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Bill MaherLiberal America’s favorite undercover bigot, Bill Maher, defended chef Paula Deen‘s use of the word “ni**er” by declaring it freedom of speech on par with Hip-Hop music, reports Raw Story.

“People shouldn’t have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad,” said Maher. “It’s just a word. It’s a wrong word. She was wrong to use it. But do we always have to make people go away?”

His panel — rightfully — disagreed with his assessment.

Read more from Raw Story:

“If they use that word? Yeah,” journalist and Demos senior fellow Bob Herbert answered. “They gotta go away.”

“I disagree,” Maher answered. “She f*cked up. Really, for one f*ck up?”

“Didn’t sound like it was one,” Herbert countered.

“That’s somebody else’s testimony,” Maher insisted after some cross-talk between the panelists. “That’s not what she said.”

“You can’t call somebody a racist anymore,” said Herbert, who is African-American. “You gotta have like dyed-in-the-wool proof and that sort of thing. There’s gotta be some kind of a line. So, for me, that word is the line. People need to stop using that word.”

“Did you watch her show?” Maher interjected. When Herbert said he did not, Maher continued, “So I’m guessing lots of black people did not watch her show.”

“Yeah? What’s that got to do with her using the n-word?” Herbert shot back. “The brothers need to stop using the n-word. Nobody should be using that word.”

“So they should go away, too?” Maher responded. “So, what, we should ban rap records?”

Maher joins Dr. Boyce Watkins, who in an appearance on CNN’s AC360 argued that Deen’s age and environment should be taken into account when judging her; Maher also joins Roland Martin who argued that Black people should be just as upset when other Black people use the n-word as racist White people.

As previously reported by NewsOne, Deen was fired Friday afternoon by the Food Network. They released the following statement:

“Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month.”

Deen was supposed to make an appearance on the ‘Today’ show Friday morning and have a no holds barred interview with Matt Lauer, but she cancelled at the last minute.

See Deen’s rambling apology for her racism below:

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