Rosie O’Donnell spent part of her radio broadcast yesterday defending the recent controversial comments made by Helen Thomas (which lead to her retirement.) The former talk show host (who has been called by some as “the next Oprah“) wondered how Thomas comments could be viewed as “hate speech,” then proceeded to interpret what Thomas really meant when she said that “Jews should go back to Germany.”
After reading Thomas’ full quote, a guest on O’Donnell’s show asked “how can that be construed as hate speech?” to which O’Donnell replied “I don’t know.”
Well to begin, no reputable media outlet, nor pundit of which I am aware, has actually called Ms Thomas’ comments “hate speech.” Its been more accurately described it as “grossly insensitive.” So O’Donnell’s premise that this is unfairly being called “hate speech,” is, in of itself, pretty unfair. O’Donnell then proceeds to differentiate Thomas’ comments from the theoretical statement of telling “Black people to go back to Africa” because “Black people are not occupying a country, right?” Clearly O’Donnell is not familiar with the concept of diaspora as it applies to many people of the world.
Full audio of her comments below (h/t Radio Equalizer):
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