Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg had a tense discussion on Monday about the use of the n word.
The conversation was centered around the controversy surrounding Rick Perry and a hunting camp he owned. The camp’s entrance contained a rock with the term “Niggerhead” on it for many years. The Washington Post broke the story of the rock, and presented conflicting narratives about Perry’s knowledge of the rock and his efforts to get rid of it.
Goldberg used the n word (which was silenced throughout the conversation) first, while talking about Herman Cain’s use of the word during a Sunday interview. It was when Walters used the word, though, that things got awkward. “It’s very hard for me to say,” she said. “…It gives me chills.” Goldberg said it was useless to “pretend” that the word didn’t exist. “Let’s call it what it said!” she said.
It was here that Shepherd cut in. “When I heard you say it, it was fine,” she told Goldberg. Turning to Walters, she continued, “I didn’t like the way you said it.” In explaining this, Shepherd used the word several more times.
“I don’t know if it’s a semantics thing, but it’s something that goes through my body,” she said.
“It’s because I’m white?” Walters said. Shepherd acknowledged that it was. “It’s something about hearing you say it,” she said. “…I don’t like it when you use the word…when you say it it’s a different connotation.”
(Source: ABC-TV and HuffingtonPost.com)