"The View" co-hosts will go so far to defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright and by extension Barack Obama, that they will even throw Martin Luther King Jr. under the bus. Discussing Wright again on the April 7 edition, the ladies justified Wright’s words by noting some very controversial remarks by the late Dr. King. Sherri Shepherd, apparently taking Michael Eric Dyson’s cue, quoted King predicting America "will put black people in a concentration camp." Joy Behar, in a hopeful tone, added "Maybe someday Reverend Wright’s words will be taken out of- in a different context. It’s possible."
Whoopi Goldberg also justified Wright’s extreme sermons, opining he is bringing his anger from a different era. Elisabeth Hasselbeck wondered what happened to "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Whoopi Goldberg again justified Wright’s anger.
"But in America, what I’m, I guess I’m trying to say is, yeah it’s, it’s very easy to say, you know, ‘forgive them Father.’ And, you know, black folks are real resilient. We have forgiven and we continue to forgive and we get up and we get down, and we get up and we get down. But you can’t, you can’t take someone’s anger from them when that’s how they feel. Just like for me, when I’m angry about something, this is a good place for me to go do it. I might not be able to do it any place else. So it’s just an interesting thing to see that the same kinds of things are happening but in a different way."
The entire transcript is below.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: I think we’ve, we’ve made a lot of inroads. I mean, a lot has changed. But, you know, economically there’s still a lot of problems that we need to deal with to balance it out. I mean, you know, and I think the idea that people are finally able to say, without getting jumped, "yes, this is how I feel about X, Y, Z." That’s, that’s a huge leap for me. And that, for that, I’m grateful to Barack Obama, but we have-
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: But don’t you think he had to address that coming off of Jeremiah Wright? I mean, it wasn’t like "good for you. You addressed it." He had- it was more of a reaction.
GOLDBERG: No, I think he didn’t. What wasn’t said was this was not the first time these statements have been made by a reverend. And I know you have some of that information Sherri.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Yeah, I was going to say, Martin Luther King, you know, they called him a rabble rouser too. He said, "and you know what? A nation that put as many Japanese in a concentration camp as they did in the 40's, will put black people in a concentration camp. And I’m not interested in being in a concentration camp. I’ve been on a reservation too long now." So he said a lot of the statements that Reverend Wright has said in this day.
HASSELBECK: In a, in a very different time. I mean, yes, he said things about the war. He was, he was not a man short of words or passion. He led a movement that needed, that needed to happen.
SHEPHERD: Which I think Reverend Wright also-
BARBARA WALTERS: But it’s 40 years-
HASSELBECK: Those statements were grossly anti-American.
JOY BEHAR: So, so were Martin Luther King’s in many ways. He said "we are criminals in that war," meaning the Vietnam War, "and we have committed more war crimes than almost any nation in the world," he said.
HASSELBECK: The Vietnam War, that was horrific. I mean- in that time do you think he was- that in that time he was speaking to, he was speaking about the Vietnam War. We are in a different time.
BEHAR: The people who spoke about the Vietnam War at that time, like Jane Fonda, is still vilified in some parts of the country. People still hate her for, they call her "Hanoi Jane." She did a few things that she shouldn’t have done at the time. And he, now we’re celebrating his birthday. I mean, I don’t know. It’s just interesting to me. Maybe someday Reverend Wright’s words will be taken out of- in a different context. It’s possible.
SHEPHERD: You know, but if they did take Reverend King’s- if they had YouTube back then and they took these sound bites, "I’ve been on a reservation too long," you know, "we’re war criminals," and they played them over and over on a loop he would sound-
HASSELBECK: You’re referencing Jeremiah Wright’s statements.
SHEPHERD: No, no. I’m saying Martin Luther King.
HASSELBECK: So you’re saying if they play them on a loop like you’re saying people did about Jeremiah Wright. What Jeremiah Wright was saying, he’s been preaching for how many years now? Thirty years, that Barack Obama’s been sitting, and if not hearing, hearing about.
GOLDBERG: Elisabeth. You’re missing, you’re missing the point.
HASSELBECK: I get the point. What I’m saying is don’t equate those two men.
GOLDBERG: But you must and that’s what we’re trying to-
HASSELBECK: I don’t have to equate them. I think that Martin Luther King is a hero, he, he-
GOLDBERG: Listen, you think that now, but if you had been born then you might not have thought that.
HASSELBECK: How do you know?
GOLDBERG: I said you might not have.
HASSELBECK: I would not have.
GOLDBERG: And so what I’m- but you don’t know that because you weren’t born then. So what I’m saying to you is maybe Jeremiah Wright coming out of the time period that he’s in shares those same views. And that’s the difference.
HASSELBECK: He’s not speaking about it. Here’s the difference. He is not- no wait a minute. Let me finish. Let me finish. He is not speaking about America then. Jeremiah Wright is speaking about America now, different time.
GOLDBERG: Based on his experience of America. That’s what you, that’s what you’re not understanding. I understand what you’re saying. But I’m saying to you listen, this is a guy who was part of that movement, who went through all of that, and is still angry. We find when we look at preachers, and I said this to you guys before, the black churches were the only places where you can go out and just rant about stuff.
HASSELBECK: Are they now?
GOLDBERG: Yeah, yeah.
HASSELBECK: They are now?
GOLDBERG: Yes, absolutely, I can say that to you now.
HASSELBECK: If he is angry, if he is a preacher, he is absolutely angry, what happened to "forgive them Father they know not what they do"? What happened to that message? That should be the first message, the first.
GOLDBERG: Well, that works, that works but in America-
WALTERS: Can I just say one thing?
GOLDBERG: Yes, Barbara.
WALTERS: One thing, I mean we can go back and forth with this.
GOLDBERG: And I just-yeah.
WALTERS: I want- okay, go ahead. Because I just wanted to say something about how far we come and where we need to go, which is where we began.
GOLDBERG: Yes, absolutely. But in America, what I’m, I guess I’m trying to say is, yeah it’s, it’s very easy to say, you know, "forgive them Father." And, you know, black folks are real resilient. We have forgiven and we continue to forgive and we get up and we get down, and we get up and we get down. But you can’t, you can’t take someone’s anger from them when that’s how they feel. Just like for me, when I’m angry about something, this is a good place for me to go do it. I might not be able to do it any place else. So it’s just an interesting thing to see that the same kinds of things are happening but in a different way.
BEHAR: I wouldn’t assume, but I wouldn’t assume that he hasn’t said Jesus’ words at some point in another speech.
HASSELBECK: I’m sure he has, he just-
SHEPHERD: He also still preaches about-
HASSELBECK: To equate these two men is shortchanging.
BEHAR: We’re not equating. We’re just saying in the context of time. That’s all.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, that’s all.