The N-word on the View; Elisabeth and Whoopi go At It

Whoopi and Elisabeth Hasselbeck got into it recently on The View over use of the N-word. You can see the video of the exchange on Us Magazine. Elisabeth, of course, cries, wearing her white guilt on her sleeve. She refuses to understand why it’s alright for black people to use ‘the n-word.’ Of course, she cites the movie Crash as her politically correct credentials.

Whoopi makes two important points in response. First, she explains that when black people use ‘the N-word,’ they have taken it from the hands of white people who use it against them. She says, “This is a word that has meaning when you give it meaning.” Second, when Elisabeth claims that we all live in the same world, Whoopi gently goes off on her, and explains that we actually live in different worlds.

So, Elisabeth cries.

The exchange is most frustrating because (1) Elisabeth says we have to go through the conversation because we love each other, but her love for her co-hosts is shallow. She exhibits that common, humanist “we’re all equal” sort of love, rather than an embodied caring that recognizes vectors of power; and (2) The View, for obvious reasons, never lets the discussion get too uncomfortable.

People always want to paper over these conversations in the real world. Bound by its market, The View is no different. So Barbara Walters is compelled to cut the conversation. Thankfully, she cuts of Elisabeth instead of Whoopi.

The View is a guilty pleasure due to Whoopi.

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  2 comments for “The N-word on the View; Elisabeth and Whoopi go At It

  1. Cheryl
    July 19, 2008 at 5:21 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I think Whoopi was dead on. By using the n-word, it gets rid of its power. We are doing the same thing right now in NYC with the comedy “feminazi” (the n-word for women). We have an uber-German feminist looking for sexist pigs. By personifying this derogatory term we are making people look at it and think twice. By addressing it, you get rid of its power.

  2. kutaeh
    August 3, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Get rid of big mouth, know-it-all Elisabeth. She thinks she knows everything but if she does, she doesn’t show it. She sounds and acts like an immature cry-baby. I have watched the View from day 1 and have like all of the co-hosts until Elisabeth. Too young? Lisa was young and believable so age should not matter. Bye bye Elisabeth!!!

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