Behar, Goldberg say phrases like 'black sheep,' 'blackmail,' 'Great White Way' should change

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Behar, Goldberg say phrases like 'black sheep,' 'blackmail,' 'Great White Way' should change

"The View" co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar suggested on Wednesday that certain words needed to be changed because they carried connotations

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“The View” co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar suggested on Wednesday that certain words needed to be changed because they carried connotations with the words “white” or “black.”

Goldberg kicked things off by suggesting that people should stop calling Broadway the “Great White Way” and instead call it the “great bright way.” As Goldberg noted, the “Great White Way” moniker refers to the lights on Broadway — specifically, when electric lights were installed in 1880.

“I like that, Whoopi,” Behar said, “and you know, it’s interesting that a lot of the English language has to be rethought — blackmailing is negative, black sheep, negative … those words are kind of like embedded in our psyches and maybe need to be changed.

“Why is a black sheep a bad thing and a white sheep is a good thing? Why? They’re just sheep.”

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Goldberg responded that she believes there is a problem with the way people think about words like that.

Their comments came amid widespread racial tension and protests surrounding the deaths of black Americans like George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died on May 25 while in police custody.

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According to History.com: “The ‘black’ in blackmail is thought to be a play on ‘white money,’ the term for the silver coins with which tenant farmers traditionally paid their legitimate rent.”

“Black sheep” is a phrase widely used to describe an outcast or someone different from the “in” group. The phrase, according to Grammarist, might have originated with a 16th century translation of the Book of Genesis, which reads: “All blacke shepe amonge the lambes.”

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