Monday, October 15, 2007

Follow up

Ok, this is just a short post to answer a comment on my racism post.

Amanda said:

“I agree that racism goes both ways. But I think Don Imus shouldn't have made that comment.”

I completely and totally agree, it was in bad taste. My point, however, is he got fired and will probably never work in broadcasting again. It was a throwaway comment that literally ended his career. However, the penalty was only so great because it was a white man commenting on a black team.

Compare that outcome to what would happen if a black announcer had referred to a white team as a bunch of “honkys”. Absolutely nothing would happen. At worst, he or she might be asked to make an apology, but it certainly wouldn’t end their career.

Amanda then went on to say:

“Your example of the longest yard isn't right. I mean that's literally calling a black person dumb rather that just saying haha typically he's bad at sports.. i just think your example is unequal.”

For this one I completely and totally disagree. Let me explain why:

Both jokes consist of a self-depreciating comment using a racist generalization as illustration. I chose this line as an example to specifically point out two things: First is the double standard, secondly that a white guy can still come off as a racist even when he’s the butt of his own joke.

You’re saying is that Chris Rock’s joke simply says that ‘Chris Rock is bad at sports’, yet Adam Sandler’s joke is a slur against black people. Chris Rock is just saying he’s terrible at sports, but Adam Sandler is calling black people dumb.

In a way, you’ve proven my point for me. We’ve become so conditioned to see racist jokes that make fun of white people as perfectly acceptable, that we accept them without comment. On the other hand, the opposite is completely and totally unacceptable.

As I said in my last post, we see a black comedian spending an hour ripping on white people as just funny comedy, but if a white guy tells one black joke he’s a racist.

Think about the ‘Longest Yard’ joke:

“I was so bad at sports at school, I only got picked after the white kids.”

How does that just say that Chris Rock is bad at sports? It says that only if we accept the generalization that all white people suck at sports. Of course, that isn’t true and as such is a racist comment, plain and simple.

From the Dictionary:

Racism - The belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior

Chris Rock’s joke plainly states the idea that his race is superior to whites in the area of sports. How can that not be seen as racist?

The point is that we’ve gotten so used to this kind of humor that the anti-white stereotype jokes have been almost accepted as fact. White people can’t dance, White people are bad at sports, etc, etc.

My main point is that there’s no difference at all between those jokes, we’ve just been conditioned to see one as acceptable and the other as unacceptable.

Long story short, my initial conclusion still stands:

In society today it’s perfectly acceptable for minorities to make fun of white people, but if a white guy makes fun of any minority he’s in for a lot of trouble.

The way I see it, either everything’s fair game, or nothing is.


Saffyre said...

Racism sucks whichever way you look at it, and I agree with you on this. Chris Rocks comment as racist - plain and simple.

It comes down to that old chestnut "If you can't take it, don't dish it out"

One of my pet peeves is when job applications state "We particularly welcome applications from ethnic minorities"..........WTF!!! Since when did skin colour determine how well a person will do the job??

Paulius said...

I think Carlos Mencia put it best. He did a comedy routine where he basically talked about how bad white people have it. He said:

"If you're a black guy and have a bumper sticker that says 'black and proud of it', no-one's going to say shit. If you're a white guy and put a bumper sticker that says "White and proud of it" on your car, you're going have WHITE people pulling your ass over."

I liked the way he finished best though.

"If you really want to see how bad white folks have it, they all agree with what I've said, but a mexican has to go on TV and say it FOR them."

The funny part of the whole situation is that 99.9% of the people who cry racism tend to be white people.

amanda said...

oh lol, i still disagree that 99% of the ppl who cry racism are white. haha

but i mean i've taken so many race classes, it's hard to completely see where you're coming from
just bc i guess i've learned it all from the academic stand-point.. that white people have this invisible privilege because they are WHITE.

whereas I still feel as if chris rock vs. adam sandler are two different situations. I don't know anything that he says other than movies, so i can't compare how he is in movies vs. what he says elsewhere.

everytime i think of chris rock i get him and chris tucker confused... rush hour was funny.!? lol.

OzzyC said...

I was going to say something witty about the pot calling the kettle black, but I didn't want to come across as racist.

Paulius said...

I never said that minorities have it 'easy'. I was only talking about the area of comedy.

As for white privalege, I agree, but that works both ways too.

In my last job, there was a 'program' where if you were Pakistani (England's biggest immigrant group), you could sign up, get training, and extra 100 a week bursary and be put on a fast-track to management.

So, an extra hundred a week and a management position inside a year, just for being pakistani. Is that fair?

If that's not a special privalege I don't know what is.

The Girl said...

I feel totally different after living over in the UK and having hateful things yelled at me just because I'm American.

And I've been told that the laws that protect people from racism doesn't include Americans who are not citizens. I find that a little hard to swallow. I work here but I'm not protected by the laws. Sad.


amanda said...

minorities get noticeable privileges bc whites get unnoticed privileges... not saying that all of the privileges are right, but that's generally what affirmative action is for. to compensate for the white privilege minorities don't have

Sunny said...

What I wanna know is- whatever happened to the concept of whoever is best qualified to do the job gets the job?

All this political correctness bullshit is exactly that- a bunch of bullshit made up by people who feel inferior FOR other people who feel inferior.

Why can't we just do what we do best ? Live and let live.

What a load of crap, Manda- exactly WHAT "unnoticed" priveledges do whites get that minorities don't? If you ask me it's the other way round. The minorities get all the "privileges" and whites are having to "pay" for crap that happened to minorities generations ago. Where's the justice in THAT?
How long are we going to have to keep paying for it?