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Unreasonable White Men’s Humor

On Colbert and White Racial Satire: We Don’t Need It

Some people have suggested that The Colbert Report is fighting racism…somehow.

Yes, the mechanics seem lost on some.

That by taking on the persona of a conservative a-hole, Colbert is calling attention to how ridiculous they are. Yes. Ok. But calling attention to whom,

The conservative a-holes.

for what purpose? 

Mockery, ridicule, mostly just entertainment.

The fans who have responded angrily to #CancelColbert have either been liberals who believe they are in on the joke already

Few are tempted to lump you in with them.

or tweeting lunatics who seem to just get pleasure from hearing and hurling racial slurs.

And let’s pretend that separation requires only perfunctory attention.

Where are these theoretical people who were racist until they watched Colbert,

Indeed, who are these theoretical people who were racist until reading Huck Finn? And all the harm it caused.

or SNL, or Chelsea Lately,

Aaaaand now we’re off the rails. Let’s lump in Al Jolson because why not.

or any other show that uses white racial satire,

I would not have called Key & Peele “black racial satire.” I would have called it “satire,” but YMMV.

and had their racist minds changed? Do we really believe these people exist? Do we really believe there were hella people watching Colbert’s skit about Dan Snyder’s awful foundation who had their minds changed about it as soon as Asian slurs were thrown into the mix?

You seemed to have answered your own question re: “purpose.” Not sure it’s the correct answer, or question. 

Do we really think folks who defend that team’s name despite of all the harm it’s caused are sensitive to the stereotyping of Asian people? You’re telling me these folks exist?

It’s a big world with lots of people in it.

And, you know what, even if they did, why is their “education in the form of racist 

Nope.

jokes that are satirical so it’s okay” more important than the people we know for sure exist who are harmed by these jokes?

Taken to its logical conclusion, this is an argument for the abolition of satire itself.

One might be tempted to poke fun at such an extreme view.

Clever, Kanye. But only if you stick with it. Only if it works.
But it might. It just might.

Clever, Kanye. But only if you stick with it. Only if it works.

But it might. It just might.

Longtime readers of this space know which part of Accidental Racist would troll me the hardest: the popularity of the Confederate flag.
The song will come and go, but the treasonous, racist symbol (whose design is far superior to the American flag) will still be displayed everywhere south of the Mason-Dixon.
Brad Paisley implies the flag is about Southern Heritage, as though from the distant, sepia-toned past. He’s wrong. Southerners weren’t using it until the Civil Rights movement.
politicalprof:

 From 1865 (the end of the Civil War) until the 1950s SOUTHERNERS DID NOT USE THE “REBEL FLAG” AS A SYMBOL OF “NATIONAL” PRIDE OR “SOUTHERN” IDENTITY.
In the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement began advocating for racial change around the US, and particularly in the South. Members sought the end of Jim Crow and to have full rights as citizens of the United States, which they had been denied since at least the end of Reconstruction in 1877.
In response, many Southerners adopted the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of resistance to federal efforts to end Jim Crow and to end segregation. Just as Southerners fought the federal government to protect slavery and states’ rights, they would now fight the federal government to protect segregation and states’ rights.
The Rebel Flag was, is and remains a symbol of a movement that would have, in its time, protected slavery, and would, today, protect segregation and racial bias. The notion that it is a naive symbol of a culture is utter nonsense.

It isn’t about slavery per se, it’s about segregation. In the 20th century, the Stars and Bars were a kind of campaign logo for Jim Crow laws, which didn’t end until 1965.
That wasn’t very long ago. Using a Confederate flag as a segregationist symbol is well within living memory. When Dixiecrats heard Martin Luther King was shot, they flew that flag on their front porch in support of the shooter. 
There’s a 55 year old black man working in downtown Atlanta right now. He can remember having to use “Colored” drinking fountains when he was in second grade. He can remember “Whites Only” counters and moving to the back of the bus. He’s not from the distant past. He’s still in the workforce. He’s a full decade away from retirement. This hypothetical black man might not even have stayed in the South. He might be your boss or your coworker. He could be Stanley from The Office (actor Leslie Baker, age 55). In fact, he’s only 10 years older than LL Cool J, who turned 45 this year.

