Oh the delicious irony.
On ABC's The View Tuesday, as co-host Whoopi Goldberg supported Saturday's call by CNN's Don Lemon for reporters to say the N-word when quoting folks that have, the censors actually bleeped her when she said the word herself (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Goldberg introduced the segment by mentioning how various CNNers have said the N-word during recent newscasts, after which she mentioned Lemon's call for this to universally be the case.
After some give and take mostly with co-host Barbara Walters who expressed discomfort with the idea, Goldberg said, "What reporters do is they report the news. And every time you make it ‘the N-word,’ it’s cute.”
She continued, “But I feel very strongly about the word. Do not eliminate it. It's part of our history. Every time people try to sort of make it sound better or more acceptable, let's call it what it is.”
Walters then asked Goldberg if she uses the actual word.
Ironically, part of Goldberg’s response was bleeped, but from what I can tell by trying to read her lips in the video, I believe she said, “Yes I call it what it is. I say n—ger, they bleep me.”
Walters seemed surprised and asked, “When you say it on this show you are bleeped?”
“I am bleeped, ever since the word was buried, you know, there was a whole ceremony with a whole funeral - people buried it. Ever since then, you cannot say the word on television,” answered Goldberg.
“They’ve tried to fix ‘Roots,'” she continued. “They've taken it out of books…This idea that taking it out makes it somehow better is ridiculous. It's part of the culture. Let us speak on it and say this is what it is.”
As I wrote in Monday's piece about Lemon's call, I very much agree with this sentiment.
However, it still seems rather odd this discussion is happening as racial tensions are running high after the Trayvon Martin shooting and some seem to be ginning up a race war to assist the reelection of Barack Obama.
Beyond this, I sincerely wonder how the black community would respond if white journalists suddenly started using this word even in the context of a news report.