Use of the N-Word Sparks Tense Debate on ‘The View’

It was seven minutes of tension yesterday on “The View.”

The show often reflects the culture’s zeitgeist, though at its best the women around the table surface truths rarely spoken, sometimes to the point where it’s uncomfortable to watch. Monday was one of those better moments – and yes, it was uncomfortable.

The subject was the N-word – and who can use the ugly term.

It began when Whoopi Goldberg began a discussion about the controversy surrounding the name of a hunting lodge Texas Governor Rick Perry and his family used to rent. According to the Washington Post, the camp was named “N—erhead.” The word was “painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance.” Goldberg used the word as she summarized the issue and reported Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s reaction (“radically insensitive”). Barbara Walters then chimed in, also employing the N-word, though she prefaced her remark by noting the word was never said on the show.

“The fact I just said it gave me chills,” she said afterward.

Still, it made co-host Sherri Shepherd uncomfortable – and she said so.

“It’s because I’m white?” Walters said.

Watch the discussion unfold for yourself:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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