Longtime readers of this space know which part of Accidental Racist would troll me the hardest: the popularity of the Confederate flag.

The song will come and go, but the treasonous, racist symbol (whose design is far superior to the American flag) will still be displayed everywhere south of the Mason-Dixon.

Brad Paisley implies the flag is about Southern Heritage, as though from the distant, sepia-toned past. He’s wrong. Southerners weren’t using it until the Civil Rights movement.

politicalprof:

  •  From 1865 (the end of the Civil War) until the 1950s SOUTHERNERS DID NOT USE THE “REBEL FLAG” AS A SYMBOL OF “NATIONAL” PRIDE OR “SOUTHERN” IDENTITY.
  • In the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement began advocating for racial change around the US, and particularly in the South. Members sought the end of Jim Crow and to have full rights as citizens of the United States, which they had been denied since at least the end of Reconstruction in 1877.
  • In response, many Southerners adopted the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of resistance to federal efforts to end Jim Crow and to end segregation. Just as Southerners fought the federal government to protect slavery and states’ rights, they would now fight the federal government to protect segregation and states’ rights.
  • The Rebel Flag was, is and remains a symbol of a movement that would have, in its time, protected slavery, and would, today, protect segregation and racial bias. The notion that it is a naive symbol of a culture is utter nonsense.

It isn’t about slavery per se, it’s about segregation. In the 20th century, the Stars and Bars were a kind of campaign logo for Jim Crow laws, which didn’t end until 1965.

That wasn’t very long ago. Using a Confederate flag as a segregationist symbol is well within living memory. When Dixiecrats heard Martin Luther King was shot, they flew that flag on their front porch in support of the shooter. 

There’s a 55 year old black man working in downtown Atlanta right now. He can remember having to use “Colored” drinking fountains when he was in second grade. He can remember “Whites Only” counters and moving to the back of the bus. He’s not from the distant past. He’s still in the workforce. He’s a full decade away from retirement. This hypothetical black man might not even have stayed in the South. He might be your boss or your coworker. He could be Stanley from The Office (actor Leslie Baker, age 55). In fact, he’s only 10 years older than LL Cool J, who turned 45 this year.

mirkwood:

Now imagine you’re an “objective” racist white scientist who decides to give a group of black men a STI and, instead of treating them for it, watch them slowly suffer from it so you can study it FOR SCIENCE.

Yes, Tuskeegee was JUST LIKE the Inquisition (1100-1800).

Now imagine you’re the white supremacist sexist medical establishment that denies women the right to get their tubes tied unless they already have loads of kids and require them to get their husband’s permission while at the same time forcibly sterilising legions of native and black women.

That’s because some sexes/races are inferior. No? If only there were a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge to disprove such a claim.

Now imagine you’re an “objective” racist psychologist who decides that slaves wanting to escape is a psychological disorder called “drapetomania” and the “cure” for that is lashings and cutting off toes.

You can do much, much better. You can find some evil bastards who were doing actual science. For that matter, highlight Oppenheimer.

Now imagine that you’re the “objective” and “scientific” medical establishment that deems queerness a disorder and decides that electroshock treatments or lobotomies are the effective solution or feels the need to “intervene” by surgically altering the bodies of intersex infants to fit your perceptions of what genitalia should look like.

And the sins of pseudo- and unethical science ARE ON PAR with the Catholic Church’s millennia-long record on matters LGBT.

Religion has done a lot of fucked up shit. 

GO ON.

But I’m sick and tired of people acting like SCIENCE hasn’t been involved in wars, death, and genocide either.

And one time Thag used flame to start fire in cave! Me sick of Thag saying flame better than Sky Father!

