After a period of COVID-19 isolation, Whoopi Goldberg made her triumphant return to “The View” on September 11, and her reappearance was marked by a rather unusual accessory—a folding chair pendant that bore a connection to the Riverfront Park brawl that occurred in Montgomery, Alabama, on August 5.
Goldberg began the show by making it clear that the panel does not condone violence. She then proceeded to recount the chaotic events that unfolded at the Riverfront Park docks in downtown Montgomery, where a brawl erupted after white individuals operating a pontoon boat confronted a Black riverboat co-captain.
The brawl took place at a historically significant site, where enslaved Americans were once unloaded on Commerce Street after being transported via the Alabama River for the slave trade.
While discussing the incident, Goldberg emphasized, “I have to lead this off by saying we do not condone violence on this show. We don’t, okay? We all hear that.” She then delved into the details of the Montgomery brawl, explaining how it stemmed from a dispute between the riverboat captain and the pontoon boat occupants over docking space.
The show aired a video of the brawl, with Goldberg and co-host Sunny Hostin providing commentary. When the co-captain was attacked and threw his hat into the air, Hostin quipped, “That’s the bat signal.” Goldberg concurred, noting how Black bystanders swiftly intervened to help the co-captain, saying, “Black people came out of nowhere. We dropped out of the sky. People were just, it was crazy.”
Goldberg also recounted how one man even swam from the riverboat to the dock to assist during the fracas. She humorously added, “The memes are off the hook! I am wearing a folding chair,” referring to a folding chair being used during the brawl, as noted by Hostin.
Addressing the debate over the chair’s use, Hostin mentioned that some considered it a potentially lethal weapon. However, she expressed a preference for a folding chair over a firearm, while also highlighting that no fatalities occurred during the incident.
Goldberg wrapped up the discussion by emphasizing the importance of avoiding violence, particularly when individuals are simply doing their jobs. She stressed that the absence of firearms prevented a dire outcome and urged against a repetition of such events.
Marlon Wayans also commented on the brawl, but his remarks garnered backlash as he appeared to criticize those who intervened. Wayans posted a video clip focusing on the brawl after additional people had joined the fray, captioning it with, “How ‘bout we NOT ‘try that in a small town’…. Sh*t silly bro… let’s all just be love NOT war.”
— Wayne Pittman, Jr. ♑💪🏿😈👅🌊 (@Sony12Play) September 11, 2023
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