Bill Maher and Fake Outrage on the Left
Another week, another outrage
Half breed, House N****r, regular N****r, monkey, Oreo, moon pie, jungle bunny, and nappy head. Those are just some of the racial slurs I’ve been called in my lifetime. I’ve experienced racism I couldn’t prove but difficult to think otherwise, like being called into an interview then told there were no openings once they saw my face, that I was Black. There is giant confederate flag on a major highway in the state where I live with little pushback from the government or the people who live nearby. I’ve spent most of my 50 years battling one form of racism or another. And through all that I’ve been though, all that African Americans have been through, I am saddened to see this knee-jerk reaction to Bill Maher saying ‘House-N****r’ on his show, Real Time last Friday night.
Maher’s comment came in response to Nebraska’s Senator Ben Sasse’s suggestion that he’d like him to “work in the fields with us.” “Work in the fields?” Maher said. “Senator, I’m a house n****r!”
I don’t always agree with Maher. I was appalled that he had that smug, disgusting Milo Yiannopoulos on his show since I have no idea why anyone would give that asshole a platform. But, I will admit I like watching Real Time. He usually has insightful guests, gives them time to make their case without talking over them, and his “New Rules” where he gives a humorous take on current events especially politics are hilarious. All in all, I enjoy his show.
So I’m not giving Maher a pass because he’s a liberal, I’m not even sure if he is. I’m giving him a pass because he’s a comedian, or at least he tries to be. We used to give comedians a little latitude. Chris Rock’s N****r vs Black people was one of the funniest bits I’ve ever heard. C.K. Louis talked about N****r Jim in his stand up. George Carlin used the N word repeatedly in one of his famous stand ups. But there was no outrage over C.K. Louis or George Carlin because people accepted that they were comedians. You laughed or you didn’t. They weren’t considered racists because they had the audacity to utter the N word.
The ridiculous calls for boycotts and firing because Maher is a racist need to stop. So should the tweets that Maher should say this to a black person’s face as if black people are running around beating up everyone who utters the word. And, the tweets that whites can never say the N word.
Jeff Sessions never said the word in public but his policies and his rhetoric will disproportionately affect African Americans; same with Steve Bannon who embraces White Supremacist ideology. There are undercover racists and then they are flat out racists like Ted Nugent who despite his racist’s comments received an invite to the White House. Either the way, saying the N word doesn’t automatically make you a racist any more than not saying it means you aren’t. Content matters. Actions matters.
Bill Maher has supported causes that benefit black people. He’s has talked extensively about racism and white privilege on his show and in interviews. He’s used his show to give numerous African Americans a platform and has been an ally to prominent black leaders including Barack Obama, Cornell West, and Michael Eric Dyson. That should speak more to his character than his poor attempt at a joke.
And at some point, liberals are going to have to give up these purity tests that no one can ever pass. There is no one who is 100% ideologically pure, no one who hasn’t made a mistake, no one who hasn’t said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and absolutely no one who hasn’t done something that they regret with the benefit of hindsight. Liberals have to stop kicking people out because they don’t live up to unrealistic standards.
Bill Maher apologized. Let’s move on and focus on real racial inequality, the prison industrial complex that disproportionally imprisons African Americans, racism in policing, the increasing segregation in our schools, and the increase in hate crimes. There are real racists in powerful positions in this country right now. We are battling racism on so many fronts it does no one any good to see racism where it doesn’t exist.