Former police officer and political commentator Brandon Tatum, who is black, responded to an apology video from popular podcast host Joe Rogan this week over the host’s use of the N-word in past episodes.
Notably, Rogan said in the video that when you look at past clips of his use of the word in context, he was either quoting others or speaking about the word generally, never using it in a racist fashion. Still, Rogan said in the video that he regrets using the word and hoped it would be a “learning moment” for others.
Tatum’s general take was that Rogan should not have apologized because the host’s intent was never malicious and that “smart people” understand that context matters. He also noted that those attacking him will never be satisfied with an apology and merely want him canceled.
The former police officer also offered some thoughts over Rogan’s comment about how black people can use the word in an even complimentary way.
“I just don’t like using the word because I think it’s a disgusting word,” Tatum said, adding that discussing the word in context doesn’t “bother” him.
Those offended by a white person even quoting someone else in a non-racist fashion are often black people who use the word themselves and claim they’ve taken the word back, Tatum argued.
“The myth of the N-word is that black people have taken that word back, taking the power from it,” he asserted. “No, they haven’t.”
“Black people have not taken that word back … they ain’t taking no power from nothing,” he continued. “If it was [powerless] then nobody would be complaining when people say it, because they have the ‘power’ now. They still cry a river.”
If black people are “still getting mad if you quote another black man saying it,” it’s not powerless, Tatum added. “You can’t even quote a black man saying it [to denounce it] … y’all ain’t got the power back.”
After watching more of Rogan’s video, Tatum questioned where the podcast host “messed up.” “If you had no ill intentions when you said the word, they can kiss your — you know what,” Tatum said.
“Everybody knows you’re not racist,” the commentator said of Rogan. “You’ve got people of all races and demographics that watch your show — I watch your show all the time … Nobody in their right mind thinks Joe Rogan is racist.”
Rogan posted a video to social media early Saturday morning addressing the controversy.
At the start of the post, Rogan said he had seen a video compilation of him using the word, which he said was “out of context,” adding that this was one of the “most regretful and shameful things I’ve ever had to talk about.”
“I never used it to be racist, because I’m not racist,” the 54-year-old continued. “But whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say, ‘I’m not racist,’ you f***ed up. And I clearly have f***ed up.”
“Hopefully some of you will accept this and understand where I’m coming from,” Rogan closed the video. “My apologies and much love — my sincere, deepest apologies.”