Bill Maher is an easy guy to hate. He’s smug, he’s cocky, and he’s a rich white guy in 2020. But don’t let surface details distract from the truth.
Unlikeable as he may be, Bill Maher makes some valid points in his latest segment called ‘Virus Shaming,’ and ‘woke’ Twitter is up in arms.
Maher’s latest ‘New Rule’ segment is straightforward. Scientists often name viruses after where they originate. He notes that the first half of MERS stands for “Middle Eastern.” Ebola comes from the Ebola River. Zika comes from the Zika River.
Then Maher asks:
So why should China get a pass?
He goes on to roast people like Ted Lieu for this tweet, claiming it would be “just as stupid to call it the Milan Virus.”
No, that would be way stupider because it didn’t come from Milan.
He points out that China’s wet markets, “where exotic animals are sold and consumed,” are shockingly, already starting to open back up.
Before backing up his claim about the correlation between bats and COV-like viruses from the American Society of Microbiology, he says:
It’s not racist to point out that eating bats is bat sh*t crazy.
He quotes Dr. Fauci as saying the current crisis is a “direct result” of China’s wet markets.
Maher explained how he doesn’t want Chinese Americans to face racism. He just thinks that possibility is not worth sacrificing the truth.
We can’t stop telling the truth because racists get the wrong idea.
So what does Twitter do? They immediately make it about race, of course.
One Twitter user didn’t understand that Maher was making a joke when he implied the Spanish Flu originated in Spain. It’s relatively common knowledge at this point that origins of the Spanish Flu aren’t entirely known, although some suspect Kansas. Maher was being sarcastic, for, you know, the comedy show. Unfortunately, some people need a live audience to clue them in on the punchlines.
Ironically, some sources like National Geographic, say the Spanish Flu originated in – drumroll – China.
And if you think it’s only straight white men who are backing Bill Maher, you’re wrong.
One Tweeter, of many, makes it about gender.
Even though Bill Maher tries to protect against it, there are, unfortunately, going to be ignorant, racist people out there. They will associate the virus with people who are, or look, Chinese, and treat them poorly.
That is ridiculous and unfair. We need to protect innocent people, especially Asian Americans, who would be just as terrified of bats as anyone else.
Maher’s point is that we can’t hide the truth. We should be putting pressure on China to close down, or regulate, their wet markets. It’s a global health risk and, after this pandemic, borderline unacceptable. But ‘woke’ Twitter would have you believe it’s far more unacceptable to point it out.