Bill Maher Tries to Get Away With Bigotry

Bill Maher used to be funny and topical (anybody remember "Politically Incorrect?"), but that was before he completely lost his damn fool mind.

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HBO talk show host Bill Maher thinks Barack Obama isn't being a "real black president." But being liberal and dating Superhead doesn't give him a pass to make bigoted statements.

The other night, on his HBO talk show 'Real Time,' Maher joked about President Barack Obama's handling of the BP oil spill. Maher said Obama is too passive, saying he thought he voted for a "real black president" who'd handle the crisis more aggressively. 

And with that returns the media meme that surfaced often during Obama's presidential run of what black is and what black ain't and where Obama falls on the curve. Obama responded to those questions basically by reminding people that he was running to be the president of the United States, not the blackest man in America, and for those who disagreed with that to vote for accordingly — you know, because John McCain is right up there with Malcolm X. 

America voted for the guy from Southside Chicago, born in Hawaii to a white mother and a Kenyan father. Pardoning the bigotry of Maher's joke for a moment, the electorate wasn't going to get a "real black" out of Obama — as much as one even exists — when his upbringing was less 'Good Times' and more 'Different Strokes.'

But pardoning Maher's bigotry in this instance isn't possible, even if he is a comedian. Granted, plenty of black comedians have run black president jokes before: Dave Chappelle, Cedric the Entertainer and Chris Rock, who made a whole movie about it. But none of those black comedians have the power and privilege in America that allows discrimination to tag itself in racial caricature portraits that white comedians do. And no matter how liberal Maher is, dating Superhead does not a black comedian make him. 

Asking that Obama get a lil' more indignant about this situation is understandable. Consider Spike Lee's recent comments to Anderson Cooper about Obama: "He's very calm, cool collected. But one time, go off. And if there's any one time to go off, this is it because this is a disaster." It's basically what Maher said, sans the buffoonery. Underneath all of Maher's punchlines and smugness is a desire to be taken seriously, and his talk show blurs the lines between comedy and political commentary. 

But if he really wants melodrama, well, maybe he should start being more like a real white talk show host, like Maury Povich or Jerry Springer. If he'd be offended by those comparisons, then he should understand that this his joke was one case of where keepin' it real went wrong.

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