Self-described old-school liberal Bill Maher rejected the premise from the left that America should not “hide from the truth” about systemic racism: “That’s nuts. It’s just silly; it’s just virtue signaling,” the anti-woke comedian and HBO host insisted.
Maher sat down for a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo in which the GOP statewide victory in Virginia, which was the result, in part, of grassroots parental opposition to critical race theory, was a topic of conversation. You can watch the clips embedded here and draw your own conclusions.
Cuomo led off that segment by implying, seemingly positioning himself as the devil’s advocate despite his liberal bona fides, that CRT is not being taught in public schools, which has become pervasive left-wing dogma. Maher appeared to disagree.
“And it’s not a phantom either,” Maher said. “There’s something going on in the schools that never went on before. Now I’m not in schools. I have no interaction with children whatsoever, but I do understand this issue because I read accounts from parents, from educators, and this is all over the country.”
‘Then, I’m out!’ Bill Maher schools pro-CRT leftist professor on critical race theory con https://t.co/CYjPYSeMwS
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) November 6, 2021
Maher went on to say that he is aware of no one who is against teaching an honest history of racism in this country.
“That’s different than teaching that racism is the essence of America. That’s what people get upset about. Or involving children who are probably not old enough or sophisticated enough to understand this very complicated issue with a very complicated history,” he said.
“Kids are taught, and sometimes separated into groups, oppressors and oppressed. Again, does a kid even know what those words mean? Would they gravitate toward that if you hadn’t told them?” he asked.
Maher noted that even as race relations are getting better in America, the left is suffering from progressive-phobia in the context of liberals’ unwillingness to acknowledge progress. “You can acknowledge that we have made great progress on all the social issues, and yet there is still more work to be done…,” he said.
Maher, who still viscerally loathes ex-President Donald Trump and reaffirmed that with comments made during the interview, nonetheless at times sounded like one of the few voices of reason in the liberal corporate media. He claimed that both the left and the right have tried to cancel him for his commentary.
“My politics have not changed. I’m an old-school liberal. We were talking about the race issue. They changed, not me…we should be moving toward a color-blind society where we don’t see race. That’s the old way to look at it; I think that’s still the good way to look at it…the quality of your character, not the color of your skin. That’s not wokeism…”
He asserted that when he does stand-up around the country, the audience is politically mixed for the first time, which suggests his content is resonating beyond the liberal echo chamber.
“I think there are a lot of old-school liberals like me who don’t like what’s going on on the ‘far’ of the left…When you’re doing something that sounds like a headline in The Onion, that’s when you’ve gone too far….and yet this is where the [Democrat] Party is…I don’t think that’s where the party is. It’s where the faction that gets all the headlines, and again it goes in the blue bin…if you ask the average person, ‘are the Democrats for defunding the police–oh yeah.’ That’s the disconnect that the Democrats really better address.”
Maher also defended fellow comedian Dave Chappelle who recently prompted controversy with his Netflix special.
“I defended him. I’m Team Dave and free speech…I was speaking recently about ‘phobia.’ There’s a word that has traveled quite a bit from its original meaning. A lot of ‘mission creep’ on that word… Phobia means an irrational fear… He’s not afraid of homosexuals. Or it’s not transphobic,” Maher asserted.
“This trans stuff is very new. I don’t think he or myself or any other, again, ‘right-thinking’ person thinks there aren’t such things in the world as people who are trans, who are born in a body that doesn’t align with what their brain is telling them. That’s okay, but now we’re talking about children…”
“This is new. So don’t put it into this category of ‘this is settled science. Anything that deviates from the one true opinion on this means you’re some horrible bigot and transphobic.’ That’s not what’s going on here,” Maher said. “And I don’t think Dave Chappelle is transphobic…It’s like–can we take a breath? Maybe we are going too far with the children part of this. You know, kids should not be really making decisions about their gender….”
Similarly, comedian and influencer podcaster Joe Rogan, a former Bernie Sanders supporter, has also become a free-speech champion who has pushed back against left-wing censorship.
And actor/comedian Russell Brand, who once was an aggressive leftist, now regularly cuts YouTube monologues that are very fair-minded.
During the interview, Maher called out MNSBC (but not CNN, even though it abides by the virtually same anti-Trump, blue team, editorial approach) several times. “I mean, if Don Jr. had done what Hunter Biden had done, it would be every night, all night, on MSNBC.”
Bill Maher: “— Something like Hunter Biden, I mean, if Don Jr. Had done what Hunter Biden had done, it would be every night, all night on MSNBC.” pic.twitter.com/ghvWrRnI1k
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 18, 2021
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