N*ggerizing the Contemporary Black Body,Bill Maher uses the N word

Bill Maher1...

It happened for the first time when I was seventeen.

I was interning for a local politician in Fresh Meadows, Queens. The environment was a predominately white office perched in an affluent neighborhood. My parents were over-protective and would not let me go onto the street and hand out literature, so most of my time was spent handling office duties—and as I would learn, engaging office politics.

One day while inserting data, a young white man rehashed an event that happened at Howard Beach. Rather than give an overview of the event, he decided to recite a racially charged graffiti act verbatim. The epithet read “f*ck all you n*ggers.” After reciting these words, he looked straight into my face, seemingly searching for something that I refused to acknowledge by returning his piercing gaze.

A similar event would occur years later in an interaction with a racial psychopath I mistook for a friend. Similar to my first experience, my pseudo friend expressed outrage in the use of a racial epithet, yet took it upon herself to repeat her uncle’s use of the word n*gger.  Like the previous incident, she too stared in my face as she uttered the term, a gaze I saw in my peripheral because I had refused her longing gaze. This same friend would go on to show me her white boyfriend dressed in blackface for Halloween. We have since lost touch, her face dissipated into a grudging appreciation for presenting a necessary evil to awaken my consciousness.

These particular incidents illustrate the antiracist efforts implemented by whites uncomfortable with black presence, working to transfer their discomfort onto the oppressed black body. This transfer is never painless. Rather it reflects the evil deemed necessary to maintain a fictive whiteness. The black body has historically been used a canvass for western anxiety, making the n word a common painting drawn on the black body to appease the demands of a white supremacist hierarchy.

Despite having the opposite effect, these incidents overtly functioned to distance the individual white body from their racist collective– an impossible, and disingenuous feat given the racial climate that defines America. It is this racial climate that predisposes any antiracist effort to inevitably help not hinder white supremacy.

Flash forward to this past semester. The setting is a writing course at a private university in New York City. To introduce a unit on critical queries I play Jadakiss’s “Why?” I am sure to play the clean version because as a black female on a journey to conscious, I have no place for expletives in my life let alone my classroom. Yet despite my efforts, when prompted to respond to a question in the song, a white female student stated “Why N*ggas can’t get no job?” despite the version played in class that stated “Why brothers can’t get no job?”

To which I responded “what did you say?”
She then proceeded to repeat the sentence and epithet. Every student in the class looked down. But, the worst is yet to come. When confronted about her word use she became combative and argumentative. This is the issue with the n word.

Is it an issue that white people use the n word? Yes. But this is not racism. It seems an essential component of oppression to preoccupy the oppressed with branches of racism and not the roots. Take for example the often unpleasant white and foreign businessmen that dominate black communities throughout America. Is it a problem that they are often unpleasant? Yes. Is this racist? No.

It is racist that the white and non-black foreigner monopolizes black economy—taking our money out of our communities. It is racist that the American system is designed to prevent black business ownership. Racism is the systemic action and language seen in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. It is the societal hierarchy white people observe in every aspect of western culture. Using the n word is yet another means for white people to assume their acquired hierarchy over black bodies. This student used the n word in the classroom of a black female instructor and fought for the right to use a racially offensive term–that’s racism. Bill Maher illustrated a similar dynamic in his use of the n-word Friday evening.

Bill Maher welcomed guest Senator Ben Sasse on his HBO show “Real Time” in which the pair joked about the fields of Nebraska. When invited to “work the fields” by Sasse, Maher responded “I’m a house n*gger” to a reserved laughter from his audience, to which he expressed his gratitude.

Was Maher wrong for using the n word? Yes. But this was far from the first racist comment Maher has made and won’t be the last. It seems his sexual fetish for black Women serves as a means to validate his racial insensitivity to those foolish enough to believe that having sex with blacks makes forgives their racist tendencies. The very house slaves that he references were both products and victims of the white slave masters, and it is this ignored context that composes the core issue here.

The historical trajectory of black bodies in this country is not funny. The means for initial western wealth, who received cyclical disenfranchisement in exchange for centuries of labor, is hardly a laughing matter, at least for those robbed. In using the n word, the white person induces a collective amnesia that when retrieved portrays the retriever as “living in the past” or “playing the race card.”

Blacks have yet to receive reparations or even inclusion into canonical history for providing the greatest sacrifice for this country, so it seems a fractional effort for the western world to retire an epithet used to verbally subjugate the black body.

So why can’t the word be laid to rest?

The answer is simple, it bears too much power.

