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If You Missed It & Want To Watch It, Don Lemmons' CNN Special On 'The N Word' Is Online

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
July 2, 2013 7:32 PM
32 Comments
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In case you didn't know, last night, inspired in part by the Paula Deen brouhaha, and ongoing George Zimmerman trial, CNN hosted an hour-long special (including commercials) titled The N Word: Is It Ever Ok, hosted by Don Lemmon.

During the program, Lemon was joined by a panel of guests including LeVar Burton, Tim WiseWynton Marsalis, Donna Brazile and others, debating the use of the word.

Many of us mocked the idea of the special yesterday, before it aired, but I figured I'd share it anyway, since, I'm sure, some of you would want to watch it, if you already didn't, and discuss. Plus it's a slow news day, as we all look to the upcoming long holiday weekend!

As for how I, personally, feel about the use of the word... I'm not one of those who's necessarily married to, or divorced from it. I'm more of an "actions" guy, so I tend to react to how people behave, and how they act, not really to what they say.

I think the same amount of energy (if not more) that we invest into squabbling over who controls the use of the word, and how it's used, should also be focused squarely on acknowledging and then dismantling, or coming to terms with the environment that gave birth to the word as we now know it today, its intent and meaning, as it came to be in the 1900s or so - an environment that, for all intents and purposes, still arguably lives and breathes in the 21st century, just in a different package.

I believe that what ails us is so much bigger than this one word, but we invest so much in it and its usage. Not that we shouldn't recognize the usage of the word, or the word itself - I just don't want us to get too distracted by it, when there is so much else that we need to tackle.

But that's just me.

I was expecting CNN would make the entire program available online, but they still haven't yet, so I headed over to YouTube, where I found it uploaded in 4 parts - although the audio isn't that great.

Watch below: 

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32 Comments

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:13 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:13 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:13 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Andidiong | April 15, 2014 8:13 PMReply

    None of the vids work anymore, could you please send me a video or post it online again somewhere.
    Thanks

  • Kim Casper | July 7, 2013 4:17 PMReply

    I think that there was a transitional time when the N word was helpful- only when used by Black folks- in order to take back that word. That time is over now and for the love of humanity it would be fruitful to lay it to rest. Transitional means a time when we are changing, becoming more aware, not a place to build a permanent house. Rest In Peace, N word; you taught all of humanity a lot about ourselves, now we can let you go and build on our strengths for each other, together.

  • NO BRAINER | July 3, 2013 10:35 PMReply

    I only watched the first 30 seconds and had to move on. I hate to say it, but Mawon was right.

  • Blah, Blah | July 3, 2013 9:40 AMReply

    When they going to do a Cracker Ass Cracker show? Don't white people want to know the history of how that word came about?

  • Miles Ellison | July 4, 2013 12:49 AM

    There already is one. It's called Honey Boo Boo.

  • JEFTCG | July 3, 2013 10:18 AM

    I can't speak for white folks (ever), but I certainly would tune into the Cracker-Ass Cracker show.

  • Miles Ellison | July 3, 2013 12:06 AMReply

    The only reason anyone should be watching CNN is if they're in an airport and their smartphone battery is dead or they're waiting for their donuts.

  • mawon | July 2, 2013 9:55 PMReply

    Bourgeois niggas lecturing other niggas about saying "nigga." Pass.

  • CC | July 3, 2013 12:22 AM

    Gabrielle Union did WHAT?! In the first episode of being Mary Jane she did WHAT!?

    Oh, excuse me y'all, I just got caught-up in the rapture. I'm with Mawon, all these "SPECIAL REPORTS" on what black folks do, what black folks are, what color are black folks, and who can say nigga-nigga-nigga, is nothing more than white folks pimping niggas. Damn, I'm calling for a moratorium on specials about black folks.

    So lets pass the peas and talk about what Mary Jane did on national tv. I mean, did I just see Gabrielle Union spread her legs, throw her head back with delight on her face as she used a sexual toy to please herself?

    If I did, somebody better call the writers of The Haves and The Have Nots. Tell them there might be a new sheriff in town.

  • JEFTCG | July 2, 2013 10:07 PM

    Mawon: agreed. (good one.)

  • ScriptTease | July 2, 2013 8:43 PMReply

    I am so sick of the word all together. I don't care how many times ignorant white folks use the word.....BLACK FOLKS KEEP IT ALIVE. So can we bury this Mofo and move on to more important issues that's really plaguing the black race. Lets get it together Black Folks!!!!!!

  • Louis A. Chitty, III | July 4, 2013 2:38 PM

    BEFORE the show aired, I wrote this:

    "The "N-word" isn't really the issue, is it? Unfortunately, issues of race cannot be resolved in a monologue of one-liners. The subject requires reflection, real interpersonal discourse, not impersonal sparring. A million-volume encyclopedia on the use of the "N-word" would do no more than scratch the surface of a (relatively) benign blemish while ignoring the essence of festering and cancerous racial lesions that daily eat away at America's promise.

    Let's face it; we don't talk about race because most whites DON'T WANT to. Regrettably, CNN's "special" on the so-called "N-word" will be mainly a waste of time, for it will increasingly polarize the issue of race and leave us even more divided than before -- as we sidestep the REAL issues ... again.

    Words are NOT the CAUSE of America's racial problems, but are A REFLECTION OF THEM. What we need to discuss is the HISTORY of blacks and whites in America.

    Only by recognizing this true and unvarnished history and acknowledging it as fact can we begin to bridge the racial chasm that separates us. The answers to three basic questions will inexorably lead us to ALL of the answers we seek:

    1. Why were blacks enslaved in the first place?
    2. Why are there so many "light-skinned" blacks?
    3. Why were millions of black citizens unable to vote right up to the mid 1960's?

    Shining a light on the inconvenient truths about blacks in American society will be painful for everyone, but it is only truth that can set us free."

    In retrospect -- and after viewing the show -- I must confess that there were some valuable insights within the discussion, although I still feel that the show was more of a distraction from a REAL discussion of race than an exposition capable of having a significant impact on the way we all view race or an impetus toward changing our attitudes and behaviors. First, we need to learn the history so we can recognize and understand the subtle and nuanced modifications and transformations racism has undergone over the years. Then, we can better understand the strength of racism and how it affects the lives of blacks (and others) to this day. Then -- and ONLY then -- will be able to significantly lessen racism's impact .

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