I like Dr. Boyce Watkins’ take on all of this (mainly because he says things much better than I ever could):
One of the things that Goldberg doesn’t understand about racism is that Gibson having played with Whoopi’s kids doesn’t mean that he can’t have a serious issue with black men. His comments about “being raped by a pack of ni**ers” seems to imply that being raped is not enough. His comment also suggests that a pack of black men would be more likely to want to assault a woman and that the assault would be more brutal than one committed by a group of white males. Therefore, without any reasonable doubt, Gibson perceives black men to be more violent, savage and criminal than white males. So Whoopi Goldberg must understand that Mel Gibson playing with her kids means almost nothing.
What exactly would Gibson have needed to say or do to his girlfriend in order for Goldberg to have a problem with it? Not only is Whoopi’s quick road to redemption offensive to people of color, it is also offensive to women across America who’ve known the atrocities of rape and domestic abuse up close. Anyone listening to that audio recording could hear the abuse in Gibson’s voice, and a show that appeals to so many women should be more conscientious about how its hosts respond to this kind of behavior.
So, after her infamous defense of Roman Polanski (who admitted to raping a 13-year-old girl after giving her alcohol AND drugs but who pleaded down to just having sex with a minor and then ran away before he could be sentenced), by saying it wasn’t “rape-rape”, Whoopi Goldberg’s back on the scene defending her good pal Mel Gibson:
“I don’t like what he did here, but I know Mel and I know he’s not a racist,” Goldberg told unconvinced co-host Joy Behar.
Rather than calling him racist, Goldberg repeatedly referred to Gibson a “bonehead” for his supposed bad behavior.
“I have had a long friendship with Mel,” the actress-comedian stated. “You can say he’s being a bonehead, but I can’t sit and say that he’s a racist, having spent time with him in my house with my kids. … I don’t like what he’s done. Make no mistake.”
When challenged by Behar and reminded of Gibson’s infamous anti-Semitic rant, Goldberg blamed the past problems on booze, but added that she believed he was a sober bonehead this time.
“This rant, I don’t think he’s drunk on this rant,” Goldberg admitted.
I literally don’t understand this defense. First, why are you defending someone who admitted to beating his wife and threatened to kill her. Second, he may have been VERY nice to you and your family. There’s no one who can argue against your assessment of your interactions. But he can be nice to you and yours and still be racist. Anyone who uses language like he did is a racist. Clearly, Mel Gibson operated in Hollywood for many, many years with (presumably) many Jewish people even though we all know he was a raving anti-Semitic asshole.
Also, didn’t her boyfriend once wear blackface to roast her? And didn’t she say in response to that:
Ms. Goldberg told Jet: “Many people who come to the roast were unfamiliar with the Friars Club. I thought everyone knew the definition of a roast. You char that person. You talk about them, their mother, father, etc. Everything is fair game. Apparently there were people who were uncomfortable with what to expect. Some of them have not been to a roast before.”
She said that she and Danson, who have been the subjects of much media speculation because they are often seen together, decided to play on some of the nasty letters and comments their relationship has elicited. “We’ve gotten a lot of hate mail. He’s been called a |nigger lover’ and people have said that if we had a kid they hoped he or she died. We decided to go over the top with it. If you think he’s a nigger lover, here he is in blackface. People took offense about it.”
She pointed out that she helped write much of the material he used during the roasting and she also helped secure the make-up artist who painted his face.
“People weren’t used to getting jokes about me. I helped plan it.”
She is puzzled at people calling Danson a racist. “How can you say on one hand that Ted and I are having a relationship and then call him a racist?”
Oh, and don’t forget this aspect of the story:
And so I ask, what the fuck, Whoopi?