Earlier this week, President Obama and the First Lady told People magazine how they, and many other Black people, have experienced racism. However, Whoopi Goldberg needs a little more convincing to believe their story.
“You guys need to know what real racism is,” Goldberg said to her co-hosts on The View today. “Racism is when someone comes up and says, ‘I hope you die.’ The difference is, my mother [goes] into a place, and they would follow [her] around. Do I think that’s racism? No, that’s ignorance!”
The conversation about race then turned into a heated debate about whether or not racism still exists. Guest panelist Laverne Cox tried to explain to Goldberg how racism is still a very real issue that needs to be fixed.
“We are all in this system where we’ve internalized theses ideas about folks of color,” Cox said. “So the work is to examine those ideas and see how we interact with each other. So yes, it is racist when Black people are followed around stores. It’s profiling.”
Goldberg, however, would not budge on her point.
“Listen, I’ve been Black for 60 years. For me, it’s just stupidity. Dumb folks who just say dumb stuff and not looking and paying attention to who they are talking to,” she said.
“But that’s subconscious racism,” insisted Rosie Perez, who told a story about a time she was at a VIP event in San Antonio and the staff thought her sister was a maid.
“It’s our cultural history,” added Rosie O’Donnell at which point Goldberg insisted that since Rosie O’Donnell isn’t Black, she could never understand what racism is.
“I have a Black kid I raise. You don’t have to be Black to know what racism is,” O’Donnell responded.
In the end, Whoopi remained unconvinced saying, “I’m sorry, I just don’t agree.”
Check out the full debate here. What do you think?