Bill Maher on Tuesday finally shared his own definition of a word that’s seemingly become a right-wing catch-all for “anything I don’t like”: woke.
When asked during a meandering hour-long conversation with CNN’s Jake Tapper to give a definition of the term, the comedian and HBO host called it “this collection of ideas that are not building on liberalism but very often undoing it.”
“I mean, five years ago Abraham Lincoln was not a controversial figure among liberals. We liked him. Now they take his name off schools and tear down his statues. Really, Lincoln isn’t good enough for you?” he said.
The statement was apparently in reference to a two-year-old headline in which a San Francisco school board voted to remove the former president’s name from a high school—but later suspended the plan.
“Five, 10 years ago, bedrock liberalism was [that] we are striving to be a color blind society where we don’t see race,” continued Maher, whose Overtime segments began running Friday nights on CNN earlier this month. “Of course we see it, but it doesn’t matter. That’s not what woke is. Woke is something very different. It’s identity. We see it all the time. It’s always the most important thing. I don’t think that’s liberalism.”
Maher then offered another example of what he viewed as the “woke” viewpoint going too far.
“I remember doing that show on HBO — Comic Relief for the homeless. The idea then, again, among liberals, I thought, was for the sake of compassion: can we get these people off the streets so they have a roof over their heads?” he said. “And now it’s like, ‘How dare you try to move the homeless. This is where they live.’”
It’s unclear who, exactly, he was attributing the comments to.
Maher continued: “You change the definitions and then you say I’m more conservative?”
“I believe what I’ve always believed,” Maher said, echoing what he told right-wing podcast host Ben Shapiro last year. “You change these things and then you yell at me for it.”
The Daily Beast