Over at NRO, Charles C.W. Cooke defends President Obama’s use of the n-word late last week in an interview with CNN:
As a general matter, I think that Christopher Hitchens got it absolutely right when he suggested that it is acceptable to use the word in two — and only two — situations, and that we shouldn’t crucify people when they do. The first circumstance in which it acceptable, Hitchens proposed, is when one is discussing the questions of race and language in the abstract — as Obama was. The second is when one is reading older literature that uses older language (Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, for example).
Now I have no objection to Cooke’s line of reasoning. But Cooke knows as well as I do that if any of the declared or prospective Republican presidential candidates were to utter the n-word in the two contexts he describes (or, if you the like, the Hitchens Rule), it would be the top story in the country and CNN and every other left-wing media outlet would pound that Republican until he or she was forced to withdraw from the race and retreat from public life altogether.
We all know that Republicans are always held to a different standard. But where it concerns race, Republicans are given absolutely no margin of error. So when President Obama actually utters the n-word in an interview and liberal media outlets don’t bat an eyelash it is only natural for conservatives to be perturbed.
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