Many will say that “n*gger” is “just a word” and blacks put “too much emphasis” on this word. But it was never blacks who put too much emphasis on a term foreign to their indigenous tongue. This was never our word, rather the word is conjured from white creation solely to conceptualize black denigration. Yes, it’s an issue that blacks use the word. But until the black collective maintains power in economics, media, employment and housing , they lack the ability to be racist. Furthermore, it is not the black collective who have issues getting over themselves, it is the white collective that expresses difficulty “getting over” their fictive placement on a stolen land.

The abducted African remains the foundation for western wealth, and their significance much like the emaciated and overworked bodies have dissolved into the stolen American soil. Yet instead of sprouting seeds of progress, this soil breeds a continued oppression of black bodies. This oppression is perhaps most evident in the western words implication that colloquial or comedic use of the term “n*gger” symbolizes racial progress.

Thus, in waiting for the term’s retirement, the black collective anticipates the impossible–for the white world to take a small step to relinquish their systemic power. The term was implemented as a means to maintain a position above the black body, and whites continue to use the term publicly for the same reasons. Maher, could have easily, and I’m sure he and the majority of whites do, used the n word off camera. The decision to do so publicly was because he could. Similarly, in my provided examples, each white individual used this racial epithet in a public place, drunk off a systemic white power that conceives every public space as subject to white domination.

The sadistic white mind— historically inebriated off power—assumes the height of racial psychopathy in staring into the black collective and calling them what every stolen opportunity, every stolen dollar, and every drowned, whipped, lynched, burned and raped ancestor symbolizes in past and present America.

Interestingly, this gaze into the black eye, is a central component of my two earlier examples. Notably, both acts seemed centered on not just saying the word to a black person, but staring them in the eye as they did so. I align said behavior with the traditional racial psychopath who looked blacks in the eye as they raped them, who looked as black flesh was chewed by dogs, who watched the life leave a black body during public lynchings. Namely, my mind thinks of the late Claude Neal and the white eyes that watched his flesh be torn from his body and jammed down his throat in a torture murder that lasted several hours. Let us not forget the white gazes that purchased the mutilated portraits of black bodies, and those who purchased black limbs ripped from their bodies in mob attacks.

White desire to induce and see pain illustrates white assemblage as contingent on black dismemberment—substantiating the white collective as what Dr. Bobby Wright labeled a racial psychopath who performs evil with no conscious.

Maher does a similar act in staring down the contemporary pain of the black collective, and mocking the very institution that proved a platform for his lucrative whiteness and conventional success. His ability to stare into the collective gaze of the black collective and use a term that  jests the narrative of the abducted African violates the black body in the same manner as a lynching or rape.

Using the n-word is a socially accepted means to verbally assault the black body. The word does not function with the simplicity of an article, or the certainty of a noun. For the “n*gger” is no person, place or thing, it is an action. In a 2007 essay for The Atlantic entitle N*ggerization, Cornel West defines “n*ggerization” as the following:

N*ggerization is neither simply the dishonoring and devaluing of black people nor solely the economic exploitation and political disenfranchisement of them. It is also the wholesale attempt to impede democratization—to turn potential citizens into intimidated, fearful, and helpless subjects.

To use the word “nIgger” is an attempt to “n*ggerize,” to subject the black body to a verbal bludgeoning that ties the contemporary black body to a tree beside the ghosts of their ancestors, bare-backed and anticipating the physical wrath of white supremacy designed to force the black mind to mentally acquiesce to inferiority.

Therefore, it goes without saying that Maher’s apology is as insufficient as it is insincere. It also goes without saying that Maher should lose his job. Although it is doubtful that he was every deserving of such visibility anyhow.  Nevertheless, whether fired or not, Maher’s fate will not stop racism. Who knows, Maher may have a clause in his contract that promises a huge payout if fired. He is also at the end of his career, and in addition to being a white man in America, it is guaranteed that Maher will not suffer, because earth is not hell for whites. Thus, it is not his job that the conscious community desires Maher to lose, it is his privilege.

Will the heat of hell change the setting? No, just as firing Maher will not end black suffering. If Maher does get fired the firing will function to imply that the world has “come a long way,” despite occurring in a world where Bill O’Reilly can get fired for “sexual misconduct” but cops are not fired for murdering black men, women or children.

It will also serve as the foregrounds for firing blacks who saying things like “white people,” “pass the crackers” or even “white privilege.” As an oppressed group, we must be sure not to misconstrue what appears to be an opportunity for progress for what it is—an opportunity. Nothing in America has been said or done for the sole purpose of helping blacks, and America proceeds cyclically not linear.

