Tag Archives: bigotry

Another Slip By Bill Maher

I enjoy The Bill Maher show great guest stimulating conversation but there was a time I stopped watching because It seemed  clear to me that there can be no denying that his comments regarding Islam are at best the stereotypical misrepresentations of a group of people who number over 1.5 billion worldwide by an ill informed individual and at worst the crazy ranting of a bigot. 

I eventually eased back into the show, because let’s be honest I liked it.  But there was Maher on Friday letting slip yet another racial comparison when he asked Rep. Will Hurd from Texas, a black republican congressman, why he’s a member of the Republican Party … especially since he came from the CIA.  Hurd replied, “I was in the CIA for almost a decade. I was the dude in the back alleys at 4 o’clock in the morning collecting intelligence on threats to the homeland,” … to which Maher commented, “That’s where they’d collect them, huh?” then added … “Wow, by the Popeyes chicken.”

It’s not the first time a comment has come from Maher that has made me think hmmmm that came out so naturally what other racist comments does he make when the cameras aren’t rolling?

As liberals we constantly call out those on the right for their use of inflammatory rhetoric we cannot simultaneously expect to give a pass to those we believe are on our side when they engage in similar tactics. 

As as I have said in the past words are very powerful and when spoken by someone with the celebrity of a Bill Maher that power is multiplied tenfold.

While I don’t believe Maher is a bigot I again am at a crossroad do I continue to watch his show? After all it is my belief that bigotry large and small and those that preach it must be ignored and Maher continued slips of the tongue causes me much pause.   

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An Open Message to GOP Leadership

An open message  to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders. We may not agree on much but deep down I bet you are as horrified as I am by President Trump’s response to Charlottesville. I bet you are embarrassed at the stain this man is leaving on your party. I know you gave lip service by INDIRECTLY denouncing some of his remarks via twitter but I bet you know you didn’t even come close to saying what needed to be said and saying it in front of a camera not via twitter. I will never totally agree with your legislative agenda but in a democracy to the winner goes the spoils and if you hold the power you have every right to push your agenda. But I assume you are smart enough to know that agenda can not include pushing hate and bigotry. Nor can it include giving aide and comfort to White Supremacist and Neo Nazis. It is time you stood up and took your party back from Donald Trump. Do not be afraid to lose the support of whatever percentage of his base believes his response to and the actions of hate groups was alright. These groups and this President do not represent the best of America they represent the worst. You can not keep America great, not make it great again because let’s face it that slogan was created to send a message seeped in racism, if you choose to stand idly by knowing what you see is wrong but doing nothing to stop it.

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Why do they continue to support him

If you want to understand what Trump and his rich cronies are really about. It’s their bank accounts by the way.

If you want to understand how they can get so many people to vote against their own economic well being just remember a quote from former President Lyndon Johnson

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.

Trump has tapped into that feeling among whites who feel this country is their country and it’s being taken away from them. Do not be mistaken that the rise of Trump came after eight years in which a man of color sat in the Oval Office.

Even yesterday when he briefly ceded to public pressure and called out the Neo Nazis and KKK what got lost in the mix was his statement that he was seriously considering pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found in contempt of court late July for continuing racial profiling practices. It was his wink wink to his base that he still has their back. Come on you knew what Make America Great Again really meant didn’t you.

As the Denver Post reported to many Trump supporters who look around at their communities and see poverty, addiction and lack of economic opportunity, the claims about things such as affirmative action and the smorgasbord of government benefits supposedly available only to minorities are enormously compelling….What’s holding you back, is those people and the special favors they get.

So no matter what he say or does, if it’s in their best interest or not, the harden Trump supporter will always have his back because they believe he has theirs in the battle to keep this country away from those who they believe are not their equal or who even belong here in the first place and that my friends is what has this great melting pot of a country on the verge of boiling over.

