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Obama's use of the n-word was appropriate

To the editor: President Obama's pointed enunciation of a racial epithet during his podcast interview with comedian Marc Maron was correctly reported in The Times and elsewhere. When he said it, you could almost hear the nation's collective intake of breath. ("Obama's message to supporters who want more from him: I'm making progress," June 22)

We should all look forward to the day — sadly years hence, in all likelihood — when such an occurrence will not be newsworthy. Maybe some future sociologist will cite articles reporting Obama's choice of words in a dissertation footnote.

It will show future generations — who, God willing, will have evolved past hatred based on color — a startling truth: that during this period, race relations were so mired in tragic history that the mere mention of the loathsome “N-word” out loud by our first black president, while completely appropriate in context, was for people of all races still so charged with angst that it actually triggered headlines.

Nick LaTerza, Calabasas

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To the editor: What a poor example Obama has set as a sitting president being interviewed on “WTF With Marc Maron.”

News anchor Chris Schauble was demoted at NBC for mouthing the “F-word” of “WTF” on air, but L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti was ignored when he shouted the word at a sports rally in 2014.

Now the president — the father of two impressionable teen girls — does an interview in which he actually says the N-word to make a point. Had any other non-black person done that, it would have been another firing and a protest for sure.

There are other ways to acquaint “far out” folks with Obama without him having to say the N-word (and simply saying “N-word” instead of the actual word would have done the job). Considering it was the White House that initiated this interview, it makes you wonder what is going on.

Linda Roberts, Altadena

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