Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bill Maher Addresses Racism .... Unfortunately, Not His Own

On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill's final New Rule dealt with the Niggerhead Incident and the Republican Party's official stance on racism, which is, basically, to deny it. Here's Bill's editorial in full:-

He makes a fair few good points here, especially the quip about the Republicans denying the existence of racism at all, within their party - having had an African American chair the RNC and now having an African American leading the polls for their Presidential nominee. The Republicans deny racism exists, Maher says, except when it's against whites, and then it's reverse racism.

He also lists some very real statistics about the inequality of African Americans in relation to their white brethren, extant in today's United States.

Sorry, Bill, but you fail.

You fail because this was an editorial about racism, when it was really an exercise in deflection and a test to see how stupid people who watch your program really are.

All well and good to point the finger of racism at the Republican Party. We've known that dog's been barking for a long time; but you really need to address the fact that racism isn't only found on the Right side of the political aisle, and you've had guests sitting on your panel recently who've been tainted by their racism, and called out for it.

Hell, Bill's even been called out for it, but in his arrogance, he chooses to ignore it. Uppity much?

The last show before his summer hiatus, his panel featured Joan "I Resent Black People" Walsh, who got verbally smacked down by Professor Melissa Harris-Perry for assuming a friendship from a professional assoiciation and using the "I Have Black Friends" meme as a shield for her own race issues.

Walsh's perceived racism has been being addressed since 2008 by Atlantic columnist TaNehisi Coates, who recently hauled ass on another of Bill's frequent guests, Michael Moore.

Moore, you recall, was appearing on The View, when Joy Behar straight up asked him why he was "hating on" the President. Moore then replied, dragging his friend Maher into the fray, by citing Bill's comments on the President's biracial heritage and quipped that he'd voted for the black buy but got the white guy.

Adam Serwer, writing in Mother Jones links Moore and Maher with none other than Rush Limbaugh in the assessment of the Leftwing duo's perceived racism, alleging them to be no better, really, than Limbaugh with his latest portrayal of the President as "blaxploitation detective" John Shaft. Serwer deplores such behaviour, especially from people who not only claim to be liberals, but also thrive on being considered as voices for the liberal masses:-

Did they think they were voting for Shaft? Maher and Moore wish they had, and Limbaugh thinks they did. The difference is that Limbaugh doesn't seem capable of discerning between Obama and the black monsters of his own fevered imagination, while Maher and Moore are depressed that Obama doesn't embody the stereotype.

What Limbaugh, Moore and Maher all have in common is a common, reductive expectation of what a "black man" is supposed to be—aggressive, belligerent, intimidating—and Obama doesn't fit the bill. All three are embracing a paternalistic social tyranny of trying to define the acceptable limits of people's behavior based on their racial background, something that still happens even in America even if you end up being president of the United States. If you're president, though, it's much easier to just brush your shoulders off—dealing with those kind of expectations when you're an average person is considerably more difficult. Especially when the "liberals" are the ones saying stuff like this.

Coates, bless him roundly, chooses to confront the issue of racism head on with Moore and Bill Maher:-

If you paid more attention to Obama's skin color, than to his speeches, the voluminous amounts of journalism noting his moderation, his two books which are, themselves, exercises in moderation, then you have chosen to be ignorant.

You are now being punished for that ignorance. No one should feel sorry for you. Try not being racist.


Bill Maher loves to point the finger at the Right and their ineffectual nuancing of a situation, their poor attempt to hide their societal sins behind the qualitative phrase, "I'm not a racist, but ..." Meaning that the speaker is every bit what he says he isn't. Yes, the Right hide behind that sort of speech.

But the Left have their nuances as well.

TaNehisi Coates is African American. Adam Serwer, like the President, is bi-racial. Just as a woman perceives certain actions or words to be sexist, so it behooves us to listen when people of colour point out racism. We should listen, because they're usually right. They know better than we.

They also recognise that the Left hide their paternalistic form of racism behind furrow-browed concern trolls, or, lately, behind blowhards who mask their racism behind antics labelled as "comedy."

I am sorry, but Bill's use of comedy as a means of making overtly racist remarks about the President's character (the "Sanford and Son" reference) or to caricature what he reckons the behaviour of a black man in charge should be ("gangsta") is just as symbolic of Rick Perry's whitewashing the n-word off the rock outside his family's hunting lodge.

Until Bill Maher is ready to acknowledge that racism is as rife on the Left as it is on the Right and to apologise for the remarks he's made in the past (in a way that his cohort Michael Moore would not), he may as well crawl back into the hole under the Niggerhead rock ... and fester with the rest of his friends.

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