Comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time Bill Maher is a liberal. We usually have very little to criticize him for – except for when it comes to the issue of race. Maher is a white man, and he seems not to realize that there are just some things that white folks just don’t get to go there with. One of the biggest is dropping the N-bomb. This is what Maher did on Friday night – and he did it in an especially egregious way.
Maher’s first guest Friday night was Nebraska GOP Senator Ben Sasse, who was there to plug a book. Here is a transcript of the conversation, which revolved around today’s generation’s reluctance to grow up, via The Root:
“Adults dress up for Halloween, they don’t do that in Nebraska?” Maher asked.
“It’s frowned upon,” Sasse replied. “We don’t do that quite as much.”
“I gotta get to Nebraska more,” Maher said.
“You’re welcome; we’d love to have you work in the fields with us,” Sasse joked.
“Work in the fields,” Maher scoffed. “Senator, I’m a house nigger.”
“You still working in the fields out there, huh?” Maher said.
“Yeah,” Sasse said. “We want our kids to suffer.”
As if his using the term “house nigger” weren’t bad enough since he’s a white guy, it’s even worse because he was interviewing a Republican Senator. Republicans routinely deny the existence of systemic racism, and even excuse it and ignore it within their own ranks. Very few Republicans ever rebuke the infamously racist GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who these stays is spouting rhetoric that is straight out of the white supremacist playbook. They even elected someone to the House Republican leadership who bragged to a reporter that he is, quote, “[Ku Klux Klan leader] David Duke without the baggage.”
In short, Mr. Maher, you wallow in your rich, white male privilege and have the audacity to use the most disgusting racist epithet out there while you yuck it up with another rich white guy – one who probably doesn’t give a fuck about racism, period – and has even less concern that we currently have white supremacists working in the White House and influencing our racist man-baby “president.” What’s worse, we also have that racist elf Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.
You might be a liberal, but personally I am not afraid to call out white liberals when y’all step out of your lane when it comes to race – which you frequently do. It’s time for white folks to realize that just because you’re a liberal doesn’t mean you’re immune to stepping over the line – or even being passively racist yourselves.
Let Bill Maher’s gaffe be a lesson to other white liberals – we still live in two Americas when it comes to the issue of race, and there are some things that white people, regardless of political affiliation, NEVER get to say. NEVER. Dropping N- bombs – which is a term that has long been used to demean, subjugate, and oppress Black Americans – is right at the top of that list. Remember that, and we’ll be alright.
Watch the relevant exchange with Ben Sasse below:
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) June 3, 2017
Featured image via video screen capture