, the host of "Real Time," closed his show on Friday night by criticizing liberals for refusing to acknowledge America
's progress on racial and social issues.
Maher began by labeling the left with "progressophobia," which he defined as "a brain
disorder that affects liberals and renders them incapable of recognizing progress."
"If you think America is more racist
than ever, more sexist than before women
could vote, and more homophobic than when b---j--s were a felony, you have 'progressophobia,' and you should adjust your mask because it's covering your eyes," Maher told his audience.
"The gay protesters' chant used to be, 'We're here, we're queer, get used to it.' Well, we did. This is Pride month
, and it's not even a big deal
anymore. Thirty days of parades and festivals celebrating a cause that was once so divisive, Ellen had to pretend to be straight."
star praised the legalization of gay marriage across the country, noting that "even half of Republicans
" now support it, celebrities
coming out of the closet are met with "thunderous applause," and nearly every major corporation in America observes Pride month.
"And it's not just LGBT issues. Not long ago, I knew people
who went to prison
for growing marijuana
, and today, you can legally smoke it for fun in 43% of the country," Maher explained. "Even something like bullying
: It still happens, but being outwardly cruel to people who are different is no longer acceptable. That's progress. And acknowledging progress isn't saying 'We're done,' or 'We don't need it.'"
Maher noted that only "4%" of Americans approved of interracial marriage in 1958, and that Gallup stopped polling the question in 2013 because "87%" of the population supports it, describing it as a "sea change" from his childhood, and citing statistics from companies that show 47-55% of their employees are people of color, joking that they are "desperate to look like their TV commercials."
He also brought up the recent "Friends
special, saying it "looked weird
" because "if you even suggested a show today about six people, all of whom were straight and White, the network would laugh you out of the room and then cancel you on Twitter
"Yet there's a recurring theme on the far left that things have never been worse!" Maher said. "Kevin Hart expressed a view many share when he told The New York Times
, 'You're witnessing White power and White privilege at an all-time high."
"One of the big problems with wokeness," he continued, "is that what you say doesn't have to make sense or match the facts or even be challenged lest the challenge be conflated with racism
"But to say that White power and privilege are at an all-time high is absurd. Higher than a century ago, the year of the Tulsa Race Massacre
? Higher than the years when the KKK rode unchecked and Jim Crow went unchallenged? Higher than the 1960s, when The Supremes and Willie Mays couldn't stay in the same hotel as the White people they were working with? Higher than during slavery
The "Real Time" host acknowledged that racism "is still with us," but added that racism "is simply no longer everywhere," citing the Minneapolis police
department's failure to support Derek Chauvin
, "which never used to happen."
"The low point of race relations wasn't Kim Kardashian
wearing cornrows, even though it happened on Snapchat and George Wallace standing in a doorway didn't," Maher chided young people.
"There are a lot of Americans working really hard these days to embrace a new spirit of inclusion and self-reflection, and this progressive allergy to acknowledging societal advances is self-defeating because progress and hope that we can achieve it is the product we're selling, and having a warped view of reality leads to warped policies," Maher continued.
"It's not a sin, and it's certainly not an exaggeration, to say we've come a long way, baby. Not mission accomplished, just a long way," he added.