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The Roundtable: Racist Speech in Context

A college football controversy has reopened an old debate about whether certain words are ever "okay" to say, irregardless of the context.

Joy Villa, Sharon Kyle, Taylor Ferber and Nick Hamilton joined Roundtable to discuss recent controversies around gender and race in media. In this segment they talk about the resignation of OSU football coach Cale Gundy after he read the n-word off of a student's iPad.

Several former athletes who worked under Gundy have expressed their support for the trainer, stating that he "doesn't have a racist bone in his body."

Joy Villa insists that the coach's statement was overblown.

"We're losing context here. Somebody using the n-word in a defamatory way against me to my face is totally different than saying the n-word because they're reading something," she says. 

"Context matters. We need to look at a differentiation of situations. Saying that this guy is a racist, just because he said the n-word is ridiculous."

Sharon Kyle argues that the country's racial conversation should focus on systemic issues, rather than the mysteries of individual hearts and minds. 

"We have a tendency to claim that it is racism is only implemented by bad actors, by so-called racists," she says. 

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"I don't know what's in the heart in mind of Cale Gundy, but I do know that there is institutional racism in this country. Until we can develop the kind of language where we can have healthy debate about what racism actually is, and the impact that it has had on so many people in this country, then we will continue to see these issues where someone is called out, and they're shut down."

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Joy Villa, Billboard Top 200 Artist, Producer 

Taylor Ferber, Host, Cancel Me Baby Podcast

Sharon Kyle, Co-Founder, LA Progressive

Nick Hamilton, Founder, Nitecast Media