Mayor Rawlings-Blake clarifies use of word 'thug'

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Mayor Rawlings-Blake clarifies use of word 'thug'
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake takes questions at a news conference at Bethel AME Church, April 26, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rawlings-Blake discussed the recent unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. Gray's funeral is scheduled for Monday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks to community members and the media near the site of a destroyed CVS pharmacy after riots broke out yesterday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake greets a concerned citizen the morning after citywide riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks to the media outside Mondawmin Mall after looting broke out yesterday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks in front of local faith leaders at a news conference regarding the death of Freddie Gray, Friday, April 24, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (3rd L) pays her respects at Freddie Gray's casket during his funeral at the New Shiloh Baptist Church during his funeral April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake takes her seat for Freddie Gray's funeral at New Shiloh Baptist Church April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Mourners gathered in large numbers at the funeral of Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died April 19 after an encounter April 12 with police left him with grave spinal injuries. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake looks on during a news conference at Bethel AME Church, April 26, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rawlings-Blake discussed the recent unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. Gray's funeral is scheduled for Monday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks to the media outside Mondawmin Mall after looting broke out yesterday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake arrives at the funeral of Freddie Gray, on Monday, April 27, 2015, at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) speaks as Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (R) looks on during a news conference at Bethel AME Church, April 26, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rawlings-Blake discussed the recent unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. Gray's funeral is scheduled for Monday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pauses while speaking during a media availability at City Hall, after violence occurred after a march for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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By ISABELLE CHAPMAN

When rioters took to the streets of Baltimore to set fires and destroy property after the death of Freddie Gray, politicians did not call participants "protesters," instead they called them "thugs."

Indeed, even President Obama called those who destroyed a cop car on live television by the word that Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes told CNN's Erin Burnett is akin to calling someone a "n------."

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"Just call them n-----s," Stokes told the evening news anchor Tuesday night.

Despite the fact that according to Merriam-Webster it's defined as "a violent criminal."

He's not the only one to draw this conclusion. In the past, NFL star Richard Sherman has also been quoted as saying that "thug" is accepted way of replace calling someone the "n" word.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has had several missteps with the media, took to Twitter Wednesday morning to clarify her use of the word "thug" in a press conference.



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