Written by Alma J. Hill
Recently Bill Maher, host of the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, pulled the ever unforgivable N-word out of his tired ass trick hat. This isn’t the first time that Maher has used inflammatory rhetoric, but it is the first time he’s had the gall to use the N Word, in public anyway.
Inevitably, the black community collectively wondered if Maher had lost his damned mind, and expressed their very justified frustration and anger. Celebrities like Chance the Rapper called for the cancellation of his show, and many demanded HBO reconsider his regularly scheduled programming.
The biggest cause for alarm wasn’t simply Maher’s use of the word, but the fact that it was a casual slip. It’s not that he didn’t mean to say it, he didn’t mean to say it out loud. I don’t know about you, but his familiarity with the word, hard -r and all, rolling off the tongue so casually, is what really make me look at him differently.
Maher is considered a liberal personality, and many of his views are skewed left when it comes to politics. His actions on Friday night throw a huge question mark in the faces of Black America, and minorities in general: Are all white liberals created equal?
What’s worse? Who is more dangerous; the wolf in the field, or one that’s dressed up like a sheep?
Minorities as a community often look to white allies whose ideas align with ours to support us and our communities. Their voices often cut through the political sphere much better than our own. There is a glass ceiling that all minorities face when it comes to fighting for our rights, and like it or not, white liberals in positions of power are a great tool for getting our voices to be taken seriously. But often, some of the same people we want to be on our side, either show themselves to be just as flaky as the next or ignore our struggles altogether.
Take the New Feminist Movement for example. Recently, women of all shapes, shades, sizes, etc have taken to touting women’s rights in the streets. While the cause is noble and definitely worthwhile, the face of the movement is something to be discussed.
Middle aged, liberal white women in fill your feeds with pictures of picket signs and pussy hats yet the fact remains that 53% of Caucasian women voted for the very President they now claim is infringing upon their rights. Black women and minorities always knew that Donald Trump didn’t care about us, (check the receipts) so what changed for 45’s female voters? The second their OWN privilege was threatened, their cause seemed more important. This cockamamie version of feminism isn’t one that cares about the rights of all women, its mission is want to preserve the rights of white women.
Bill Maher is the latest liberal to have the veil of equal rights ripped from his face. In the past, he’s been called out for rampant Islamophobia, and in this latest shtick, he’s being called out for being far too comfortable with a term that carries a lot of racist rhetoric with it. The fact remains, just because liberals and black people have similar ideas, this is often just a coincidence and not a sign that they actually care about the rights of minorities.
Let me answer my own question: No. White liberals do NOT get a pass on racism or racist rhetoric. Not now. Not ever. A wolf on the left is just as bad as a wolf on the right, if not worse. I personally would rather see a wolf coming a mile away than be surprised to find one in my house.
Black people and minorities need to take this incident as a reminder that to protect our interests we need to uplift our own voices and put power in our own communities, instead of looking to white allies to speak on our behalf.
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