Why is Sherri Shepherd offended by Barbara Walter’s use of the N-word, but not Whoopi Goldberg’s?

Today the hot topics got really hot on The View. While discussing the Rick Perry “Niggerhead Camp” Sherri Shepherd was offended when Barbara Walters said the word nigger, but she did not take offense when her co-host, Whoopi Goldberg said the same word. Walters said she was merely saying the word as part of the story she was not calling Shepherd a name, but Shepherd was still upset and she said she could not explain it to Walters. This is the problem with the word. It is either offensive or it is not. It can’t be fine for one group to say it and time to pull out protest signs when another groups says it. It is an ugly word and nobody should be saying it.

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  • Spanish Inquisitor  On October 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    We need to get past this. It’s just a word. 6 letters in combination. It’s only offensive if you allow it to be offensive. At that point, language controls you, not the other way around.

    Sticks and stones…

  • Bill  On October 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    This is an excellent display of just how ridiculous this entire issue is. Sherry refuses to accept the notion that she chooses to be offended when Barbara speaks the word even in the context of reporting because she doesn’t say it the way Whoopi does, Whoopi decided that she is not offended by Barbara’s use of the word because Barbara is not using it derogatorily, Barbara is confused by Sherry’s reaction to her, Elizabeth is trying to referee and make some sense of all of it and Joy is pretty much staying the hell out of it. Please don’t choose to be offended by my use of the “H” word but I needed it for effect.

    At some point individuals need to accept the fact that no matter how much we might want to blame someone else for however we feel about words spoken, be it offense or happiness, that feeling is what we have chosen as a response. My examining the reasons that I choose a negative response to any word is usually helpful in my choosing a more desirable response to it.

    • Victorous  On October 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      I think the topic at hand had nothing to do with the way the word was stated. They were covering a story. A word that represent negativity, does just that regardless as to who is stating it. Again both Whoopi and Barbara were just covering the story. I think Sherri went a little over board and I think this was almost a case of when keeping it real goes wrong!

  • Docile Jim Brady  On October 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I AGREE “This is the problem with the word. It is either offensive or it is not.”

    I AGREE “It can’t be fine for one group to say it and time to pull out protest signs when another groups says it.”

    I’M UNCERTAIN: “It is an ugly word and nobody should be saying it.”

    Should I be offended if I am called a >WASP ? >WHITEY ? >HONKY ? >GRINGO ?

    What if I paid attention in the early 1940s when our mother taught us about:
    1. The Au Rule ?
    2. Sticks & bones ?

    I did not and do not feel that Twain / Clements used the word inappropriately in H. Finn.

  • ab  On October 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I hate when people try to forget history. No white person will ever get it because they are just simply white and they will NEVER be black. End of story. That’s all there is to it.

    • JK  On October 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      You are not a slave…nor have you ever been a slave. Also your parents were never a slave. Finally, your grandparents were never slaves. GET OVER IT.

      Can someone tell me why nigger was bleeped but WOP was fine and “jew it down” was fine? Seems to me that jews were slaves long before blacks yet ab here “hates when people try to forget history.” Try reading a history book yourself my friend.

      • musesofamom  On October 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

        JK, you are correct we were not slaves, but we our ancestors were and we don’t have to get over. Those that forget their history are doomed to repeat it. No one ever tells a Jewish person to get over the Holocaust. it is a painful part of their history and slavery is a painful part of ours. So we won’t just GET OVER IT.

        As far as your other point I agree all of the racial insults should have been bleeped.

  • tired of this  On October 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    What I don’t get is why any White person would WANT to say it. Every time this comes up in the media, we see and hear a litany of people stating that Black people use the word. Why does it matter if someone else uses it? If you feel the word is wrong, why use it just because someone else is?

    I also don’t get why Barbara had to say the word. Why not show the picture used on ABC news instead of saying the word?

    • Sam  On October 5, 2011 at 2:08 am

      I have always chosen to NOT use that word. It is a no-win word for a white person, UNLESS they are in a group of like minded white people. I’m sure people at KKK meetings have no problem using that word, for example.

      The reason I think this comes up is because we prefer things to be fair. We don’t like it when people behave in a “Do as I say, not as I do” manner. If you’re a preacher that preaches about sexual morality, and you are discovered having a sexual relationship with the organist (assuming you’re not married to her), your credibility is shot. The preacher’s wife is not the only one who feels betrayed.

      So if someone says “don’t use this word – because it is a bad, naughty word”, and then turns around and uses it himself, it offends one’s sense of fairness.

      Even children understand this feeling. If they get in trouble for something (it doesn’t matter what it is), and see someone else do it – and that person doesn’t get in trouble, how do they respond? “But…Billy does it! How come I get in trouble, and he doesn’t? That’s not fair! ”


      I think Barbara said the word after Whoppi said the word because she wanted to discuss the usage of the word. She could have danced around it like we usually do, calling it the “N Word” – but isn’t it silly that we feel that in order to talk about a word, we have to avoid actually SAYING the word? Does the word have so much power that it overrides our reason and prevents us from taking into account the context that it is used?

