Last week during his HBO “Real Time” broadcast, host Bill Maher sparked a controversy with his use of the “n-word” during an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). On this week’s broadcast, Maher apologized for it and explained it why apologizing was appropriate to his audience and Georgetown sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson.
“I thought you were going to be easy on me and you shouldn’t,” Maher said. “But you know, honestly, I’ve said both. I mean, I remember when Mitt Romney was running he’s had a book, ‘No Apologies.’ You know, like America should never apologize. No, apologies are sometimes appropriate. There is a lot of bullshit apologizing in America, and I am against that. We shouldn’t apologize for slavery and Japanese internment and Abu Ghraib and Indian genocide and Tuskegee?”
“So when it’s appropriate — this was appropriate,” he continued. “And I’ll tell you why — for black folks, that word, I don’t care who you are. It has caused pain. I’m not here to do that. Now, the guy who was here, it’s not his fault. I feel bad about him, the senator. It’s all on me. But he said a weird thing. The comic mind goes to a weird place sometimes. But it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t said in malice — if it broke that pain to people. That’s why I apologize freely, and I reiterate tonight. That’s sincere.”
Dyson emphasized to Maher why the “n-word” should be off-limits, but added it could be a “teachable moment” for Maher and others.
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