Apparently, saying "Obamacare" is the same as using the N-word. That's what MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry suggested, claiming the word was devised by "wealthy white men" to "render a black man inferior."
Well, up until recently, Obamacare was used by the president, his advisers, and his party pervasively to describe the benefits of this new law. Were they trying to reclaim the word?
On her Sunday show, Harris-Perry said:
"I want to talk today about a controversial word. It's a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it's indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments."
"President Obama has been labelled with this word by his opponents, and at first he rose above it, hoping that if he could just make a cause for what he'd achieved, his opponents would fail in making their label stick. But no matter how many successes that he had as president, he realized there were still many people for whom he'd never be anything more than that one disparaging word - a belief he knew was held not just by his political opponents, but also by a significant portion of the American electorate."
"And so he decided if you can't beat them, you've got to join them. So he embraced the word and made it his own, sending his opposition a message they weren't expecting: 'If that's what you want me to be, I'll be that."
"Y'all know the word that I'm talking about. Obamacare! That's right! I said it and I'm not ashamed, and neither is President Obama!"
"I mean, what do you call the president who rescues the U.S. auto industry?" she said sarcastically. "Obamacare! What do you call the president who finally eliminates Osama bin Laden? Obamacare! What do you call the president who ends don't ask don't tell? Say it with me: Obamacare!"