Welfare, affirmative action, diversity initiatives, financial aid, etc all function to aid whites, despite seeming to provide opportunities to the disenfranchised. Moreover, in accordance with the historical trajectory of a country established on the spilled blood of those labeled “other,” the white world will find a way to turn n-word, a source of collective black pain, into a gain for whites.

Article by CC Saunders

41 thoughts on “N*ggerizing the Contemporary Black Body,Bill Maher uses the N word

  1. Great post!!!! I’m so tired of Bill Maher racist ass & his fetish for black women. Again we have allowed non black people to use the n-word with no care or punishment. You let us say a derogatory racist word about them we will catch hell.

    • Maher is a racist piece of garbage! He is one of those slick white liberals that braindead black people love. They think he’s an ally to blacks. And these black women who sleep with him have no self respect. He uses them for his own sick fetish. He uses them as a sexual toilet! He is NO friend to black people! I don’t trust white conservatives or white liberals. They’re one in the same to me.

  2. Your Highness:

    Don’t take this the wrong way but what ACCOUNTABILITY does the black american collective have for making this word apart of ghetto fabulous rap thug culture?

    You’ll never hear a Jew saying to another jew, ” Dis here is my kike!”

    You’ll never hear a chinese person say to another chinese person, “He my chink!”

    I’m tired of blacks allowing ourselves to be denigrated BY OURSELVES knowing full well that whites will use it as an excuse to pummel us.

    This is a poor understanding of Warfare and we are 50% to blame for whites, Asians and others calling us niggers to our faces with NO apology or FEAR.

    The issue I take with the black collective is our reactionary mindset. We REACT to white people’s ACTIONS. We wait for them to say things to us then react with childish ire.

    Instead of reacting to these creatures, hit ’em in their wallets where it hurts and I GUARANTEE they’ll shut up real fast and begin to wonder what’s happening why we’re pulling away from them.

    We have the power to take back our self respect and it doesn’t begin with calling each each other dirty names.


    Bill is a Zionist joo so no biggie here.

    • Amen! Diary of a Negress!!

      The word, “nigger” was NEVER meant to be complimentary. And by individuals using this word as a term of endearment hoping to take the stigma and “sting” out of this word? Failed miserably. I STILL cringe when I hear other races uses this word, especially my own race.

      smgh…as I walk out of this thread.

    • Wait a minute! I thought the liberal jews were our friends. I mean Maher has sex with black women right?lol Yes I know we share some of the blame ourselves. Since black rappers and comedians use the “n word”. We use it amongst ourselves in private. But now it’s become so popular in mainstream culture non-blacks want to use it too. We have made a degrading and insulting word now cool to say. We have to have dignity and self respect first and foremost. So I get the point you’re making.

      • Nigga isn’t offensive. Can and cane are two different words with different meanings.

        I don’t agree here. We don’t call each other niggers. We call each other niggas! Which is something you’d never hear me call anyone but a brother. Just my two cents.

      • The great debate about the “n word” wages on.lol I used to say it a lot when I was younger. I would watch comedy routines by Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. They would say it all the time. Then it became popular with west coast rappers like NWA,Too Short and Ice-T. Now every other rapper says it. Now white kids and other races are calling each other niggas. It sounds very strange to my ears when I hear it. It hurts my ears. We took the word and tried to make it our own. I’ve heard Mexicans call each other wetbacks and homosexuals call each other queers and fags. But they’re not saying in rap lyrics that everyone listens to. They also will get upset if a black person uses these slurs. I personally am tired of hearing nigger and nigga. As we elevate our consciousness as black adults we should know by now it’s not empowering us by using the slur. think we need to throw the word in the trash. But I’m not naïve,I know black people are too in love with the word now. But for me??? I’m done with it. When I greet other black men I call them king or God. I call black women my sister or a queen. That sounds a lot better than calling ourselves niggas and bitches,don’t you think?

      • Well I for one would never call a brother or sister a nigger or bitch. But it sounds suspiciously like that old played out white argument: if you call each other niggers why can’t we say it?

        Whites can’t tell the difference between the word nigger and nigga, to them it is the exact same word. So when non blacks say nigga in their mind they are hearing the word nigger! It is a great debate but the use of one word isn’t what the fate of our great race hinges on in my view. But hey, I like what you’re saying here Prince Kushite. Happy you’re sparking some debate on it. Peace out.

