Bill Maher addressed racial disparity on his Real Time show last night, joking after Republican backlash against Obama’s Trayvon Martin comments that no matter what the President says on race, GOP adherents hear “kill whitey.”
Maher and his panel of four guests — Eliot Spitzer, Reza Aslan, former Republican congressman Bob Ney, and Reverend Jim Wallis — were largely in agreement not only about the implications of the Trayvon Martin case but also Republican objection to President Obama’s comments.
Ney said of Steve King, one of the related topics to the “kill whitey” discussion, that “sommething’s wrong with Congressman King,” adding bizarre race-based comments he’d made last week were “way off the reservation.” Wallis concurred, deeming King a “racist.”
Maher quoted the president in part, cycling back to when Obama said as part of his commentary on Trayvon Martin:
“Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naive about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It’s not to make excuses for that fact, although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.”
Contrasting Obama’s remarks with critical response from Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Maher observed that both O’Reilly and Obama said much the same thing, making the former’s perspective puzzling — unless you imagine those on the right like O’Reilly don’t actually absorb the President’s words outside a racial lens:
“They’re saying the same thing. As if they don’t hear what Obama says because they know what he’s thinking. They know he’s thinking‘kill whitey.’ ”
Of King’s comments that most Mexican people in the US are overwhelmingly smuggling drugs, Maher said:
“We have a right to free speech… but let’s do it intelligently.”
Watch Bill Maher’s “kill whitey” comments in the larger discussion on race and the GOP, above.