Bill Maher, a white guy, stirred up a whole lot of shit last weekend when he said the N-word live on air in the context of a slavery joke, which I think we can all agree is something that a white guy should really never do, whether he’s on TV or not. Lots of people, including Chance The Rapper and Killer Mike, have weighed in already, and last night, Ice Cube appeared as a guest on the first episode of Maher’s HBO show Real Time since the incident.
Ice Cube was already scheduled to appear to promote his new Death Certificate reissue, but after Maher’s comments, which prompted Democratic Senator Al Franken to pull out of the episode, the rapper said he wanted to come on the show to address the controversy. Maher opened the episode by apologizing again, saying, “I did a bad thing. For black folks, that word, I don’t care who you are, it’s caused pain. It doesn’t matter that it was not said in malice, it caused pain and that’s why I apologized.” When Ice Cube joined Maher onstage, he said he was “cool” with Maher and liked the show, but he was not shy about calling Maher on his shit either:
I accept your apology, but I still think we need to get to the root of the psyche. Because I think it’s a lot of guys out there, who cross the line ‘cause they a little too familiar or they think they too familiar. Or it’s guys that might have a black girlfriend or two that made them some Kool-Aid every now and then. And they think they can cross the line. And they can’t. You know, it’s a word that’s been used against us. It’s like a knife, man. You can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool. It’s been used as a weapon against us. By white people. And we not gon’ let that happen again. By nobody. Because it’s not cool. Now, I know you heard it, it’s in the lexicon, everybody talkin’. But that’s our word now. And you can’t have it back.