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Words matter.

But it also matters HOW we use those words.

We all know there’s a lot of controversy right now over a particular word that ‘Nightly Show’ host Larry Wilmore used at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night.

Here’s how he ended his set.

“So Mr. President I’m gonna keep it 100. Yo Barry, you did it my n****.”

Yes, he used the n-word.

And yes, that shocked a lot of people.

But I’ve got to tell you — President Obama did not appear to be shocked at all.

Maybe he was just being polite but he laughed, thumped his chest with his fist and hugged Wilmore.

And when White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked yesterday about the President’s reaction, he said the controversy was much ado about nothing.

“He said that he appreciated the spirit of the sentiments Mr. Wilmore expressed.”

A lot of you listening right now may have found Wilmore’s use of the n-word disrespectful.

My CNN colleague Van Jones, a former Obama administration official, tweeted this: I will never appear on any program with Larry Wilmore as a host.

I was in the room and Wilmore’s set was take-no-prisoners.

Wilmore did later say he absolutely respects the President.

And to those of you who say that word is never acceptable, no matter what, I respect your opinion.

But remember, the President himself used the n-word almost a year ago in an interview on Marc Marron’s podcast.

“Racism we are not cured of. clearly. and it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say n***** in public.”

Well, Larry Wilmore said the word in public, intended, according to him, in a polite way, and all hell broke loose.

Wilmore responded on his show last night by saying he used the word in the affectionate form of “n***.”

So, here we are once again discussing the use of the word in any form.

We should use this Wilmore created moment in a constructive manner.

Personally, I hate the word but I’m not the word police.

What do you think of the word?

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Don Lemon: Was It OK For Larry Wilmore To Call POTUS His “N***a?”  was originally published on