  3. Wp should worry about themselves instead to waste their time to insult black people evrytime! Just because they invented white supremacy to make themselves feel better, superior and oppress black people,they should realize the world they created is fake! They aren’t safe like us,just because they are whites,doesn’t mean they are safe!
    Look at Europe It is decimated and torn by terrorist attack,they are attacking wp only everywhere!
    Zionist and Illuminate rule this world,and no anyone indifferently of skin color are safe! Zionist and Illuminate want no only kill the human race but wp also! They hate God,and they love Satan!
    I was argumenting with a WM on youtube but trying to speak with them,it looks like you are speaking with a child! They don’t understand,their brain has not been programmed to process complicated information! He was saying the classic stupid things they write in their stupid and idiot history books!
    I told him ” you aren’t full human,and stop said bullshit about black people are dying faster than wp!”.
    Wp should focus about their birth rate situations,they have a lot problems to deal,and I am not those black people who feel sorry for them,who wanna safe their asses from extinction! Frankly if the end of their days is tomorrow,I will be happy!
    I wouldn’t wonder if Bill Maher is indeed a woman a no man and they replaced him with a clone ,and sorry to say but that black lady looks like a tranny!
    Today Illuminate are push so hard the tranny movement,people who think are women are indeed men and so conversely!

  4. Greetings CC Saunders, this article is very well written. I have a YouTube channel that I would like your permission to feature this article on in the form of a narration. I will quote the article as it is and reference you as the author. You can contact me @ nanabaakan@gmail.com.
    I think that your commentary will generate a lot of dialogue and conversation and quite possible debate if featured on my channel.
    Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Peace & Blessings,
    Nana Baakan

  5. Kushite, I watched that show,but never again. I don’t watch TV that much anyway. I will watch a PBS Program if the subject deals with black people.Even though I like some rap,I don’t buy rap CD’S . Oh btw,next Monday is a big day for blacks & particularly Black men. I’ll explain stay tuned. GOD BLESS

  6. I disagree. I”m glad Maher used the word; in fact, I wish all whites would start using the word again. Maybe this will show black people how stupid we are for embracing the word for ourselves.

  7. Well Kushite, The cop that killed Tamir Rice was fired. Remember I’m from Cleveland. Cleveland also leads the nation in opioid overdoses & did you hear that Russia has an epidemic HIV crises. GOD is coming for them. GOD BLESS

    • Yeah he’s one of those liberal racists that many black people see as allies. I’m not falling for it. I’m too smart for that. But let me ask you..do you think white people should be able to say the “n word”?

      • Yes. It’s all about context. And I want whiteboys to express how they feel. If you hate me, I want you to express the hate however you see fit…just don’t put your hands on me or threaten me. But at least I know what it is. Sugar-Coated Vocab is Cancer to me.

      • Yeah I know what you mean. That’s why I never had a problem with the KKK or racist skinheads. I know where they stand. It’s these undercover slick ass white people that smile in your face….but really hate black people. It’s the sneaky ones that try to catch you with your guard down. That’s why I don’t get caught slipping on none of them! But yeah I see your what you’re trying to say.

  8. Swirling BW seem to have the same look. Their hair is always fucked up. I dont understand why black people give Bill Mar a pass for being seemingly down and yet they know he hasnt done anything for them. All it takes is a white person to notice you to get support from black people.

  9. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again. I have no white friends. This is the semi/subconscious of them all. Anyone/black person who defends this logic by saying not all… answer this? Have U ever been betrayed by a friend or family member? But U knew them? Ok!

  10. Kushite, this has to be said BLACK MEN : PAY ATTENTION. Today is June 12. June 12, 1963 is a dreadful day that we as black men must not ever forget. As with the assassinations of Malcolm X & Dr.King, this dreadful is just as painful. On this day a civil rights & the head of the NAACP Medgar Evers was driving home from a meeting & was listening to a State of the Union address by President Kennedy. As he got out of his car, a shot ranged out. Medgar Evers died this day & we as black men have failed to keep his legacy.Mrs.Myrlie Evers-Williams once said that black men cannot take their place until we put Mr.Evers in his proper place. Well I will uphold his memory & I hope black men will join me. Mr.Evers,I remember your murderer Byron de last Beckwith calling you a animal, while having the audacity to commit a cowardly act. Nothing made me happier,when Mrs. Evers-Williams shouted Medgar Evers name after death La Beckwith was convicted of his murder 30 years later.Mr.Evers I will never forget you & what you done for our people. RIP, MR.Medgar Evers,I love you GOD BLESS

  11. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wvrote. If “OK” please let me know via email.


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