Why I no longer watch Bill Maher

Bigotry – Intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

Last night I was in a debate with my friends regarding my decision to no longer watch the Bill Maher show because of his bigotry toward religion in general and Islam specifically.  It seems clear to me that when it comes to Maher there can be no denying that his comments regarding Islam are at best the stereotypical misrepresentations of a group of people who number over 1.5 billion worldwide by an ill informed individual and at worst the crazy ranting of a bigot.  But is Bill Maher really a bigot? Hmmm let’s save that one for a little later. Getting back to my friends, a rather liberal group as am I, they could not fathom my decision.  After all Maher is:

A liberal like us – Yes he “appears” to be on most issues

He has used his platform on HBO to point out many of the wrongs and outright hypocrisy of those on the right – Yes he does, no doubt about that

He an atheist he detest all religion not just Islam – True, not relevant but true

Many of his guests don’t agree with him on this issue – Also true

But does any of that matter when it comes to my decision to no longer watch his show – No not really

Why? Glad you asked

Let’s take a look at the case of Kim Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky who defied a federal court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses, on the grounds that it was against her religious beliefs.  Liberals as a whole were outraged by her actions.  But other than her bigotry toward the gay and lesbian community, and let’s be clear it is outright bigotry, what do most people know about Kim Davis.  What are her views on civil rights, abortion, stem cell research, unions, income inequality, gun control? Heck what is her favorite NFL team? We really don’t know, yes we can infer from her stand on same sex marriage what her stance may be on other issues but at the end of the day we really don’t know for sure.  Now what if we found out that she was on the same side of each of those issues as we were? What if the only issue that Kim Davis and us disagreed on was same sex marriage? Would we watch a television show hosted by her or would we be so morally repulsed by her stance on that one issue that we would tune her out.  What if Kim Davis went on the air each week and passionately defended the issues that we hold dear to our heart and had on great guest who do the same would we be willing to look past her bigotry as it relates to the gay and lesbian community?  What if 95% of her show was dedicated to defending those issues but during the other 5% she threw in her belief that same sex marriage was a sin against god would we tune in? I would venture to guess the answer is probably not.

Now there are those who would say the difference is that Bill Maher is simply expressing his freedom of speech while Kim Davis is actively discriminating against a group of individuals and if I am to be fair that is true.  But I would argue that while Maher is not actively discriminating against anyone with his rants against Islam his celebrity and his weekly HBO platform causes just as much or more damage than Kim Davis could ever have hoped to cause. Let’s take one of Maher’s more recent comments about Islam

“What we’ve said all along, and have been called bigots for it, is when there’s this many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard.”

Leaving aside the obvious, that those words could have easily been uttered by Bull Conner as he blocked the entry of young African American children into a school house, those words in and of themselves are damaging because they are words that undoubtedly will be used by others to discriminate against and commit violence toward worshippers of Islam. As liberals we constantly call out those on the right for their use of inflammatory rhetoric we cannot simultaneously expect a pass when we engage in similar tactics. Words are very powerful and when spoken by someone with the celebrity of a Bill Maher that power is multiplied tenfold. Simply articulated all forms of bigotry, are ultimately self-defeating on a number of levels. Talented people who have much to contribute to our society are not given a chance because of irrational considerations.  In America studies have shown over and over that when African Americans and Latinos are defined as lazy, incompetent, unintelligent, culturally deficient and lacking leadership skills, they will be relegated to a secondary status in society and not given the opportunity to advance, resulting in consequences which are real thereby justifying the original definition of their situation. The loss resulting from this unused potential is not just what could have been created or invented but also sows the seeds of discontent, social instability and unrest.  The use of bigoted rhetoric to paint an entire group of individuals as terrorist because of their religious beliefs has made it far easier for politicians in America to justify waging a war in the Middle East with little to no regard for the collateral damage it has caused. According to an academic study published in 2013 nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003.  Ask yourself would we still be fighting this war if that was a half a million Christians? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/iraq-death-toll_n_4102855.html

So back to my original question is Bill Maher a bigot? Undoubtedly yes when it comes to this topic.

Does he stand for much of what I believe in? Without question he does.

Will I continue to watch his show? No because it is my belief that bigotry large and small and those that preach it must be ignored.  After all there plenty of places to go for this kind of entertainment/news/satire- Trevor Noah keep the Daily Show great.