More from White Women

This is a short clip (2:58) of candidate John McCain’s appearance on the television show “The View,” this week, along with the full couch of women who serve as co-hosts for the show (H/T: bfp via Twitter). Hasselback asks McCain about his views on Roe v. Wade, and when he responds that he want justices who strictly interpret the constitution as the founders wrote it, Whoopi Goldberg calls him on the racial implications of that stance. Listen for Barbara Walter’s reassurance to her black co-hosts:

So, what do you think about Barbara Walter’s statement? Racism? Paternalism? A harmless joke? Or, some combination of all the above. Drop a comment before you go.


  1. Joe

    Classical white paternalistic racism. Not one of the whites got Goldberg’s point. And Walter’s intentionally moved the discussion off the reality that Goldberg was highlighting. Even “liberal” whites do not want to talk about white racism, past or present. That is one reason Obama has huge barriers to overcome. We do not talk about the racism resisting him and boosting McCain…..

  2. It was kind of an eerie moment, and if it was joke, pretty not funny. I wold agree with Joe. I credit Whoopi for raising this issue. It has always struck me that inherent in the world view of a conservative vis-a-vis the ‘constitutionalist’ judges-is to invite slavery back into our society. Yet i have never heard anyone raise this obvious implication. I had hoped that Whoopi or one of the others would have pressed McCain on his response (such as it was). If it such an “excellent point”, why does he continue to insist that he will nominate constitutionalist jurists?
    The full interview (available on a variety of sites) is one of the best ones i have seen. I only wish the rest of media wasn’t afraid to insist on answers to the specific questions they asked.

  3. JDF

    I thought Whoopi made a terrific point that flies in the face of these cons that argue for “strict constructionism” of the constitution, as if the document had been carved in stone. Walters, meanwhile, indeed made an incredibly paternalistic remark, and it was very embarassing.

  4. I will agree with the observation that Barbara Walter’s comment was white paternalistic racism, and the intention was completely to defuse the argument and prevent the broader point from being made. Also, it irritates me when conservatives talk about “constructionist” judges and rail against “activist” judges. The constitution is a living document and to assume that those that wrote it sought only to protect the rights they listed is ridiculous.

  5. Cal

    I agree with LiberalTexan.

    Goldberg’s point was an uncomfortable one for Walters, and rather than attempt to deal with it she attempted to reduce it to the status of a joke.

    But I don’t think Goldberg intended it as a joke, and I don’t think she should have intended it as a joke.

  6. Stacey

    I agree Walters comments were White Paternalistic Racism, and its clear to see she was doing her best to not engage Goldbergs’ dialogue. After Goldbergs’ comment Walters says, “Before we go, just to give a different picture” meaning I’m changing the subject now – yikes – not going to go there. However Behar says, ” picture yourself on a plantation” which redirects the conversation back to the possibility for Goldberg to get a direct answer, but the opportunity was lost when Barbara overtook the conversation arms outstretched in a sense asserting her privileged position and attempting to pacify her concerned co-hosts with Walters’ paternalistic racist ill humored comment.


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