnes, OMG Obama did say the N-word. But I'm glad he did. Because it got Obama talking about the state of race in America rather than choosing to tip-toe around it like he has all year, even after the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice. And now the entire country is talking about it too and actually taking action. See here, here and here for examples.
What do you guys think? Did Obama's use of the n-word make a necessary point? Or do you agree withTodd Starnes? Discuss below.
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