It’s no secret.
The word “thug” in the media has long been a euphemism for Black people, often used by those who fail to consider the marginalization and disenfranchisement of Black communities in the face of unrest, as seen in Baltimore as of late.
So when CNN host Erin Burnett tried to justify the use of the word to describe young teenagers who clashed with Baltimore police Monday, Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes kept it 100 percent real.
“Just call them n*ggers,” he said, obviously exasperated by Burnett’s insistence that this was the right term for 13-18 year-old kids.
Burnett, citing both Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and President Obama’s use of the term as justification, tried, unsuccessfully, to appeal to Stokes that it was appropriate, no matter the age of the children.
“Of course it’s not the right word to call our children thugs. These are children who have been set aside, marginalized who have not been engaged by us,” Stokes said.
“But how does that justify what they did?,” Burnett interrupted. That’s a sense of right and wrong. They know it’s wrong to steal and burn down a CVS and an old person’s home. I mean, come on.”
That’s when Stokes hit Burnett with a bombshell, implying the use of the term was a racial code for something more sinister.
“Come on? So calling them thugs? Just call them niggers. Just call them n*ggers,” Stokes replies. “No. We don’t have to call them by names such as that. We don’t have to do that.”
Surprisingly, the racial epithet didn’t deter Burnett, who said she “would hope” to call her son a thug “if he ever did such a thing.”
We bet. Can you hear our sarcasm?
Rawlings-Blake has since apologized for her “thug” comments. But it looks like the flood gates have already opened. What do you think of the use of “thugs” to describe Baltimore youth? Sound off below…
For more information on the Freddie Gray protests and uprisings in Baltimore, visit NewsOne’s hub, here.