Fox & Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck got some passionate support from an old friend for a recent question she asked that turned into a Twitter frenzy. On Monday morning, Hasselbeck asked a former NYPD officer if it were possible that Sandra Bland could’ve used her lit cigarette as a weapon against her arresting officer. Bland apparently committed suicide in jail outside Houston, Texas after being taken into police custody for a small traffic offense.
Twitter went crazy, with many calling Hasselbeck a racist for asking such a question. Her former colleague at The View, Whoopi Goldberg, wasn’t having any of that on Wednesday – she shut down the Twitter haters:
“Somehow, suddenly, it is no longer okay to pose a question that will give you an answer in order to best understand what’s going on… We’ve been friends for about seven, eight years, and she has not asked me to pick any cotton… People love to throw that phrase around, ‘You’re a racist. You’re this. You’re that.’ It is not racist to ask a question.”
Raven-Symone – who played the adorable Olivia on The Cosby Show and new co-host of The View – agreed with Goldberg, noting, “There are a lot of people of color who think that white people shouldn’t ask certain questions because they don’t understand it … and I don’t think that’s fair.”
Rosie Perez, another co-host, said she didn’t find it offensive and felt Hasselbeck was doing was any good journalist would do – ask provocative questions. Perez even asked if this entire ordeal would still be an issue if a journalist like Matt Lauer had posed the same question.
Not all of The View cohosts agreed. Michelle Collins had her doubts and snarkily took a jab at Fox News viewers: “You kind of have an idea of who watches Fox News…To ask if a cigarette could be used as a weapon … well, yeah, anything can be used as a weapon.”
Goldberg got the last word in, further defending Hasselbeck:
“If we stop asking questions, how will we ever know the truth? How will we know what happened? Raven came in this morning and made the same point that Elizabeth made – and she didn’t even know we were gonna talk about it!....My friend just got in deep doo-doo for saying, could it [the cigarette] be used – that’s the question she asked this morning. Relax! You’ll recognize the real racists. You know them when you see them and when you hear them. This woman sat here for 12 years and had disagreements. That does not make her a frickin’ racist.”