*Things got HEATED on “The View” this morning in perhaps the show’s biggest screaming match since Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s epic split screen showdown over politics.
This time, the issue was race. The ladies were discussing People magazine’s new interview with the Obamas about their personal experience with racial profiling. Whoopi Goldberg was trying to argue that racial profiling is not an act of racism, but an act of ignorance.
O’Donnell, Rosie Perez and guest-host Laverne Cox from “Orange is the New Black” begged to differ, saying yes, ignorance is a part of racial profiling, but being followed around in a store – or in President Obama’s case, being mistaken for the valet at a swanky party – is unequivocally racist.
“You don’t think it’s racist when somebody turns to the leader of the free country and says, ‘Can you park my car?'” Perez asked Whoopi.
Whoopi said she’s been a black person for 60 years, so she should know what real racism is, and racial profiling is nothing more than the perpetrators being ignorant and stupid – not racist. She gave an example of “real racism,” by sharing a racial epithet that was once directed toward her, but ABC censors bleeped it out.
Later in the exchange, conservative co-host Nicolle Wallace asked the panel if they thought America was a racist country.
“Without a doubt,” O’Donnell said. Cox added, “Absolutely.”
Wallace said, “See, I think a country that elects an African American president twice, I don’t think every American is racist.”
O’Donnell shouted: “And a Congress that won’t allow him to do one thing!” The audience applauded in agreement.
Whoopi and Nicolle made the point that Congress was at one time controlled by Democrats. O’Donnell countered, “Democrats are racist, too! It’s our cultural history!”
“Listen!” Whoopi said, banging her hand on the Hot Topics table. “You are a white lady telling me what is racist to you…”
O’Donnell interrupted her, also slapping the table: “I am a gay American who has been called a dyke. So I know what homophobia and hatred looks like!”
“But it’s not the same!” screamed Whoopi.
“I have a black kid I raise, Whoopi! I have a kid in my house!”
“That is not the same thing!”
“You don’t have to be black to know what racism is!” screamed O’Donnell.
“Yes you do!”
“No you don’t!”
“Yes you do, baby!”
“No you do not!”
“Yes you do!”
Laverne Cox jumped in by bringing up the racial diversity of the Ferguson protesters as proof that not every single American is racist.
She was about to continue her thought when Whoopi interrupted her, gesturing wildly: “Which is why I say it’s not racist because America is not just a racist country. There are white people who get it!”
“America was built on the backs of slaves, too,” Cox said, quietly finishing her original point underneath Whoopi’s yelling.
“Honey, this I know,” Whoopi answered before pivoting back to Laverne’s Ferguson point. “But that is why I will not accept the blanket statement that America is racist.”
“So we agree to disagree,” said Cox, smiling and looking away.
Whoopi said, “And that is why this is called…what? ‘The View.’”
Below, what “a national conversation on race” looks like: