Comedian Bill Maher’s mea culpa show aired Friday night in which he apologized for his extremely offensive use of the n–word last week in exchange for keeping his job. If you hadn’t noticed already from Maher’s track record of always having the last word on everything, he really doesn’t like to be told he’s wrong.
It was something watching a red–faced Maher squirm as his guest panel took him to task for becoming the latest poster boy for the “unconscious reflex” of white privilege, as guest Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown sociology professor, noted.
Maher did apologize (again), but then he used that apology as a counterpoint, along with the, “But I’m a comedian” excuse anytime guest Ice Cube—who originally was scheduled to appear to promote the reissue of his album Death Certificate—pointed out the truth, which is that, as Ice Cube phrased it, “Sometimes you sound like a redneck trucker.”
Ice Cube knew what anyone who’s been following Maher over the years suspected: “I knew you were gonna fuck up sooner or later,” he said.
The New York Times described Maher as “by turns contrite and defiant, apologizing for his remarks while arguing that comedians should be allowed the freedom to transgress and offend.”
But Ice Cube and guest Symone Sanders refused to let Maher have the last word this time, sending a message that not only does Maher need to hear, but also the rest of white America. As Ice Cube put it: “That’s our word now, and you can’t have it back.”
We know you apologized, but in the context you essentially by referring to yourself as a house anything, you attempted to whitewash who was really enslaved in the house. As a white person in America, you would’ve been the master, the slave owner, not someone enslaved in the house. It was mostly black women who were enslaved in the house, who were raped, who were beaten daily, day in and day out. They endured physical and mental abuse. And so, for a lot people in America, that was like a slap in the face to black America, particularly to black women.”
Let that sink in, Bill.