With two of the biggest current news stories in America involving racism – the George Zimmerman trial in Florida and Paula Deen’s downfall – it’s only natural that the folks at the 24/7 cable news networks would try to fill their air time with as many related segments as possible. And because it’s all we ever expect from cable news programs anymore, they’ll load us up with plenty of good, old-fashioned debate.
For example, CNN anchor Don Lemon hosted a segment tonight on the use of the “N Word,” which of course represents a horrible racial epithet for black people, and “cracker,” which represents white people. Airing earlier this evening, the debate included a variety of panelists, who all seemed to agree that “the N word” is deplorable, as if they really needed to elaborate beyond the fact that CNN used the full word cracker and still had to write “N word”.
The topic isn’t a new one for Lemon, who openly declared last year that the entire “N word” should be said when it is brought up in journalistic discussion.
LEMON: … And when I said, when I said that word, I’m going to say it again, the N-word, I just wish, I hate saying the N-word. I think it takes the value out of what that word ready means, especially when we are reporting it. And I don’t care what color the reporter is, I think someone should say, “That person calls someone nigger,” instead of saying the N-word, because I think it sanitizes it.
BUCK DAVIS, DIVERSITY EXPERT: Well, and I think, Don, that you confuse white people when you use the word the N-word, because we’re going, “If you can use it, why can’t we use it?”
LEMON: No, no, no. I don’t mean in that context. I’m not talking about on the street. I hate it in music — listen. Listen. Hang on. I hate it in music. I hate in those kinds of things. I hate one when it’s misogynistic ‘s and rap and all that. But what I’m saying is in the reporting of a story, you should say the word not to sanitize it. (Via Newsbusters)
The response to CNN’s actual airing of such a debate has varied on the Twitters, with a lot of people referring to it as interesting and important, while others thought the question on the screen was a little strange, in that terrible, hateful words don’t need to be ranked because they’re all horrible and hurtful.
And just for good measure, they threw “honky” in there too…
This specific segment isn’t the first time that Lemon and CNN have addressed it, as they also aired this report on the racism involved in the Zimmerman trial and Paula Deen’s falling out with the American public as well.