Hari Kondabol: “I can’t be arrogant enough to say that comedy will lead to social change. It can aid in the process of changing people’s minds and at least questioning in a way that’s more comfortable. It can be less aggressive. I’m aggressive on stage, but I still need to make people laugh. Being around laughter is cathartic. For other people, it’s a moment of, “Man I didn’t think about that before. I’d never questioned that. I don’t want to, but I’m laughing so there’s something to think about.” I know enough people doing amazing activism, so I won’t say that what I do in stand-up is equivalent to organizing. I’m at least bringing certain questions up publicly with my art that generally are not brought up because I have experiences and perspectives that are relatively new to standup.”
So I went to a prestigious small liberal arts college in Maine. And like other people of color, I think, who have gone to prestigious institutions of higher learning, I had a lot of white liberal friends. And I am sick of some of these white liberal friends telling me how guilty they feel all the time, how their whiteness makes them feel bad. “I feel guilty, I have so much white guilt.” Y’know, I’m not impressed. ‘Cause if I had the choice between white guilt and racism, I’d take the white guilt every time. White guilt sounds GREAT, are you kidding me?Imagine this: you’re on a line, right? You’re about to board an airplane. And all of a sudden, security shows up. They pull a sick man with a beard and a turban off. They search his bags again. You’re watching and what do you think to yourself?“Oh, this is terrible. I feel terrible. This again? Racial profiling? That man’s done nothing wrong. How about they search me? They should search me. I’m a white man, I could be the next Timothy McVeigh. They don’t know that. Why don’t they search my bags? ‘Cuz I’m white. I feel terrible. I feel so terrible — I mean, I’m still gonna board the plane. But I’m gonna feel bad about it. I’m gonna sit in my chair and feel — oh, I can, I’ll write Rachel Maddow an e-mail! That’s what I’ll do! And I’ll tell Terry Gross. And I’ll read my bell hooks on the plane. Yes! Then, then everything will be better. I’ll feel better. I’m a good white liberal, I’m a good white liberal, I’m a good white liberal. Okay.”So, by any chance, there are white liberals watching this video, remember this: your white guilt is a part of your white privilege. Enjoy it while it lasts.