There's nothing like tuning into an episode of "The View" for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.
In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word "black" to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on "The View" for its potential "racist" implications.
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of "black" on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word "black" used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):
GOLDBERG: Oh, hello and welcome to ‘The View.' Today is Black Friday, all day long," Goldberg said. "And I'm going to stay black all day because of it.
BEHAR: Isn't it a little racist to call it Black Friday?
GOLDBERG: Well, I would have called it African American Friday, but that's taking something away from it.
BEHAR: But there's a negative connotation to it? Or does it mean something else?
GOLDBERG: No, it's like when you make all the money - you're in the black.
BEHAR: So it's positive?
GOLDBERG: Yeah. It's in the black, so it's a huge great thing.
BEHAR: A lot of times, like blackmail is negative, black sheep.
GOLDBERG: Black people.
BEHAR: No, not black people.
GOLDBERG: But it used to be, it used to be.
It's somewhat ironic Behar would be concerned about offending sensibilities in this harmless use of the word black to describe the day of an event when she herself has had little regard for the sensitivities of personalities that tend to fall right of center on the ideological spectrum. Behar recently noted the past addictions of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and George W. Bush as marks of conservatism and has repeatedly taken shots at the intellect of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.