Debate over the N-word has intensified in the past couple years.
Remember when Michael Richards from “Seinfeld” was caught on tape two years ago using the n-word in a comedy routine? People were outraged and Richards had to apologize.
The NAACP last year held a symbolic funeral to bury the N-word. And the Rev. Jesse Jackson has called on rappers and entertainers to stop using it in their performances.
But Fox News says Jackson himself used the word in what he thought was an off camera moment. He was criticizing Senator Obama for “talking down” to blacks. The full quote from Jackson, according to Fox, is “Barack..he’s talking down to black people… telling 'n-word' how to behave.”
Jason Whitlock, columnist for the Kansas City Star, told us he thinks Jackson, like many other African Americans, is “addicted” to the N-word and struggles with giving it up.
Ebony Magazine editor Bryan Monroe disagrees, saying African Americans are using the word less because they are finally understanding how hurtful and damaging it is.
Some New Yorkers on the street told us they think Jackson is a hypocrite for using the N-word, though one young African American woman said she doesn’t view it as a derogatory term when used by black people. She said it’s simply a way to say “hi friend.”
We caught up with Jackson, who’s in Madrid for a conference. He has apoligized to Obama and to the American people, and a healing process has begun. But he didn’t comment specifically on his use of the N-word. That alone has sparked a fresh debate over this word so loaded with painful history.
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