At the White House today, White House press Secretary Josh Earnest indicated that President Obama did not regret using the “N-word” in a conversation with the WTF podcast with Marc Mahon in Los Angeles, suggesting that it was due to an honest conversation about race and not about being controversial.
The word wasn’t bleeped out in the interview, even though it had been pre-taped for release today, quickly becoming the focal point of Obama’s interview.
Earnest described the event as a “podcast interview in someone’s garage” and a “unique setting” that was appropriate for the use of the word adding that it was an “open-ended, free-flowing, pretty casual, hour-long casual conversation.”
When asked if the president regretted using the word, Earnest replied, “He does not.”
He also encouraged reporters to judge Obama’s comments in “context.
“We’re not cured of it … it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘n****r’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination,” Obama said during the interview.
Earnest also insisted that Obama didn’t walk into the interview intending to use the word, but that it was part of the honest conversation on multiple issues.
He also reminded reporters that Obama used the “n-word” in his first book, “Dreams from My Father.”
“I know that word is mentioned in Dreams Of My Father, his book, several times, but I don’t know that I’ve heard him use the word before,” he said.