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Sherri Shepherd Outraged at Barbara Walters' Use of the 'N-word'

(Getty Images) Sherri Shepherd (Getty Images) On yesterday's broadcast of morning talk show The View, Barbara Walters used the 'n-word' during a conversation concerning a hunting camp used by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry. The camp has gotten Perry in a bit of controversy after claims that the property was named after the inflammatory term, but some of the View crew got prickly when Walters chose to say the word when reporting the story.

The "n-word" was dropped first by Whoopi Goldberg, who was annoyed about the political correctness the hosts were expected to treat the word and story with, arguing that it should be reported as it is, not tip-toed around. Walters followed suit with her own use of the term, which she followed up with, "It's very hard for me to say. The fact that I just said it now gives me chills."

This all seems very professional and far from any kind of loaded racism on Walters part, but co-host Sherri Shepherd bristled at Walters delivery. "When I heard you say it, it was fine," she told Goldberg. "You said it a different way. She then turned to Walters and said, "I didn't like the way you said it I don't know if it's a semantics thing, but it's something that goes through my body."

Walters looked rather shocked and confused by Shepherd's offense and asked if it was simply because Walters is white. To which Shepherd replied, "Yeah, it's something about hearing you say it. I don't like it when you use the word. ... When you say it, it's a different connotation."
Race relations and racially infused language is almost always a touchy subject, and it's no one's place to say that Shepherd's feelings about hearing the word are illegitimate. However, to say that Walters' use of the word has a different connotation is completely misguided. In the segment, both Walters and Goldberg were discussing the term in the same context, and both were reiterating a news story rather than casually tossing it around. It just seems that Shepherd was targeting her discomfort at the wrong person, but emotions run strong when race comes into the discussion.

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