Bill Maher’s blind spot is white people’s blind spot: When – haha – white people operate out of the place he did tonight on his long-running Real Time show on HBO, they do so out of a privilege that is misunderstood.
Maher could not fathom, let alone concede that there are concessions that we – Black, Hispanic, Latino, Muslim, gay, female, other – have to make in order to survive in the systemically white and male white-man’s modern world, in the United States of America and the United Kingdom for one and two, not with his first guest, Sharon Osbourne, not with the other two whose names I could not retain, one of whom, at least, wisely had the wherewithal to acknowledge the whiteness of the panel following an incredible (and I saw it!) display of unconscious bias unawareness. Osbourne – on presumably to discuss her abrupt and self-directed exit from the CBS chatfest The Talk in March, something Maher called “3/10,” like it’s a thing – someway, somehow, ended up bringing up and ragging on…Meghan Markle and the erstwhile Prince Harry (because Piers Morgan, who kinda Piers-ed out and washed his hands of the mess he started, huh). And then, Maher tried to make a point of some sort about how White Fragility, the race-relations book by Robin DiAngelo, could not apply. To him, to her? Dunno. Osbourne seemed to be all for it.
So much egging on, live…on camera. I was puzzled.
Maher may not be the problem (giving him the benefit of the doubt is one of dem concessions, don’t you know, don’t you know), but there are a lot of misguided white people who are and like, very much all for it. For racism. Osbourne defensively bought into someone else’s conflict, and she scratched herself, and that’s on no one else. She egocentrically talked herself out of a job because she doesn’t understand her very British white privilege.
Most of this effort to raise the humanity’s consciousness, where our race relations and conflicts are concerned (America, bitch, this isn’t happening only here – get a grip), isn’t for your benefit, Bill, and it wouldn’t hurt to listen, Sharon. Listening would be to y’all’s benefit, for sure.
I cannot fathom why Maher would like, encourage this display of self-unawareness because ultimately, her shit sured rubbed off on him, and now we know, and now (because yeah, I saw it…and I heard it, too!) I’m done.
Either Bill don’t get it…or he doesn’t care to get it.
As they teach you in journalism school, there are two kinds of ignorance: Unwillfull ignorance, whereby folks don’t have the resources to transcend into and become fully realized members of society, and willful ignorance, whereby some folk just cannot be bothered to shut up and listen (which is different from telling someone to shut up and sing or dribble).
Real talk, I cannot believe what I saw and heard tonight.
I will plug into Real Time with Bill Maher again, down the road. The stubbornness I witnessed was embarrassing, though – and tonight’s episode arrived not-so-hot on the heels of Maher’s lamentable effort to showcase his knowledge of Latino issues a week ago, when he hosted Sen. Alex Padilla from California. Latino, Latinx – don’t get bogged down by the nomenclature and ask more nuanced questions, dude.
Nuance. It’s where you find it. (You do have to want to look for it….)