Bill Maher claimed that Antonin Scalia, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump are more racist than Paula Deen.
Maher’s comments begin at the 5:35 mark of the video:
Can I read a quote from Scalia, Justice Scalia about this? He said, and this is about the Voting Rights Act. He said, ‘Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political process.’ Just the fact that he talks about black people voting as an entitlement, that is so much more racist than anything Paula Deen ever said. And I don’t know why I have become the champion of Paula Deen. I didn’t even know who this person was a year ago. I thought it was Tammy Faye Baker if you had shown me a picture of her.
But I mean, Donald Trump is a worst racist, but he doesn’t say the N-word. We have replaced having a conversation about race, with oh, okay, liberals feel good about themselves if they make the bad person go away. Who’s the bad person? The one we caught saying that one word.
Donald Trump is a worse racist, but he gets to keep his show because he never said the word. Sarah Palin is a worse racist. She said Obama was shucking and jiving his way to victory. Newt Gingrich said he was the food stamp president. This is real racism.
Whether it is Paula Deen, Donald Trump, Antonin Scalia or Sarah Palin, all their racism comes from the same belief that African-Americans are inferior. It all comes from the same place of discrimination against an individual or a group of people based on their membership in a group or category.
There is no such thing as real and unreal racism. Maher appeared to upset by the fact that Paula Deen gets punished while racists like Trump and Palin get to continue to keep their positions on television. Is the difference the fact that Deen admitted to using the N-word? There is more to it than that.
In her deposition Deen mentioned the idea for a “slave wedding,” and there is a self admitted pattern of racist beliefs that is impossible to overlook. Paula Deen has never fully seemed to realize that her attitudes are wrong. She may not be a mean spirited person, but she has adopted a defiant attitude about her straight out of Jim Crow beliefs.
The reality is that racism is racism. Maher was correct about Palin, Scalia and Trump, but I think something that he said earlier in the segment is the real reason why Deen is punished while the other raging racists continue to spew their hate.
By using the N-word, Deen was practicing Racism 1.0. Trump, Scalia Palin and Gingrich have moved on to Racism 2.0. Racism 2.0 is in some ways worse that the original because it is subtle. It is hidden in language that makes it seem like anything but discrimination. Whereas Paula Deen’s old school racism is easily spotted and rejected, the new version is much easier to slip into our national subconscious.
The American people know Racism 1.0 (Paul Deen style) when they see it, and they don’t like it. Many Americans haven’t learned to recognize, or don’t want to face the reality of, Racism 2.0 (Trump, Palin, Scalia, Gingrich style).
Bill Maher was right to call out the new form or racism, but wrong to try to split the two. America is now wise enough to punish Paula Deen’s racism, but Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and the new breed of racism need to held to the same standard.
Despite what the Supreme Court believes, racism is alive and well. Our goal shouldn’t be to rank the degrees of racism, but to eliminate it all.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association