Posted on December 1, 2009

Joy Behar’s Moral Quandary: ‘Isn’t It a Little Racist to Call It Black Friday?’

Jeff Poor, All Academic, November 27, 2009

There’s nothing like tuning into an episode of “The View” for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.

In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word “black” to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on “The View” for its potential “racist” implications.

Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of “black” on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word “black” used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):

GOLDBERG: Oh, hello and welcome to ‘The View.’ Today is Black Friday, all day long,” Goldberg said. “And I’m going to stay black all day because of it.

BEHAR: Isn’t it a little racist to call it Black Friday?

GOLDBERG: {snip}

BEHAR: But there’s a negative connotation to it? Or does it mean something else?

GOLDBERG: No, it’s like when you make all the money–you’re in the black.

BEHAR: So it’s positive?

GOLDBERG: Yeah. It’s in the black, so it’s a huge great thing.

BEHAR: A lot of times, like blackmail is negative, black sheep.