These days we hear about racism–more often than not, it seems, fictitious racism–on a daily basis. One of the many current controversies is about Bill Maher, who was interviewing a black Republican Congressman, Will Hurd, and made a “joke” about Popeye’s Chicken. The joke is a bit of a mystery, although a bigger question is why a Republican Congressman would go on Maher’s show. Here is the very brief clip:
Video: Here's Bill Maher lobbing a clearly racist joke to GOP Congressman Will Hurd, asking him if he gathered undercover intel for the CIA out "by the Popeye's Chicken." pic.twitter.com/gxwNZQKyAL
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 2, 2019
My rule would be, if you have to puzzle over whether something is racist, it isn’t. This, as far as I can see, is just a not-funny crack about chicken in back alleys.
In my opinion, Maher displayed racism in a far more fundamental and important way than the Popeye’s Chicken crack in his assumption that it is bizarre for an African-American to be a Republican. His aggressive questioning of Congressman Hurd betrays the belief that by virtue of skin color, all blacks are obliged to have the same (left-wing) political views, and any who disagree should be treated with incredulity or worse. That is real racism. Get back on the plantation, boy, or suffer the wrath of us rich liberals with television shows!