Behar Claims Poor Whites & Blacks Are ‘Oppressed by the Right Wing’

 On Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, host Behar claimed that "poor white people, poor black people are the ones who are oppressed by the right wing in this country," during a discussion of a poll finding that 42 percent of Americans believe the American Civil War was fought over states rights instead of slavery.

Panel member and comedian Baratunde Thurston had just cited the Mississippi state secession charter as evidence that slavery really was the primary cause of the war, and then suggested that the Republican Party oppresses the poor in modern times. Thurston:

These were rich Southern men who not only oppressed black people, they oppressed poor white people who made up most of the population. And so the idea that we’re empowering the people represented today want to go back to this time where they were more oppressed is a perfect representation of the Republican Party agenda today.

Behar responded:

It’s ironic, though, because poor white people, poor black people are the ones who are oppressed by the right wing in this country, but they don’t seem to get that. They vote against their own interests all the time.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the segment from the Tuesday, April 12, Joy Behar Show on HLN:

JOY BEHAR: But, you know, it’s interesting because 42 percent of the people polled said the war was fought over states rights and not slavery. Do you buy that?

JOHN FUGELSANG, COMEDIAN: No, it’s the right to keep people as livestock. That’s the rights they’re talking about.

BEHAR: It’s all about money. It was all about the economy, and slavery was free.

BARATUNDE THURSTON, COMEDIAN: This is, again, we have, we have the most amazing tools to, like, look at history. We have all these books digitized, all this, we never look back. The Mississippi state secession charter, the first line is, basically, we’re doing this because of slavery, it’s the most important institution in the world. You can’t separate slavery, even though there were other issues, slavery was at the centerpiece of it. These were rich Southern men who not only oppressed black people, they oppressed poor white people who made up most of the population. And so the idea that we’re empowering the people represented today want to go back to this time where they were more oppressed is a perfect representation of the Republican Party agenda today.

BEHAR: It’s ironic, though, because poor white people, poor black people are the ones who are oppressed by the right wing in this country-

THURSTON: Exactly.

BEHAR: -but they don’t seem to get that.

FUGELSANG: No, because they have Glenn Beck.

BEHAR: They vote against their own interests all the time.

NEGIN FARSAD, COMEDIAN: Every time.