HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher is not backing down when it comes to his opposition of two anthems being played at NFL games and events.
Maher previously said the league’s decision to continue playing ‘Lift Every Voice,” commonly referred to as the Black national anthem, and the “Star Spangled Banner” were essentially promoting division in a country deeply rooted in “separate but equal” ideals.
“Maybe we should get rid of our national anthem, but I think we should have one national anthem,” said Maher during the Sept. 10 airing of his show. He continued by stating, “I think when you go down a road where you’re having two different national anthems, colleges sometimes now have — many of them have different graduation ceremonies for Black and white, separate dorms — this is what I mean! Segregation! You’ve inverted the idea. We’re going back to that under a different name.”
Days later, his remarks were a hot topic among “The View” co-hosts, especially Whoopi Goldberg. Sharing her take on the significance of the Black anthem, she said, “I think because we have gone backwards a good 10/15 years we’re having to re-educate people … Just so you know Bill, the ‘Lift Every Voice’ has always been considered the Black national anthem. It’s always been that because the separation of the anthem has been so clear to us.”
On Sept. 24, Maher hit back at Goldberg’s remarks on his show. “Two weeks ago I opined that it was fine to get rid of the old anthem; we just shouldn’t have two,” Maher said.
“The program ‘The View’ last week dedicated a lot of time to this while somehow avoiding what I actually said. It seemed to be a lot about a need to actually school me on the Black national anthem itself,” he continued.
“Again when it comes to an anthem, it doesn’t have to be the one we currently use but it has to be just one. You know ’cause it’s a national anthem, and symbols of unity matter, and purposely fragmenting things by race reinforces a terrible message that we are two nations, hopelessly drifting apart from each other. That’s not where we were even 10 years ago and it’s not where we should be now.” Maher then suggested citizens should be in the country a then presidential hopeful Barack Obama referenced during a speech, “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America. There’s the United States of America.”
Maher wrapped up his rebuttal with, “We need to stop regarding this new woke segregation as if it’s come sort of cultural advancement. It’s not … We need to unite as one nation who come together and sing one anthem always out of key.”
The ongoing conversation surrounding Maher’s remarks sparked an array of reactions online.
“He can’t school anybody about something he didn’t know s—t about til last week.”
“Oh we are pretending people actually think about what the national anthem lyrics mean now? What a joke.”
“@billmaher Seriously?? You’r going to lecture Whoopi on being Black in America?? Ignorance!”