Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dear Chelsea Lately, Comedy Does Not Give a Pass For Racism

Here we go again with comedians, being racist and covering their speech with comedy.





Partial transcript.

As I mentioned yesterday, Tracy Lately is looking for some new friends, not that I don't like the ones I have, I'm just looking for better ones. In particular, I am looking for a new Black lady friend.  I don't want to make it a racial thing, bu the last Black girlfriend I had robbed me. I tried to be friends with Lonnie Love but during a recent slumber party, she ate my chaise lounge. My bad, I should have never purchased a chaise lounge made out of waffles. I recently found a new candidate on the new VH1 dating series, Tough Love New Orleans (this by the way comes with a whole body shake)

restarting at 1:39

This whole thing has got me wondering, why in predominately African-American films is there never a sassy White friend? Tyler Perry, last time I checked, I am White and I am sassy.  Here is my audition: Leave him girlfriend. That man ain't no good for you bitch. [note: this comes with a body roll, then a head snap and of course the snap in the z formation.]

Yeah, none of this shit is even remotely funny.  What Lately is doing is mocking negative representations of Black womanhood in the media without acknowledging that they are false.  There is no acknowledgement that these tropes are harmful to Black women and in fact she treats them as a universal truth.  But it's funny right.  Anything goes in the name of comedy.  Only angry, over sensitive Black women would have a problem with this, because we don't have the ability to laugh at ourselves.

I am sick to death of these negative characteristics being treated as the monolithic representative standard of Black womanhood.  I am sick to death of White women perpetuating them as truth, while never acknowledging that these very same tropes benefit them.  It's all ya ya sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits when they need something, and remember your place when they don't. Mostly though, I am sick to death of comedians using comedy to justify unleashing bigoted screeds for laughs. If you have to depend upon perpetuating an ism to be perceived as funny, you are not a comedian, you're a bigot.