And it’s the assumptive bullshit notion that ALL religions are somehow stupid

It’s the polar opposite of “assumptive” if we can agree on what constitutes “bullshit.”

and not worth your consideration that perpetuates this colonialist bullshit approach that white people have now upon Native and other individuals when tribes fight for the right to their sacred lands of, “Oh you’re religion is just hooey!” 

 You’re not talking about science. You’re not even talking about religion. You’re talking about politics.

First they “civilised” us with religion and now it’s science and repatriation. Stealing native lands and native artifacts and native bodies FOR SCIENCE so you can profit off of them.

I missed the part where Marie Curie gives the natives smallpox blankets.

If you’re going to lay in on the death religion causes, IMO you better realize that there’s a difference between the bastion of white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy that is modern Christianity and other religions which have little in the way of social power in comparison.

DULY REALIZED. And there’s a difference between ebola and strep throat. But as much FUN as they are, we’d prefer to keep BOTH the Jehovah AND gem crystals away from the kids, because both tend to produce poor outcomes.

AND you better recognize that science can be just another extention of white supremacist cisheteropartiarchy too and FURTHER the goals of that power structure rather than being as “objective” as they claim and countering it.

Yeah, the Establishment’s a real bitch(!) amirite? The struggle for cultural competency continues apace.

Haha. Imagine that.
Also, Ricky Gervais is a jerk.

A jerk using satire to advance atheism, not the ethical lapses of BIG SCIENCE. But don’t let us stand between you and that red herring.

mirkwood:

Now imagine you’re an “objective” racist white scientist who decides to give a group of black men a STI and, instead of treating them for it, watch them slowly suffer from it so you can study it FOR SCIENCE.

Yes, Tuskeegee was JUST LIKE the Inquisition (1100-1800).

Now imagine you’re the white supremacist sexist medical establishment that denies women the right to get their tubes tied unless they already have loads of kids and require them to get their husband’s permission while at the same time forcibly sterilising legions of native and black women.

That’s because some sexes/races are inferior. No? If only there were a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge to disprove such a claim.

Now imagine you’re an “objective” racist psychologist who decides that slaves wanting to escape is a psychological disorder called “drapetomania” and the “cure” for that is lashings and cutting off toes.

You can do much, much better. You can find some evil bastards who were doing actual science. For that matter, highlight Oppenheimer.

Now imagine that you’re the “objective” and “scientific” medical establishment that deems queerness a disorder and decides that electroshock treatments or lobotomies are the effective solution or feels the need to “intervene” by surgically altering the bodies of intersex infants to fit your perceptions of what genitalia should look like.

And the sins of pseudo- and unethical science ARE ON PAR with the Catholic Church’s millennia-long record on matters LGBT.

Religion has done a lot of fucked up shit.

GO ON.

But I’m sick and tired of people acting like SCIENCE hasn’t been involved in wars, death, and genocide either.

And one time Thag used flame to start fire in cave! Me sick of Thag saying flame better than Sky Father!

And it’s the assumptive bullshit notion that ALL religions are somehow stupid

It’s the polar opposite of “assumptive” if we can agree on what constitutes “bullshit.”

and not worth your consideration that perpetuates this colonialist bullshit approach that white people have now upon Native and other individuals when tribes fight for the right to their sacred lands of, “Oh you’re religion is just hooey!”

You’re not talking about science. You’re not even talking about religion. You’re talking about politics.

First they “civilised” us with religion and now it’s science and repatriation. Stealing native lands and native artifacts and native bodies FOR SCIENCE so you can profit off of them.

I missed the part where Marie Curie gives the natives smallpox blankets.

If you’re going to lay in on the death religion causes, IMO you better realize that there’s a difference between the bastion of white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy that is modern Christianity and other religions which have little in the way of social power in comparison.

DULY REALIZED. And there’s a difference between ebola and strep throat. But as much FUN as they are, we’d prefer to keep BOTH the Jehovah AND gem crystals away from the kids, because both tend to produce poor outcomes.

AND you better recognize that science can be just another extention of white supremacist cisheteropartiarchy too and FURTHER the goals of that power structure rather than being as “objective” as they claim and countering it.

