Say what? On Wednesday, Jan. 6, “The View’s” Whoopi Goldberg ruffled a few feathers when she completely rejected the African American label after one of her co-hosts made a joke about seeking refuge overseas due to Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency.
“You know what uh, uh! This is my country,” Goldberg said. “My mother, my grandmother, my great-grand folks, we busted a– to be here. I’m sorry. I’m an American. I’m not an African American, I’m not a chick American, I’m an American!”
Unsurprisingly, fellow co-host, actress Raven-Symoné, who’s shared similar sentiments about labels in the past, seconded Goldberg’ sentiments,” American! I’ve been here too long to not just hold American.”
As expected, Goldberg’s rhetoric provoked quite the uproar on social media. But it also revived an increasingly common debate within the Black community about how to identify ourselves and why.
The fact of the matter is Goldberg’s held this opinion for decades. In 1999, she published a book, titled Book, where she explains why she chooses not to be labeled an African American. Check out an excerpt below:
“Call me an a–hole, call me a blowhard, but don’t call me an African American. Please. It divides us as a nation and as a people, and it kinda pisses me off. It diminishes everything I’ve accomplished and everything every other Black person has accomplished on American soil. It means I’m not entitled to everything plain old regular Americans are entitled to.
“So, no, I am Not an African American. I’m not from Africa. I’m from New York. My roots run a whole lot deeper than most of the people who don’t have anything in front of the word ‘American.’ I can trace my family tree back to the Mayflower. We may not have been on it, but we were under it, and that counts too.”
Well, there you have it. Sure, Goldberg’s statement is controversial and for many who dub themselves “pro-Black,” a hard pill to swallow. But does she have a point? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.