Whoopi Goldberg says police officers have to 'relearn how to police': 'Because now they're soldiers — and we're not in a war'
Whoopi Goldberg is speaking out about systemic racism and police brutality in the U.S. — and how to bring about real change.
The View moderator talked about the state of the country on Sunday’s Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, including how racism starts early, infiltrating the minds of young kids, as well as how to overhaul police departments and “reteach ... how to police again.”
“Well, racism is in the heart of the country,” said Goldberg, 64. “You can't get away from it. Children are taught it without realizing that that's what they're learning. So, the first thing that has to happen is people have to first look at people and see them for who they are, not for who they fear they are, but for who they actually are.”
And in the wake of the deaths of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others by police, she said that policing needs to change.
“The good cops have to call out bad behavior, so we can get rid of the bad cops,” Goldberg said. “And reteach police departments around the country how to police again. Because now they're soldiers, and we're not in a war. We’re not in wars in our towns and neighborhoods. So they must relearn how to police. And that is going to take the action of the federal government. But we have a guy” — referring to Donald Trump — “who doesn’t believe that there is institutionalized racism.”
Of the president, Goldberg told Cohen and fellow guest Rita Moreno: “He says, ‘Well, I don’t believe it’s there.’ But in fact, it is.”
Goldberg went on to say people have to start admitting what they’re seeing. “There’s a problem,” she said. “So everybody has to say, ‘Yes, there is a problem and we see it and we want to fix it.’ So, that's what has to happen.”
And Goldberg acknowledges that people, the Trump administration notwithstanding, are starting to see it.
“You're right, it is seeming to be happening and I'm excited about it,” she said. “Whenever we’ve watched stuff happen on television or our computers, things change.”
Last week, as Gone With the Wind was removed from the library of HBO Max due to its racist depictions, Goldberg pushed back against the decision.
“Personally I think if you put things in a historical context — because if you start pulling every film ... you're going to have to pull all of the blaxploitation movies because they're not depicting us the right way,” the Academy Award winner said. “That’s a very long list of films.” She suggested a disclaimer for the film — something HBO Max announced it will be doing.
Goldberg was of the same mind over Song of the South, which has been locked in Disney’s vault due to its racially insensitive portrayal of African Americans. She told Yahoo in 2017 that she wanted the film to be released “so we can talk about what it was and where it came from.” (In March, former Disney CEO Bob Iger said it would never air on Disney+.)
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