The discussions between Jon Stewart and Larry Wilmore about race issues are almost always both amusing and thoughtful. This one from 2011 concerns the controversy I wrote about earlier today about the removal of the n-word from a recent edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
As I said before, it is one thing to hear or read such words and quite another to say or write them. I am not arguing that feeling such a difference and being reluctant to use the word, as is the case with me, is perfectly rational. But I am saying that a case can be made that it would be better to phase out the use of such words except in those situations where we need to use it for historical accuracy or to make a specific point, and even then its use should be minimal.
I am trying to think of a word that had once been used as a race or gender or ethnic or sexual slur and ceased to be considered so over time because people started using it casually and repeatedly. I cannot think of an example but perhaps readers can.
(This clip was aired on January 11, 2011. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)