Yeah, the Establishment’s a real bitch(!) amirite? The struggle for cultural competency continues apace.

Haha. Imagine that.

Also, Ricky Gervais is a jerk.

A jerk using satire to advance atheism, not the ethical lapses of BIG SCIENCE. But don’t let us stand between you and that red herring.

Original Sin: Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people

It is not a coincidence that the resurgence of nullification is happening while our first African American president is in office …
We are left with the profound historical irony that the party of Lincoln—of the Gettysburg Address, with its reiteration of the Declaration’s assertion of equality and its vision of a “new birth of freedom”—has found sustenance in Lincoln’s principal intellectual and moral antagonist.
It has become the party of Calhoun.

Original Sin: Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people

It is not a coincidence that the resurgence of nullification is happening while our first African American president is in office …

We are left with the profound historical irony that the party of Lincoln—of the Gettysburg Address, with its reiteration of the Declaration’s assertion of equality and its vision of a “new birth of freedom”—has found sustenance in Lincoln’s principal intellectual and moral antagonist.

It has become the party of Calhoun.

Ted Nuggent awaits the start of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013.
AnilDash: 

Imagine if a rapper had 1. Threatened the President 2. Brandished assault rifles 3. Got invited to the SOTU 4. Showed up in jeans. #Nugent

Ted Nuggent awaits the start of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013.

AnilDash:

Imagine if a rapper had 1. Threatened the President 2. Brandished assault rifles 3. Got invited to the SOTU 4. Showed up in jeans. #Nugent

periqueblend:

It’s amazing that none of the hundreds of people who likely had to  review this ad noticed. “Dove soap can lighten your skin, hair, and  melt away the pounds.” Imagine being married to that lady on the left.  You wake up, do whatever, and then she’s like, I’m going to pop in the  shower, and then we can go Roscoe’s for brunch. And then she comes out  looking like the lady on the right, throws on gingham and plaid and decides instead to have brunch at the Country Club again.

periqueblend:

It’s amazing that none of the hundreds of people who likely had to review this ad noticed. “Dove soap can lighten your skin, hair, and melt away the pounds.” Imagine being married to that lady on the left. You wake up, do whatever, and then she’s like, I’m going to pop in the shower, and then we can go Roscoe’s for brunch. And then she comes out looking like the lady on the right, throws on gingham and plaid and decides instead to have brunch at the Country Club again.

NLO Graphics loves ren fairs, but thinks they should be more racially authentic.

NLO Graphics loves ren fairs, but thinks they should be more racially authentic.

bremser:

Oscar Grant’s photograph of  Johannes Mehserle
Oscar Grant’s photograph of transit police officer Johannes Mehserle is rare: a portrait of the photographer’s killer. Unlike the  recent photograph that a politician captured in the Philippines, Grant’s photograph, taken moments before Mehserle shot him in the back, was intentional.
Much of the media attention given to the Oscar Grant case focused on a handful of videos made by other passengers on the BART train, some of which show Grant being shot. While being detained by BART police, Grant called his ex-girlfriend Sophina Mesa twice from the platform. During this time he also took the photo of Mehserle and sent it to Mesa. Grant’s photograph of Mehserle did not get as much coverage as the videos, as it wasn’t released until the trial began.
Grant’s photograph raises an important issue that faces every American: the right to photograph, videotape and document while being  detained or arrested by the police. Many of us assume we have this right, but with existing  wiretapping laws, you can still be arrested and your camera confiscated. Radley Balko’s Reason.com article “The War on Cameras” is essential reading on this subject.
Demian Bulwa is a reporter and editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, who has covered the Oscar Grant case since the shooting, through the entire Mehserle trial. I asked him a few questions over the phone about this photograph.
How did the prosecution and defense use this photograph as evidence in the trial?
Both sides used flat screen TVs, multimedia, everything was timed and choreographed. It seemed they felt they might lose credibility if they weren’t sharp with multimedia. At times the arguments felt like PowerPoint presentations. There were photos, quotes, videos, video of the Taser training.
It was used by prosecution to show two things: 1. that he [Mehserle] knew his Taser from his gun, that he had actually taken out his Taser twice, that he knew full well between the two weapons. 2. That Oscar was being abused and was concerned about it.
It was one of many pieces of evidence. It’s part of the puzzle, and hard to tell which ones stuck with the jury.
What facts were presented about the photograph, when it was taken? Did he take it while face down, turning around?
Grant was sitting on the ground. The guys were sitting on the edge of the platform for a while. He wouldn’t have had the opportunity in the last moments, the officers were on top of him, with his arms behind him.
Was there any suggestion by either side that taking this photograph provoked Mehserle, or was some form of resisting arrest?
I don’t recall.
Based on the evidence in the trial, and your own speculation, why do you think Oscar Grant took this photograph?
Most likely he was documenting unfair treatment. He said something to his girlfriend [during the phone call], like “I’m getting beat up here.” It was a way of documenting that, and putting Mehserle on notice. If you take a picture of someone you are saying: I’m watching your behavior. You’re accountable. You are expressing your concern and putting them on notice.

