Rapper Ice Cube confronted Bill Maher over his use of the N-word during his appearance on the comedian’s live U.S. show on Friday night (09Jun17).
Bill caused an uproar when he called himself a “house n**ger” on Real Time with Bill Maher on 2 June (17) and quickly apologised following a storm of backlash.
The former N.W.A. star was already booked for an appearance on Friday night’s show to promote the 25th anniversary edition of his album Death Certificate, and rather than cancel his slot like some other celebrities, he decided to use the chat to tackle the issue.
Ice asked Bill why he thought his use of the word was acceptable and after Bill explained, Ice said he accepted his apology but still needed “to get to the root of the psyche” of people who use it, and seemed to reference the African-American women Bill has previously dated.
“I think (there’s) a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they’re a little too familiar, or they think they’re too familiar, or it’s guys that might have a black girlfriend or two that made them some Cool Aid every now and then and they think they can cross the line and they can’t.
“It’s a word that has been used against us, it’s like a knife, man. You can use a weapon or you can use it as a tool. It’s been used as a weapon against us by white people and we’re not gonna let that happen again by nobody because it’s not cool.”
The rapper explained the N-word belongs to the black community and white people can’t have it back, adding, “When I hear my homies say it, I don’t feel like venom, when I hear a white person say it, it feels like that knife stabbing me, even if they don’t mean it.”
He stressed that he was cool with Bill and wasn’t trying to “get on his case” but he feels like it was a “teachable moment” and that Bill has been coming close to crossing the line for a while, saying, “You’ve got a lot of black jokes… Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker.”
During the show, the comedian apologised once again, and said to his first guest, author and academic Michael Eric Dyson, he “did a bad thing” and “brought pain to people”.