Bill Maher's Guest Regrets Not Speaking Up About N-Word Use

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Bill Maher

"The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed. Don't use it."

In a series of early Saturday-morning tweets, Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska said he wished he had spoken up when Bill Maher dropped the N-word on his HBO show Friday night.

There was instant backlash on social media after the comic used the word on Real Time when responding to Sasse's question, "Would you like to come work in the field with us?"

"Work in the fields?" asked Maher. "Senator, I am a house n—er."

At the time, the senator just chuckled. But hours later, he said he wished he had chimed in.

"I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines," Sasse began. "But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough."

He continued, "Here’s what I wish I’d been quick enough to say in the moment: 'Hold up, why would you think it’s OK to use that word? The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed. Don't use it.' "

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