On his show, HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Maher quotes a comment Scalia made during oral arguments earlier this year when the Supreme Court heard the case on the Voting Rights Act that suggested a comparison between the Voting Rights Act and "racial entitlements."
“Just the fact that he talks about black people voting as an entitlement, that is so much more racist than anything Paula Deen ever said,” Maher said.
The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act earlier this week, a move progressive activists say will undermine the federal government's ability to prevent states from enacting prejudicial voting laws.
Deen has received much public outrage after private comments she made that were derisive of African Americans went public. She's since lost a number of sponsorships with major companies, and apologized multiple times to the public.
Maher suggested the public reaction to her comments had been too severe — and that other public figures, like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, are more racist than Deen, even if they don't use the same words she did.
“We have replaced having a conversation about race with ‘oh OK, liberals feel good about themselves if they make the bad person go away,’” Maher said.
“Who’s the bad person? The one we caught saying that one word. Donald Trump is a worse racist but he gets to keep his show because he never said the word. Sarah Palin is a worse racist, she said Obama was shucking and jiving his way to victory. Newt Gingrich said he was the food stamp president. This is real racism.”