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.