I don’t have any problem with President Obama’s appearance on comedian Mark Maron’s podcast. For those who missed it, the President said, “Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. 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.”
I don’t have a problem with it because he’s right. It is impolite to call someone that and the fact that it’s impolite, or even the fact that we’ve elected an African American President, and reelected him, doesn’t mean there’s no more racism. Also, please note that while President Obama said an offensive word, he didn’t call anyone that.
I do have a small problem with people who say, “the n-word, the f-word or the s-word.” If we know what all of those things are, why aren’t the substitute phrases just as offensive as actually saying the words? Plus, that structure is illogical. Based on the number of pages starting with each letter in a dictionary, there ought to be two or three times as many s-words as either of the other two, but there is only one of each.