Uh, what? Bette Midler found herself in some hot water after using ‘the n-word’ as a way to describe women as ‘the most disrespected creatures on Earth.’ Some people, especially African-Americans, were upset at this.
The Divine Miss M caught some hell after an attempt to explain the plight of women went horribly, horribly awry. “ ‘Women are the n-word of the world.’ Raped, beaten, enslaved, married off, worked like dumb animals; denied educations and inheritance; enduring the pain and danger of childbirth and life IN SILENCE for THOUSANDS of years,” Bette Midler, 72 tweeted on Oct. 4. “They are the most disrespected creatures on Earth.” The now-deleted controversial tweet was in response to how Brett Kavanaugh will likely be appointed to the Supreme Court, despite the numerous allegations of misconduct and sexual assault.
To no one’s surprise, Bette — a white woman — using “the n-word” left some people fuming. “Dear [Bette],” Roots star LeVar Burton, 61, tweeted. “I believe you meant well. Still, you crossed a line AND gave the impression that your suffering is commensurate with that of my ancestors. I don’t think that’s what you meant, at least I hope not. Sincerely, Kunta.” Others weren’t as patient with Bette as the Reading Rainbow star. “Full stop,” tweeted Jemele Hill.
“Bette Midler out here thinking she’s a white woman of color,” @MoreAndAgain tweeted. “This is why we can’t have nice things,” Tim Black tweeted. “Black women were literally and LEGALLY property. Fact: Many white women owned/abused slaves right along with their husbands. Ever seen a lynching picture? Guess what you don’t see: White women crying. Respect American History. @BetteMidler.”
Bette did delete the Tweet and apologize for using the n-word. “The too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh infuriated me. Angrily I tweeted w/o thinking my choice of words would be enraging to black women who doubly suffer, both by being women and by being black. I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize.”
I believe you meant well. Still, you crossed a line AND gave the impression that your suffering is commensurate with that of my ancestors. I don’t think that’s what you meant, at least I hope not.
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) October 5, 2018
This is why we can't have nice things. Black women were literally and LEGALLY property. Fact: Many white women owned/abused slaves right along with their husbands. Ever seen a lynching picture? Guess what you don't see: White women crying. Respect American History. @BetteMidler pic.twitter.com/AixOFYXYu8
— Tim Black ™ (@RealTimBlack) October 5, 2018
Bette’s quote – specifically the part with “the n-word” – paraphrased a line of a controversial song written by the late John Lennon and Yoko Ono from their 1972 album, Some Time In New York City, per USA Today. Even five decades ago, hearing the former Beatles singer say the n-word in a song was controversial (and problematic.) It turns out that the line wasn’t even 100% original, as Leslie Mac pointed out. “The most irritating part of this Bette Midler shit is that she’s quoting Yoko who STOLE it from Zora Neale Hurston but not before ERASING Black from it.” She shared a screenshot of the Wikipedia article explaining how Zora Neale Hurtston’s 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, included a character who said something very, very similar. “I’m tired. Ya’ll need to do better.”