      The other racial slurs that were NOT bleeped out may have been allowed because the context was using them as examples rather than directing them at individuals in a hateful manner. So why should the N word be any different? If they are talking about the name of the camp, why NOT be able to say the name of the camp?

  • kat  On October 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Sherri being offended by Babara saying N—–head and not when Whoopie said it just tells me that racism is alive and well and living in people like Sherri Sheppard.

    • max hauton  On October 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

      Racism can go both ways.Ms Shepherd is a racist. And because of that, she should not have a platform such as the View to express either directly or indirectly her deep seeded resentment of white america….

    • Sam  On October 5, 2011 at 2:10 am

      I don’t think that’s evidence of racism…just evidence of how much power that word has over her.

  • Docile Jim Brady  On October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm


  • mr white  On October 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Sherri Sheppard is very racist!it only show’s by her commit !! oh yea!!she is only obviously saying its OK for blacks to say it and it a cardinal rule for a “white person not to say!!!!!!!”

    • musesofamom  On October 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      Sherri is not a racist. She simply has a different point of view. If Walters thought she hated whites she would not be on the show.

  • Brenda  On October 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I can understand how this word is offensive … that said…. why would anyone use it? I have American Indian and Italian heritage, my grandfather was denigrated and called ‘half breed’ all his young life and the term wop for my Italian grandmother is offensive. Sherry Shephard said that if a ‘Jew’ or someone else found certain words offensive then she wouldn’t use them but she didn’t think anything of using the term ‘Jew’ easily…. she expects others to ‘understand’ why she is offended by someone other than a black person using the offending word but it seems as if she is not putting herself in check and making sure not to use offending words unless ‘someone tells her its offensive’. I’m sorry but Sherry is a bit of a racist herself and I’m sure she would have no problem using offending words against my grandfathers American Indian heritage.. unless of course I told her not to.. right?

    • Sam  On October 5, 2011 at 2:16 am

      If someone doesn’t TELL you that a term is offensive, then why would you avoid using that term? Some terms we grow up hearing and using without thinking about them. Ever complain that you’ve been “gypped”? Well, that’s a racial slur against…gypsies. Yet most people who use the term are completely unware of that. There’s no malice involved…just ignorance.

      Now if a person complains that he’s been “gypped”, and a gypsy explains that it is an offensive term and why…and the person continues to use that term around him…then he’s being a jerk.

      I think that’s what Sherri was saying. If she used a term that was offensive and found out that it was offensive, she would not use it.

      • Brenda  On October 5, 2011 at 3:46 am

        I understand what you are saying but Sherry did say the word ‘Jew’ and we all know that it is an offensive term.. just as saying the offending word to her that made her so mad.. not a one of us doesn’t know that it is offensive but her defense for being able to say it was that it was okay to say it unless someone voiced their dislike of it to her. I don’t believe she would accept that same reasoning by someone about the offending word on the rock.
        I believe that there are quite a few basic slurs that most people know, including Sherry by her own admission, including the ones she used on the show.

        I think that some very good points have been made by so many on this board, it’s always good to be able to discuss and hear the differing points of view.

        Personally, I do agree strongly with the original, first post made on the page…

        ‘ It is either offensive or it is not. It can’t be fine for one group to say it and time to pull out protest signs when another groups says it. It is an ugly word and nobody should be saying it. ‘

        Again, its great to see a civil discussion between so many people.

  • chucklehead  On October 5, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Here’s the thing: *Saying* the word is not the same as *using* the word.

    If Barbara had *used* the word (for example, if she described a person as an N-word), that would have been unacceptably offensive, and let’s face it, she’d no longer be working on The View.

    But Barbara was not using the word, she was reporting on a story *about* the word. There was no way that she could tell us what was written on that rock (without confusing us) without *telling us what was written on that rock*. If she had instead said,”The rock at Perry’s ranch said ‘N-word-head'”, people would wonder: Did the rock say “N-word-head”? Or did it say “N—–head”? (See, even I can’t explain my point clearly without using the word!)

    So BW needed to *say* the word. But she should never *use* the word.

    I hope I made sense!

  • Linda Cooper  On October 5, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Sherri said “Jewing down.” And was not said by a Jewish person. Sherri needs to evaluate herself further without the rather naive perspective. I won’t say stupid. But I could.

  • stefano  On October 5, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Caucasians & folks of other ethnic persuasions 4get
    that mebership has it’s priviledges…

  • SAM  On October 9, 2011 at 5:52 am


    • Spanish Inquisitor  On October 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Really? Who made up that rule? What gave them the authority to appropriate language for themselves?

      “It seems to me that black folk like putting us white people down.”

      There, does that sound as ludicrous as your statement? If not you need to get over yourself.

    • Docile Jim Brady  On October 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

      Sam your powers of observation could benefit from improvement if you seriously believe that whites as a set enjoy putting down a whole set of folks due to color.

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