Comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time Bill Maher entered a firestorm after he called himself a “house nigger” in a conversation with GOP Senator Ben Sasse last Friday night. Now, he has apologized, and atoned in this week’s show by having a real conversation about what he said with three different black guests – Michael Eric Dyson, Symone Sanders, and Ice Cube.
Ice Cube really lit into Maher on the issue, and captured what all of us black people have been trying to say for years: No matter how “not racist” white people might fashion themselves, it is never okay for that word to come out of their mouths. Of course, white people always push back on this, saying that if we can say it then they can too, that we can’t tell them what to say and what to laugh at. The thing is, that is a sense of entitlement and the epitome of white privilege, and Ice Cube called it out as such. He also perfectly explained what it’s like for us as black people when we hear that word:
I still think you need to get to the root of the psyche because I think there’s a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they’re a little too familiar, or they think they’re too familiar. Or, guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two that made them Kool-Aid every now and then, and then they think they can cross the line. And they can’t. You know, it’s a word that has been used against us. It’s like a knife, man. You can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool. It’s when you use it as a weapon against us, by white people, and we’re not going to let that happened again … because it’s not cool … That’s our word, and you can’t have it back.
… It’s not cool because when I hear my homie say it, it don’t feel like venom. When I hear a white person say it, it feel like that knife stabbing you, even if they don’t mean to.
And that’s just it. No matter how many black friends you have, no matter how many Black Lives Matter events you go to, you’re still white, and we’re still black. We’re the ones who are affected by it, and you’re not. At the end of the day, white people do not get to tell black people what is and isn’t racist. I know that when white people do that to me, I’m done with them, full stop.
Hopefully, Bill Maher’s fuck up and subsequent – very appropriate, I might add – atonement might teach White America a few truths about race that so many of them really never knew – until now.
Watch this amazing video below: