Do the words you use make you racist?

Comments made by a British MP sparked a heated debate on the use of racist slurs on The AM Show on Tuesday morning.

Tory MP Anne Marie-Morris could be heard on tape by the Huffington Post using the phrase "n***** in the woodpile".

Tory MP Anne Marie Morris suspended for racial slur

It sparked a debate between the three AM Show hosts, with Mark Richardson arguing using the N word did not necessarily make Ms Marie-Morris a racist.

"Are you saying that because she used a turn of phrase that makes her a racist? Racists are actions, racists are beliefs," Mr Richardson said.

Eric Young, filling in for Duncan Garner, disagreed, saying "they are not just actions or beliefs, they're also words".

"If you look on the outside - and the only way you can look at the outside of someone is by listening to the words they use - the words she used, or one word in particular that she used, was not just inappropriate it was immoral," said Young.

Richardson said you need "proof of the way they conduct their life before you call someone a racist".

"I think you actually have to know what a person is thinking, actually really thinking before you can label them a racist."

But Richardson does believe Ms Marie-Morris made a mistake.

"Yeah, look it was a dumb thing to do. I'm not justifying what she did but I'm saying I think you're drawing a long bow if someone can accidentally slip a turn of phrase in and then you can say, 'you're a racist.'"

"I'm just saying let's not be too high horsey about this."

Amanda Gillies said the word needs to disappear from peoples' vocabulary.

"The fact that it's in her vocab, and I'm sorry, that word just has to be eliminated, get it out of you vocab, out of your mind, just don't use it."

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