News & Politics

Bill Maher Causes Outrage: 'Senator, I'm a House N****r'

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In an interview with Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), HBO host Bill Maher expressed a racial slur on Friday night, and the Internet exploded.

“We’d love to have you work in the fields with us,” Sasse said on the show.”Work in the fields?! Senator, I’m a house n****r,” Maher replied. As the audience clapped, Sasse cringed and remained silent.

“Work in the fields?! Senator, I’m a house n****r,” Maher replied. As the audience clapped, Sasse cringed and remained silent.

Sasse later broke his silence on Twitter. “I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines,” the senator declared. “But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word. Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.”

Since the senator lacked the right words in the moment, he offered the response he “should” have given: “Hold up, why would you think it’s OK to use that word? The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity. It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed. Don’t use it.”

This measured, balanced response from Sasse was admirable, but not representative.

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson wasted no time in calling for Maher’s scalp. “Bill Maher has got to go. There are no explanations that make this acceptable,” he tweeted.

Radio host Ahmed Bedier attacked Maher as “a racist and bigot,” declaring that HBO “must fire him this is not acceptable.”

Brittany Packnett, an Obama appointee and vice president at Teach for America, declared that Maher’s comments are “partly a result of permissive silence. Folks gave him passes for Islamophobia, transphobia, sexism… and now? Case closed.”

https://twitter.com/MsPackyetti/status/870999143849873410

Packett’s attack referred to Maher’s comments about Islam, which he once referred to as “the only religion that acts like the mafia that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing.” Maher has attacked organized religion in general (he wrote and appeared in a 2008 documentary Religulous), and his attacks on radical Islamic terrorism have been mild, and mostly accurate.

As for “transphobia” and “sexism”? Two words: Milo Yiannopoulos. In February, Maher invited the “dangerous faggot” onto his show. Yiannopoulos said, “I think women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities in their bathrooms,” to which Maher agreed, “That’s not unreasonable.”

Overall, Maher has shown himself to be a moderate liberal — a comedian first and a political commentator very much second.

“People shocked at Bill Maher being racist-y, check w your Arab & Muslim friends. Been doing this for a LONG time, but he got hall passes,” Wajahat Ali, a New York Times op-ed writer, tweeted.

Mike Cernovich actually suggested that it would be good for free speech if Maher is fired. “Never said Bill Maher should be fired. That said, his scalp might be good for free speech. Means no one is safe unless the left chills.”

https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/870879888869179393

Interestingly, some people attacked Sasse, not Maher, for … staying up there?

RedState’s Ben Howe noted, “Bill Maher says the N-word on his show and the left is firing at Ben Sasse (who he was interviewing). That fits.”