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Erin Burnett Doesn't Seem To Understand Why Baltimore Protesters Aren't 'Thugs'

04/29/2015 01:00 pm ET | Updated Apr 29, 2015

CNN's Erin Burnett just doesn't seem to comprehend why it's inappropriate to refer to young Baltimore protesters as "thugs."

In an interview with Baltimore city councilman Carl Stokes on Tuesday night's episode of "OutFront," Burnett noted that both the mayor of Baltimore and President Barack Obama had used the term "thugs" when talking about riots in the city.

"Isn't that the right word?" she asked Stokes.

The councilman said it wasn't. "These are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have not been engaged by us," he said.

Burnett pushed back: "How does that justify what they did?"

Finally, Stokes had seemingly had enough.

"Just call them n*****s," Stokes said. "No. We don't have to call them by names such as that."

CNN declined to comment on the segment.

To understand why so many people often find "thug" to be offensive and dismissive, consult Richard Sherman. In January 2014, the Seattle Seahawks player made an argument similar to the one Stokes made this week on CNN.

“The only reason [the word 'thug'] bothers me is because it seems like it’s the accepted way of calling somebody the N-word nowadays,” Sherman said at the time.

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