Should We Really Accept Bill Maher’s Apology?

By Zakiya M. Ousley

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This past Friday (no pun intended) rapper Ice Cube and former press secretary Symone Sanders schooled Bill Maher about his usage of the N-word on his show. If you haven’t heard, he referred to himself as a house nigger in a joke. Please excuse my rant: I feel like we are always the first to forgive or accept an apology once a white person does something extremely out of line towards people of color. We are the ones left with the scars and they get to keep on keepin’ on. It seems like white people can say anything and do anything without thinking about the consequences because they know that they will be forgiven in some shape or form. Ice Cube asked Bill Maher what he was thinking before he said that joke and he said, “ I wasn’t thinking about it.” You can then look at Maher’s body language and see that he is slightly uncomfortable but annoyed that he’s being schooled by Cube especially after he “apologized.” Uuuhm, HELLO! How people of color feel every single damn day! I’ll tell you how we feel, ANNOYED and UNCOMFORTABLE. I always wonder why white people and other races get defensive when you call them out on their racial bullshit? In the Bay Area, I hear people say the word “nigga” all the time and when you call them out they get defensive and say it’s just a word. Well how come I’m pissed about you saying it and you’re not? 

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NOPE, no sir! Ice Cube said while talking to Bill, “Now, I know you heard, it’s in the lexicon and everybody’s talking, but that’s our word now. That’s our word now, 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 it” I have to agree with Cube that is our word, whether its correct or not, its ours!

Symone Sanders continues to go in and tell Bill that his joke was a slap in the face to Black women: As a white person in America, you would’ve been the master, the slave owner… It was mostly Black women who were enslaved in the house, who were raped, who were beaten daily, day in and day out. They endured physical and mental abuse. For a lot of people in America, that was like slap in the face to Black America, particularly to Black women. Tell him sis!

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Again, here is a white man not thinking about the consequences of his actions because he doesn’t have to. In my opinion this joke was on the same level of Trump being a pussy grabber and called women nasty along with all of the other out of pocket rhetoric that he spews. How you gonna appropriate our music, hair styles, fashion, slang, our men, our women and then have the audacity to refer to yourself as a house nigger…WHAT?!

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Just because we like Bill Maher’s show doesn’t mean that he should just get a pass or a slap on the wrist and be able carry on. He should be punished for what he said. Bill O’reilly was fired from FOX News, maybe HBO should take action as well…can we at least get a Game of Thrones walk of shame???  

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