CNN Special: "The N Word"
July 1st, 2013
03:09 PM ET

CNN Special: "The N Word"

The "N-Word" live blog is CLOSED. Thank you for participating with our discussion on the #TheNWord. Please continue the conversation on cnn.com/OutFront.

Welcome to the CNN Live Blog: "The N Word." Digital Producer Leinz Vales will moderate. Follow the conversation, share your comments, pose your questions, and check back often for updates.

We encourage you to share your comments, ask questions, and maybe even record a webcam response to post to the feed.

A few ground rules:

* All comments and video submissions will be moderated, so please refrain from using any inappropriate language or gestures. We want to keep this a lively, interesting conversation.

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Filed under: #TheNWord • News • ScribbleLive
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. vocalrealization

    Why can't this special be found online in video form anywhere? Is it available for purchase? I found this informative and wish to share it...

    July 12, 2013 at 4:12 am | Reply
  2. Lisa Tayler

    Why is every episode of racism on whites why do you folks believe that blacks are not racist, black folks use more racial terms then whites they are allowed to use it in their music they have laws that put white people in jail but they don't have a law against black people for using the same terms.

    July 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  3. Cortney

    I never use the word, I don't really listen to rap because of it's derogatory nature. We can prove that we are products of our environment. Words and the things we fill our minds with on a daily basis are apart of that environment. That word is bathed in negativity, as is any other derogatory term. To allow ourselves to think of that word as a term of endearment just means that we are ignorant to our environment and our past. The progress of our race as African-Americans isn't based on being blind to the past it has been propelled by the negativity of the past and our refusal to go back there. This word is holding us back from pushing forward and washing that negativity away.

    July 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  4. Constance Howard

    I enjoyed the discussion regarding this important issue. Some of my friends were unable to view the program. Will it be aired again. CAH

    July 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  5. b

    what.;s up don. we pay attetion to this type of word. now let's pay attention to the surnames of most african americans. slave master names in most cases. the n word is offencesive but actualy using a slave master name all our life and passing it down to future generations . it,s time that the human race elevate their thinking and chanel it towards equality for all life in exsistence. we all need to play our part. we can start by changing our last name if it belongs to a slave master. how can other cultures respect us if we dont even respect ourself;s. we wear names that dont have anthing to do with us . time for change .

    July 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  6. Deep South

    Where are the true White People that use this word? Where is David Duke? Where are the rappers, DOGG, Dr.Dre and Kanye West? Let’s hear their side. We all can disagree. Can’t no one say the N-Word like a enrage White Male. Rappers don’t get a free pass to use this word. Rapper did not create this word. Most Rapper don't even know about the blood shed in Salem, ALA. You needed a Rapper and White Power Racist view on this show. Let them tell the television audience why they used this word.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  7. rejones2012

    Don't let the name fool you. I'm only 32 years old. And as a young, Black woman, I despise the "n-word."
    I scoff at the notion that the negative "power has been taken out of the word." If it truly had, this conversation would have never happened because the use of the word would be a non-issue. It's obvious that we cannot, no matter how hard we try, erase the painful, ugly history of this word. No matter how many times we try to find an endearing way to use it, it does not change the fact that people heard that word as they were being verbally and physically abused – beaten, lynched and torched. How can you continue to use a word that, I'm sure, was one of the last words so many heard as they took their last breath, their lives extinguished by unimaginable, unreasonable hate? There is no good excuse, in my opinion, for the use of the n-word. Ever.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  8. Bert Shoemaker

    Don Lemon's presentation and discussion of the "N" word was a wonderfully open and honest dialog on a horrible word that has divided this country for far too long! It should be totally eliminated from the language and never used by anyone of any color or ethnicity.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  9. TH

    The "N" word is not the only racially offensive word. There are other words that confer less than human status on Asians, Hispanics, Jews, etc. As a person of Asian heritage, I find it curious and a bit depressing that even though my parents, aunts, uncles fought for the United States in WWII, with 3 purple hearts, 2 bronze stars and 2 Congressional gold medals awarded, that casual usage of what I would call the "J" word is uttered even by the most liberal of pundits on, for example, MSNBC, i.e. Chris Matthews and Michael Barnacle with no hesitation, completely relaxed. Anti Asian sentiments have been expressed by African Americans in popular culture as well i.e. "that ni**er has 'chinky' eyes". All races can be racially ignorant and insensitive regardless of what the dominant race is in any given culture. But in America, the history has been for the dominant white culture to be the main culprit in the abuse of other races and ethnicities.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  10. matasa Davis


    July 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  11. Ed Maxwell

    Don Lemon. The best use of television in decades. The most intelligent discussion I've seen in a long long time. Kudos to Don Lemon.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  12. George

    The fact that a group of people gives ONE word so much power over them, is to me, a sign of weakness. It is similar to Muslims wanting to lynch Salmam Rushdie for his words. Sad.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  13. Jill Bevan

    The "n" word will never die out as long as black people continue to use it. I find it offensive if ANYON/E uses oit. Besides, it further divides blacks and whites.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  14. Ethnic Assets

