Ice Cube Put Bill Maher On Blast For Using The N-Word And It Got Awkward: “It’s Our Word, You Can’t Have It Back”

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Ice Cube and Democratic strategist and former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders Symone Sanders took Bill Maher to school on his show “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday. This panel was fresh off the heels of Maher’s insensitive use of a racial slur, while interviewing Nebraskan Senator Ben Sasse.




Maher booked Ice Cube, before he told the tasteless joke which sparked a real conversation about Bill Maher’s humor, overall. Props to him for facing the music, but he could still use some serious sensitivity training and a lesson in listening instead of speaking.



Cube went in. “I knew you were gonna f*ck up sooner or later … I did, but you be bucking up against that line; you got a lot of black jokes.” To that, Maher tried to argue, his humor is against the racists. Ice Cube dug in his heels, “Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker.”



Ice Cube asked his question point-blank, “My thing is this, I just want to know … what made you think it was cool to say that?” Bill Maher replied that there wasn’t any thought behind it; that he’s a comedian and comedians react. He says it was a “transgression,” a mistake.



When TMZ caught up with Maher’s ex-girlfriend Coco Johnsen the other day, though, she implied that Maher was much more familiar with that word than he was claiming to be. She implied that she’d heard it often while they were together. In fact, she sued him for $9 million for the mistreatment she endured during their relationship, much of it racially centered.



Ice Cube stated that he liked Maher, enjoyed his show, but that there was a bigger, deeper problem than just a one-time mistake. I still think you need to get to the root of the psyche because 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, guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two that made them Kool-Aid every now and then, and then they think they can cross the line. And they can’t. You know, it’s a word that has been used against us,” Ice Cube stated, really getting to the heart of the issue.



The iconic NWA rapper continued, eloquently, “It’s like a knife, man. You can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool. It’s when you use it as a weapon against us, by white people, and we’re not going to let that happened again … because it’s not cool … That’s our word, and you can’t have it back.”



“… It’s not cool because when I hear my homie say it, it don’t feel like venom. When I hear a white person say it, it feel like that knife stabbing you, even if they don’t mean to,” Ice Cube concluded. Maher, to his credit, did sit quietly and listened, which is more than he is usually capable of. But he was noticeably annoyed and impatient; at times chiming in to be condescending, showing off how butt-hurt he was at being called out.



While Ice Cube’s speech was profound, the MVP award goes to Symone Sanders, who spoke passionately on how Maher’s appropriation hurt black women, most of all. “As a white person in America, you would’ve been the master, the slave owner . . . ”



Sanders broke. it. down. for Bill. “It was mostly black women who were enslaved in the house, who were raped, who were beaten daily, day in and day out. They endured physical and mental abuse. For a lot of people in America, that was like slap in the face to the black community, particularly to black women.”