The two argued with each other over whether or not O’Donnell could understand racism as a non-Black person. In a comment directed at O’Donnell, Goldberg said, “You are a white woman telling me what’s racist to you.”
“Racism is when someone comes up to you and says, ‘I hope you f***ing die,’” Goldberg said. “That’s racism.”
While talking about the People magazine interview where President Barack Obama told his account of being mistaken for a valet at a restaurant, Goldberg said that there’s a difference between stupidity and “real racism.”
“You don’t have to be Black to know what racism is,” O’Donnell said on the talk show.
“I’ve been Black for 60 years,” Goldberg said. “For me, stupidity, there are dumb folks who just say dumb stuff because they’re not looking or paying attention to the person they’re talking to, which is why people could walk up to Obama and not look up at him and see that it’s the president.”
Her co-hosts on the show that day, Rosie Perez, Laverne Cox and O’Donnell, disagreed that it was just stupidity and that the president’s situation was racially charged.
O’Donnell replied that she could recognize hate from her experiences as a gay American dealing with homophobia. She even brought up that she is raising a Black child at her house.
“I’m a gay American who’s been called a [expletive],” she said.
Goldberg said O’Donnell’s experience with homophobia doesn’t relate to the racism Black people face. Goldberg told O’Donnell that it’s not the same.