President Obama employed a coarse slang word in his first presidential podcast about racism in United States.
President Obama caused a storm in a teacup when he used the “N” word in his discussion regarding the shooting of nine Black American churchgoers in South Carolina. Obama spoke of how the usage of the “N” word was not the yardstick by which to measure standards of racism in society.
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This, Obama said, was just a linguistic example and did not go deep enough into the roots of racism and bigotry. Obama was speaking to Mark Maron of WTF podcast.
"Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public," Obama said in an interview for the podcast. "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 200 to 300 years prior."
Obama’s use of the “N” word was something which shocked many. The word is not normally employed in the media. At least in civilized circles it is virtually taboo. But the fact of the matter was that Obama used it to illustrate a larger point.
He used it to show that greater issues than just using the word “Nigger” were involved in nipping the evil of racism in the bud. No doubt, the first Black President of the United States wanted to provoke the citizens of the greatest nation on earth to unite and end the scourge of xenophobia from their midst.
Obama was not the least bit sorry he used the “N” word. For one thing, it showed that he was willing to face the matter head on instead of hiding behind a neurotic fear of it. Obama wanted to assault the senses of those who thought that just because he was president and a Black American he could not use slang.
He wanted to show that he was as human as the rest of the millions of Americans whether they were black or white. And he also evinced the fact that he had used it in a different context than several erstwhile White presidents who had used the term in private and in a denigrating manner.
Nixon, Johnson and Truman had all been guilty of using the word “Nigger” in a pretty foul manner. Nixon had even used the disparaging terminology in his tapes which were later on brought before public view in the Watergate Scandal. And Johnson went ahead and promoted a White candidate in place of a Black American to the position of the Judge of the US Supreme Court.
Obama said that it took a lot of teething troubles in order to erase the past. A society cannot get rid of its past racist history in one fell swoop since that history cast a long shadow that would extend into the present and future.
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