“Black people have to demand white people stop culturally appropriating how mad they are about racism.”
— Bill Maher
Maher then pointed to a recent incident involving a black Oakland, Calif., resident who hung small loops on a tree in a park for exercise and how Mayor Libby Schaaf “signaled her virtue” by calling for an investigation of a possible hate crime from what she perceived were nooses.
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“Why is this white woman seeing racism where a black man isn’t?” Maher asked.
“Why is this white woman seeing racism where a black man isn’t?”
— Bill Maher
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf answers questions during a news conference at City Hall Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (Associated Press)
“The mayor also said, ‘Intentions don’t matter,’ but they do matter,” Maher continued. “And white people need to stop trying to cancel other white people whose heart was in the right place but don’t get it exactly right on the first try.”
Social media shaming
The HBO star noted examples of social media shaming in recent weeks from those apparently “helping wrong” during the so-called “blackout” movement on Instagram to Ellen DeGeneres deleting a criticized tweet that said, “People of color in this country have faced injustice for far too long.”
“OK, that may not be exactly ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but it’s also very true and pretty close to what we’re trying to get everyone to understand,” Maher told his viewers. “Liberalism should be about lifting people up and you don’t do that by slapping down people who are trying to say ‘I’m on your side.'”
“Liberalism should be about lifting people up and you don’t do that by slapping down people who are trying to say ‘I’m on your side.'”
— Bill Maher
He compared white people to a “nervous waiter on their first day” since they’re “so scared to make a mistake.”
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“You want to be a good ally but not too good or you’re being a ‘white savior.’ Use your voice but don’t make it about yourself, but speak up unless it’s your time to just listen,” Maher said as he listed contradictions. “And then ‘silence is violence’ even though sometimes silence just means someone works two jobs and has three kids. They have baby food on their shirt, not hate in their heart.”
The “Real Time” host cited the firing of an NBA team’s announcer for tweeting “all lives matter” despite apologizing and admitting he didn’t understand why the term was considered wrong.
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“What he said came from a place of ignorance, not racism. That difference is important,” Maher stressed. “Someone could have just explained to him why there’s a deserved reason we single out black lives for protection. But now, instead of a possible ally, we created a bitter unemployed person.”
He continued, “I worry that the kind of tension that the ‘Guardians of Gotcha’ are creating is going to make people afraid to mingle at all and thrust us back toward a resegregation of sorts where instead of just seeing a person and not a color, now we’re only seeing color. Maybe this is old-school liberalism talking but I don’t think that’s the way to go. Let’s hang out. And if I f— up, tell me why, not goodbye. It’s a gradual, years-long process… but things are better when the races get together.”