Everybody wanted the jheri curl and afro Ice Cube to check Bill Maher. Instead, the rich and reserved Ice Cube gave him a “teachable moment.”
When word broke that serendipity was going to have Ice Cube as the next celebrity guest on Real Time With Bill Maher just one week after the host’s ill-fated “I’m a house n*gger” joke, people started making their popcorn immediately. For some reason, people thought that 2017 Ice Cube was going to turn in 1991 Ice Cube and give him a severe tongue lashing. However, Cube kept his cool and simply let Bill and any other White person in love with the n-word know they “can’t have it back.”
“I think there’s a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they a little too familiar—or they think they too familiar,” Cube started out saying. “Or it’s guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two who made them some Kool-Aid every now and then, and they think they can cross the line. And they can’t. It’s a word that has been used against us; it’s like a knife, man. And 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’re not gonna let that happen again by nobody, because it’s not cool. Now, I know you heard [it], it’s in the lexicon and everybody’s talkin’, but that’s our word now. That’s our word now. And you can’t have it back.”
Cube’s measured response is probably the most responsible one. Getting on television and acting emotionally would probably embolden more White people say the word publically just to get a rise out of people.
Another guest, former Bernie Sanders press secretary Symone Sanders, was a little more passionate in her response telling Maher that his joke was a slap in the face to all Black people, especially Black women, because hi joke attempted to “whitewash” all of the torture and pain actual “house n*ggers” endured during slavery.
Watch the entire exchange for yourself below.