Maher began the show’s panel discussion Friday night on the subject of education in America and how college campuses and classrooms have become a “social justice factory,” listing several instances across the country of teachers resigning because they’ve felt more like “political activists” than actual educators, with one saying it’s “pitting students against each other based on the color of their skin.”
“To me, when people say to me sometimes, like, ‘Boy, you really go after the left these days. Why?’ Because you’re embarrassing me,” Maher exclaimed. “That’s why I’m going after the left in a way you never did before. Because you’re inverting things that I- I’m not going to give up on being liberal! This is what these teachers are talking about. You’re taking children and making them hyper-aware of race in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be!”
“[Liberals are] taking children and making them hyper-aware of race in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be!”
— Bill Maher
He continued, “I saw last night on the football game, Alicia Keys sang ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ which now I hear is called the Black national anthem. Now, maybe we should get rid of our national anthem, but I think we should have one national anthem. 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.”
“When you go down a road where you’re having two different national anthems … Segregation! … We’re going back to that under a different name.”
— Bill Maher
The HBO host went to blast the University of Oregon for having lower graduation standards for “people of color.” Panelist George Will agreed with Maher’s sentiment, calling it the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” while the other panelist Christina Bellantoni was more sympathetic with the adjusted standards for minorities, telling Maher it’s “important to understand” why these discussions are taking place.