Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell got into a shouting match on the topic of racism on Thursday’s episode of ABC’s morning talk show, “The View.”
The show’s hosts were discussing a recent People magazine interview with the Obamas in which the couple told stories of their own day-to-day experiences with racism.
The discussion went south after Goldberg and O’Donnell — the two most bombastic hosts on the show — butted heads on the topic. O’Donnell said she believes America is a racist country. Goldberg disagreed.
“Listen, you are a white lady telling me what is racist to you,” Goldberg, who is black, said to O’Donnell, who is white.
“I’m a gay American whose been called an [expletive],” said O’Donnell. “I know what homophobia and hatred looks like.”
“I have a black kid at my house, Whoopi. I have a black kid I raise!” O’Donnell continued.
“That is not the same thing,” Goldberg responded forcefully.
“You don’t have to be black to know what racism is,” O’Donnell shouted.
“Yes, you do!” Goldberg insisted.
The shouting match was sparked when “The View” co-host Nicolle Wallace asked “Do you all think that we live in a racist country?”
“Without a doubt,” O’Donnell said.
Goldberg and Wallace disagreed, saying that Obama’s election — and re-election — were evidence to the contrary.
In the People interview which set the stage for the panel discussion, President Obama said he has been mistaken for a valet.
Michelle Obama talked about an incident a few years ago when she was shopping at Target and was asked by another shopper to get something off of a shelf. Obama saw that as a racist slight, telling People that the woman asked for help “Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her.” (RELATED: Michelle Obama: America Is So Racist, A White Lady At Target Asked Me To Reach The Top Shelf)
But Mrs. Obama told the story a different way during an appearance on David Letterman’s late-night talk show.
“That was my interaction. I felt so good,” Obama told Letterman of that encounter.