I too was in tears after viewing it, so excruciatingly inarticulate is our cast. Newsbusters has a transcript, but trust me, it won’t help. Hasselbeck’s point is a simple one: We all share a common culture, so in the interests of commonality, how about everyone agrees to quit dropping the N-bomb, yes? Whereupon Whoopi, seizing the opportunity for a righteous show of Absolute Moral Authority, duly pitches a fit about how we’re different and that’s the way it is and Elisabeth simply doesn’t understand the “frustration” over the “huge problems that still affect us,” even though, please note, in calling for everyone to stop using the word she’s making the same argument as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Consider this a punctuation mark on a week that began with that Obama New Yorker cover, the intent of which was clear but declared to be beside the point because it was unhelpful to the left’s agenda. Whoopi and Sherri Shepherd have a plausible intentionalist defense of their position available to them here — when blacks use the N-word the intent will almost always be innocent whereas it’s much more ambiguous when coming from whites — but that ends up being exploded when Walters asks Shepherd what would happen if she said the word, presumably in a friendly/jokey manner to Sherri. Answer: “I don’t want to hear it come out of your mouth.” So much for intentions.
Anyway. Hasselbeck ends up in tears, Whoopi ends up basically arguing that the gulf between the races is too great for them ever to understand each other (or at least for whites to understand blacks), and they end up quickly moving on to talk about something else. Is this the sort of great national conversation Barry O had in mind?