New! Listen to our weekly View in Review podcast.
One week into The View's 25th season, Whoopi Goldberg continues to dazzle. On Monday, the longtime moderator unloaded on Bill Maher, who spent Friday's episode of Real Time complaining about "Lift Every Voice and Sing," long considered the Black national anthem, playing before the NFL opener last week. Goldberg insisted that the need for a Black national anthem is clear, as "the separation of the anthems has always been so clear to us," and she railed against Maher for dismissing the concerns of minorities as solely a product of "woke" society, saying, "I've never been asleep!"
Friday night on Real Time, Maher took issue with Alicia Keys singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" before the first NFL game of the season. "Maybe we should get rid of our national anthem, but I think we should have one national anthem," he said. "Colleges sometimes now have — many of them have different graduation ceremonies for Black and white, separate dorms. This is what I mean: segregation. You've inverted the idea. We're going back to that, under a different name."
Maher is no stranger to controversy, but it's not often that he gets such a strong slap on the wrist from Whoopi Goldberg, who was fired up as she tore apart the HBO host's argument. "Because we have gone backwards a good 10, 15 years, we're having to reeducate people," she said. "We're having to reeducate people about how women want to be talked about, how Black people want to be talked about, how Hispanic people want to be talked about."
"These are all things that we, I thought, all worked together and got everybody to the point where, 'Here's what you can't say!'" continued Goldberg. "And, just so you know, Bill, "Lift Every Voice" has always been considered the Black national anthem. It's always been that because the separation of the anthems has been so clear to us."
Goldberg went on to lament the fact that "we have to reeducate and re-tell people" that racist, insensitive humor is no longer okay. "We don't think rape humor is funny. We don't think talking about Native Americans in a really despicable way is funny," she said, her voice rising. "It's not funny!"
After the commercial break, Sunny Hostin, who is Afro-Latina, echoed Goldberg's sentiment. "The notion that talking about racial inequality is the problem and not actual racial inequality is ridiculous," she said. "I'm tired of the gaslighting."
Conservative guest co-host Mary Katharine Ham, in true Meghan McCain form, then insisted on "speak[ing] up for the national anthem" and Bill Maher-style free speech (she said that, as someone on the right, she arrives on college campuses "pre-canceled"). "Increasingly, liberal students come to me and say, 'I'm not sure what the orthodoxy demands from me today," said Ham. "Fighting segregation and disunity with actual, straight-up segregation is real bad."
The co-hosts refused to take Ham's "cancel culture" bait, but that didn't stop Goldberg from getting in the final word. "My father, my grandfather, and many of our fathers fought in all these wars. Couldn't vote in this country, but fought for this country," said the longtime moderator. "We know where we come from. We've been fighting to be seen as equal from the giddyap... You cannot say that this is happening because people are 'woke.' I was never asleep!"
"We are fighting because there's a big gap — there's a big gap here. You don't see us as being valuable parts of the United States, and that's the problem. Not just us, but Native Americans, and all of the 'other' that we've been talking about," she concluded. "So, you know what, everybody, America? Get it together. We actually dealt with this! We already dealt with this! Remember the stuff we said; don't say it to us!"
Love/hate The View? You'll love/hate our new podcast . Listen now:
People are talking about The View in our forums. Join the conversation.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.