Bill Maher, as he typically does, brought up a hot-button issue on his "Real Time" program Friday night by asking if racism in America is really the huge problem that "radicals" have been saying it is.
What are the details?
"So, am I wrong to not want to see race all the time? Because that's how I was brought up," Maher said. "Like, that's what a good liberal does, is you don't see race. And now they switched it all around, and I'm bad because I don't see it all the time. And Is ubiquity even effective? To make people aware of this issue at every turn?"
With that, guest Kmele Foster — a popular podcaster who happens to be black — chimed in with his observation that left-wing endeavors such as "diversity and inclusion training" and "talking often about racism and discrimination" actually "can make people presume that it exists in places that it does not."
Foster then noted "you have to acknowledge that racism is a subjective allegation, right? I can presume intent on your behalf, whether or not it is actually there, and that's a major defect — and I don't want to be the object of your special concern, Bill, or anyone else's. I'm an individual, and that's what's important."
Maher was moved by Foster's words and said — as if he was speaking to left-wing racism salespeople — that "I'm so sympathetic to the cause, but don't gaslight me, you know?"
He added that "this is what I hear privately from my black friends: 'I don't want to be the focal point. I just want to blend in. I want to have a beer like you. Don't look at me like I have to, like, make a speech about it, or that you have to make a speech about it.'"
Maher also asked, "Is the picture of America that's presented by the radicals, I would say — Black Lives Matter, some of them, the anti-racists — of America 2021? Is it an accurate picture? Because sometimes I'm like, 'Are they talking about 2021?'"
Foster told Maher, "I don't think so," and added that there's a "great deal of hyperbole" within the constant hollering "in the streets" among left-wing protesters "who, quite frankly, do not have a serious grounding in these issues ... they've got the bullhorns in their hands, and they don't know the numbers. I'm really surprised when I see, sort of, the outrage in Portland over these issues. When I actually go back and look at the number of police-involved shootings or deaths in custody, for example ... the numbers simply do not bear out this genocide against black America. It's not a thing."
What was the reaction?
As you might expect, leftists didn't agree with Foster or Maher and blasted both of them on social media:
- "Bill Maher must want to retire, I've been watching #RealTimewithBillMaher for a long time. I can't tolerate this bulls**t," one Twitter user said. "Kmele Foster sounds like a house slave, and this show with him grinning as Bill Maher talks like he knows every black perspective. I'm f***ing disgusted."
- "I feel like #billmaher found @kmele in the 'I hate being black' room on clubhouse," another commenter wrote. "I don't know it for a fact, I just know it's true."
- "This ugly episode of 'Real Time' would have been significantly better if Bill Maher had one of the leaders from the BLM movement on the show to dispute some of the Klan propaganda spread by this duplicitous version of Uncle Ruckus," another user declared. "Engaging in white grievance isn't a good look."
Foster later ripped a story that appeared in the Daily Beast about his appearance on "Real Time," calling it "bulls**t, opportunist, garbage." He added that the story's author Marlow Stern "isn't a journalist. He's a professional tattletale. And even at this bold endeavor — he fails, utterly. A cad. A charlatan. A man who wouldn't dream of asking anyone for comment/context. My intent and meaning, they aren't so hard to discern."
You can view video of the "Real Time" discussion between Maher and Foster in the Daily Beast's story.