bremser:

Oscar Grant’s photograph of Johannes Mehserle

Oscar Grant’s photograph of transit police officer Johannes Mehserle is rare: a portrait of the photographer’s killer. Unlike the recent photograph that a politician captured in the Philippines, Grant’s photograph, taken moments before Mehserle shot him in the back, was intentional.

Much of the media attention given to the Oscar Grant case focused on a handful of videos made by other passengers on the BART train, some of which show Grant being shot. While being detained by BART police, Grant called his ex-girlfriend Sophina Mesa twice from the platform. During this time he also took the photo of Mehserle and sent it to Mesa. Grant’s photograph of Mehserle did not get as much coverage as the videos, as it wasn’t released until the trial began.

Grant’s photograph raises an important issue that faces every American: the right to photograph, videotape and document while being detained or arrested by the police. Many of us assume we have this right, but with existing wiretapping laws, you can still be arrested and your camera confiscated. Radley Balko’s Reason.com article “The War on Cameras” is essential reading on this subject.

Demian Bulwa is a reporter and editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, who has covered the Oscar Grant case since the shooting, through the entire Mehserle trial. I asked him a few questions over the phone about this photograph.

How did the prosecution and defense use this photograph as evidence in the trial?

Both sides used flat screen TVs, multimedia, everything was timed and choreographed. It seemed they felt they might lose credibility if they weren’t sharp with multimedia. At times the arguments felt like PowerPoint presentations. There were photos, quotes, videos, video of the Taser training.

It was used by prosecution to show two things: 1. that he [Mehserle] knew his Taser from his gun, that he had actually taken out his Taser twice, that he knew full well between the two weapons. 2. That Oscar was being abused and was concerned about it.

It was one of many pieces of evidence. It’s part of the puzzle, and hard to tell which ones stuck with the jury.

What facts were presented about the photograph, when it was taken? Did he take it while face down, turning around?

Grant was sitting on the ground. The guys were sitting on the edge of the platform for a while. He wouldn’t have had the opportunity in the last moments, the officers were on top of him, with his arms behind him.

Was there any suggestion by either side that taking this photograph provoked Mehserle, or was some form of resisting arrest?

I don’t recall.

Based on the evidence in the trial, and your own speculation, why do you think Oscar Grant took this photograph?

Most likely he was documenting unfair treatment. He said something to his girlfriend [during the phone call], like “I’m getting beat up here.” It was a way of documenting that, and putting Mehserle on notice. If you take a picture of someone you are saying: I’m watching your behavior. You’re accountable. You are expressing your concern and putting them on notice.

maxistentialist:

Threatening display from a large African praying mantis.

JEROME! Where my MONEY at? Don’t ACT like you CAN’T SEE ME, son.

maxistentialist:

Threatening display from a large African praying mantis.

JEROME! Where my MONEY at? Don’t ACT like you CAN’T SEE ME, son.