    Americans apparent [ need ] your brand of racism to survive. Its a form of commerce for the US and it has been exported – wholesale – beyond your borders. There is little you can do about it. Learn why on #EthnicAssets dot org

    July 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  15. Laura

    Good evening to all. Just as it was said earlier racism is mainly to people of color. As Mexican American I feel that the word Wetback is just as offensive because some Mexicans were treated as slaves and when it is used, it is very demeaning and offensive. I agree the N word should not be used. I grew up being called wetback, spec and it is an awful feeling.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  16. alameda holstei


    July 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  17. Donald Nott

    It would be nice not to hear about it any more, but I don't think it should be purged from books like Mark Twains. You shouldn't rewrite history.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  18. Dave Dalton

    One of the commenters said that most black people are not racist towards whites. What about the apparel company and the people that buy, wear, and support the "FUBU" clothes line – "For Us By Us". To me this is racist.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  19. Beth Denisch

    Don Lemon, Thank you for this powerful show!!!!

    July 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  20. Beth Denisch

    What about Bill Cosby's son? Can you talk about why he was killed?

    July 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  21. Leonard

    In my opinion Black people today are automatically seen as a threat by Law enforcement, white people and many other races. n word has evolved into auto threat.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  22. Igmo Savant

    As a 50 yo male in Kentucky, I remember my grandfather talking both in good and bad terms about niggras. It was a description. To this day, I say the N word. I also say "what a stupid redneck" way more often. It's context.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  23. Oliver

    About Paula Deen, Why is no one talking about the 3 1/2 hour video that was played in court about Paula Deen using the N-word don't you think there is a lot more to this story then her just using the N-word 20 to 30 years ago, I find it ironic that food network is the first one to pull the plug with Paula Deen, The food network Was the film crew for Paula Deen's
    brothers wedding, They must know what's on that tape, I have a good feeling there's a lot more to the story then just 20 to 30 years ago.
    My brother was the former GM before Lisa Jackson the person that is suing Paula Deen
    He served as a GM for two years also actually dated Paula Deen's niece, He has a lot of very interesting stories

    July 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  24. Tim Poynton

    Please have your guests give us a definition, in their opinion, of what exactly they think the N word means!!

    July 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  25. Frank Robinson

    As the argument is made regarding the "N word," it is always right to use with others the same measure you want.
    This includes use of words. If we say its wrong for THEM to say, but WE say it, we are unjust & wrong.
    FURTHER, if we object or are offended, but WE gave them permission because WE said it,
    WE must own that part of the problem.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  26. B

    I understand the intentions of this program, I understand the power and passion behind everything associated with the word, but not only do I feel that this is absolutely unnecessary, but it is also an insult to not only blacks but to the human race as a whole. By giving power to this word, by focusing on the pain and hate behind it, we are building an entirely new world around it, one that either fears it or uses it to provoke fear. We have created this word, it is a monster in the closet, we have absolute control over how this affects us. By censoring the word, especially in the case of Huckleberry Finn, we will not see it diminished in any way within our society, it will only be found within worse scenarios. We need to teach it to children nonchalantly, as sick as that sounds, in order to teach them tolerance rather than hate. Have them understand the word and how it was used and came about, so that they can understand that it is simply a word, but that we are equal. Add fear and you will have fearful people. I do not claim that we should use it daily, but that we should understand it without asking this terribly dumb question of whether or not it is right. On the topic of Huckleberry Finn, I believe many need to read that book and understand it's potency within the classroom, and what I mean by that is that if we are going to talk about race, talk about it young. The book expresses incredible points for children to learn, along with the history of the South and the U.S. as a whole. Teach our kids young before fear gets to them, before hate gets to them, teach them that it's just a word. I'm interested in seeing peoples reaction to this program, and I feel bad that I couldn't say more, I was rushed in writing this.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  27. Malcolm

    I always thaught the N word refered to the people who came from the Niger area of Africa as slaves ??

    July 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  28. Ellen (California)

    This topic is such an ongoing if not reducing name for the entire world to see. I happen to be a product of more than two or more races. I neither was raised supporting either word(s). We are in an evolving Nation and Our World is way more complex, than when I was 12, or less. It so disturbs me, and to say the very least, are there not other nations with more than one race.I personally do not condone any word that is in any way derogatory to any one race.Let's be honest, censorship, etc...There is so much behind this word, or any other, that is negative. We all struggle, and for anyone in my opinion to strike another in word usage, is totally un-acceptable. People opinions, but, in this world, we should all watch and be coherent to what comes out of our mouths. We have looked at this before,not to be political, but we need to improve and focus on way more pertinent issues. I am praying for the whole situation(s).

    July 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  29. Michael Plemer

    I have been watching Erin Burnette for several months now and I find her program open, balanced, informative and interesting to the point where I tape her show every night as I am not always home at 6pm (CST) and that is a first for me with a any news program. Not that I like all of her presentations who could but she has one of the best news shows on TV by far and I hope CNN realizes what an asset she is to there network. I am a 67 y/o conservative CPA living in the deep south and enjoy her up front style and programing content mixed with a good amount of humor much needed in todays world of troubling news!!

    July 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply

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