(This video clip is the one I've provided because it was the first free one I found containing the conversation leading to the remark (2:09 or so) and immediately following the remark under discussion in this thread. I have not watched the video past the point where their conversation ends.) A week has gone by since Bill Maher, in response to being by Senator Sasse invited to "work in the field" with his team, demurred jocularly on the basis of his perceiving his being a "house ni*ga." Maher's having said that rose to a level of importance among a few of my black close acquaintances and one black friend. Each of them, in one way or another, wanted to know whether I think Bill deserves a "pass" for having said what he did. Now, why they asked me that question is anyone's guess. They each know I'm not black; thus I'm in no position to give or deny anyone a pass on that word's (and its derivations') use. Be that as it may, I answered their questions. I don't hold it against Bill Maher that he used the word "ni*ga" because he used it in reference to himself. As far as I'm concerned everyone is free to use whatever terms they desire to describe themselves, be they joking or not when doing so. Obviously, Maher is not black, so regardless of whether he was making merry, the fact remains that none of the most despicable inferences and extant history of the "N-word" and its use can verily apply to him. Accordingly, I think he took too much liberty in using it, even with regard to himself, in a public setting. That is the limit of what I find reprehensible about his having used the "N-word" as and when he did. Under different circumstance, I may very well have a different conclusion. In general, I think the "N-word" has no place in even the fringes of any any intelligent person's vocabulary. I think that because there are so many other words that far more precisely express what might be amiss with a person's being, character, intellect and/or comportment. I think, rather than resorting to ambiguous and trite terms like the "N-word," people need to learn a handful of them and use them as the situation warrants. An ultra-tiny sampling of such words (variants thereof) include: Fiend, loathsome, malefactor, indolent, cretin, gruesome, aberrant, parasitic, derelict, sadistic, imbecilic, misdemeanant, debauched, abomination, salacious, egregious, putrid, delinquent, and villainous. Of course, one need not use expressly derogatory and/or negative terms. Equally effective is it to compose flaying phrases such as "having the natural grace of an intoxicated beluga whale," "malodorous snake-eyed mass of neuroses," or "deplorable calamity of birth." In short, abundant are the other ways one might asperse or castigate another, words and phrases that are precise, clear, and that don't call one's own moral punctiliousness into question merely by dint of one's using them, utterances that don't bid audience members wonder what beneath one's ostensibly comedic cloche be served. Thread Questions: If you are black, has your opinion of Bill Maher been affected by his use of the "N-word?" Decide and answer "yes" or "no." If you are black, would object were one or several leaders of the black community were to publicly accord Maher a "pass" for his use of the "N-word" as shown in the video? Would/do you accord him a "pass?" With regard to each question, why or why not? Regardless of your race, what is your general stance on white individuals' use of the "N-word?" Why? Thread Rules: Provide direct answers to the thread questions as befits your race. Limit your comments to answering the thread questions. Follow rules one and two.