Yeah, I totally get satire. It might surprise some people to know that “sarcasm” isn’t some cryptic ancient code that only White people can understand. It’s not something that Black/PoC somehow just haven’t mastered yet. Trust me guys, we cracked that code a long time ago (hell, a Black/PoC probably invented it)
Sometimes it seems to me that people think satire means: “I get to say absolutely anything I want, but no one can get mad if I say the magic word! SATIRE!”
(image via decolonizingminds)
Here’s the thing: people (most often White men) repeatedly telling jokes and then having to yell, “BUT SARCASM!” afterwards…well, that s h o u l d be indicative of a problem…and no, the problem is not that minorities, women and other marginalized or oppressed groups didn’t “get” the joke, or that we’re somehow being “too sensitive” Perhaps the reason we aren’t laughing along with privileged White people at so-called jokes —which we’ve probably heard as racial digs and micro-aggressions for our entire lives— is because either the jokes aren’t that funny or they’re barely masking hurtful racism, misogyny, transphobia, etc.
Does it ever even occur to White people that maybe, just maybe the problem isn’t always with everyone else?
Ever notice how it’s overwhelmingly White people who are more outraged by the ensuing negative reactions to a bad joke? Think about it: it’s funny and satirical when the “humor” maligns minority groups for the “right kind” of laughs, but any dissent is suddenly deemed “too PC” or just an ignorant misunderstanding of “satire” by teh minorities who get upset about being the butt of said jokes
(image via domics)
These repeated (to put it kindly) missteps by “edgy” White men, followed by predictable (predominately) “White outrage” targeting the outrage of Black/PoC is 100% unavoidable, as long as the most visible, most listened to and the most rewarded “defenders” of social justice are almost always White men dominating spaces that ought to be headlined instead by those who are most impacted
Colbert’s “comedy” was intended to be funny to a White audience. And I guess it was. Because satire apparently
Believe it or not, always being the cheap & easy laugh…the “understood” idiot and the repeated butt of jokes by White guys gets kind of old…especially when you’re not White
(SN: this seems to be an ongoing theme with “edgy” White comedians)
But ask yourself: if the studio audience was 90% Asian, or if the show were being broadcast from an Asian country, would Colbert have used the same “joke”? Probably not, but why not?
And now ask yourself this: could Colbert have made an equally “funny” joke disparaging Dan Snyder’s racism *without* offending Asian Americans or any other minority group that he is not a member of? Probably
One thing remains constant: many White people will defend the inalienable right of other White people to make racist “satirical” jokes about other people who AREN’T White —so if you aren’t White, and got offended, surprise! it’s you who needs to stfu and relax…even after the millionth time, because satire!
Look, I watched the entire segment on Comedy Central. (link HERE) And yes, I “get” what Stephen Colbert was ~*trying*~ to do…but allow me reframe it for you: he was condemning a racist mascot that offends one group of oppressed people…BY MAKING A JOKE AT THE EXPENSE OF ANOTHER GROUP OF MARGINALIZED PEOPLE
AND HERE’S WHAT I DON’T GET: why is it ok to be upset about the Washington team’s name, but it’s NOT ok to be upset about language that is offensive to Asian Americans? I mean, aren’t they both offensive?
Hey, I think it’s great that he’s against the Washington team’s racist name and mascot. Really, great. Stick it to Dan Snyder all day long…but exchanging one offensive slur for different offensive language probably ain’t the best way to do it. Colbert is neither American Indian nor is he Asian American. And that is where the problem stems from (and no, it matters not one bit if it turns out that he is 1/1000000th of either group, so hole on to all your fractions)
Yes, I know Colbert has made many charitable donations and done a lot of other good guy type stuff…but that does not inoculate him against getting a privilege check. He should be able to do good for any marginalized group without making them feel disparaged. The responsibility to ‘not offend’ is his —it is not the duty of minorities to eternally 'not be offended’ by edgy White male comedians
And for the seemingly endless multitudes of outraged (again, mostly White) people who will still think that they have to break out a dictionary and explain to me precisely what satire is, remember this: you are not Asian. Those words will NEVER sting you the way they do Asian Americans. They won’t trigger any bad memories for you or make you angry. So you posses a level of detachment where it might be “just words”…a privilege that many Asian Americans and other minorities do not share with you
Now, there are some people who won’t stop to consider anything I’ve just said. They’ll write it off as me simply being a Tumblr #SJW or being too “politically correct“ (and we know what that means)
For others it won’t compute because of blind celebrity worship where it’s inconceivable that their guy could do anything wrong (think diehard Macklemore stanz) or they won’t listen bc it will cause too much cognitive dissonance to even begin to consider that a well meaning White guy could possibly do or say something that might be wrong and (gasp) racially insensitive. I mean, if HE could mess up this royally, then maybe “normal” White people could too!? In the words of my late grandmother, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”
Stephen needs to have a tall glass of do betta and then apologize if he hasn’t already done so
That’s my 2¢
But maybe that’s just me though