Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Lisa Lampanelli calls Lena Dunham ‘my ni**a’
I would have called this piece White people behaving badly, but I thought that the person guilty of using a slur should be named and publicly shamed. It would nice if I honestly believed that Lampenelli could actually feel some version of shame for the so-called shocking comedy she engages in but she is far more interested in being as offensive as possible while making money. At this point, given Lampanelli's history would anyone buy a fauxpology? This kind of comment is exactly what has unfortunately made her a very famous comic as though it takes talent to stand in front of a mike and spew offensive shit night after night.
Using a racial slur is not funny haw haw; it's just racist. You don't get cool points and get to walk around with cool swagger while being a vile racist. I can't even hope to give Lampeneilli a pass because this is far from the first time she has said or done anything like this. Her entire career has been based on offending historically marginalized people for money.
Here's the thing, privileged people seem to always be looking for a way to squeeze in the indefensible. They sometimes wrap it in a joke and they sometimes claim ignorance but regardless of the justification employed, there can be no doubt that the intent is simply to assert their privilege and power. To be clear nigga, niggas, niggaz are all essentially the same word NIGGER. This is a word that White people cannot say on a bus, plane, train, car or anywhere outside of their bigoted little minds without being offensive. I don't even care if you life long Black BFF gives you permission to use said word, you cannot do so ever, without being offensive. Lampanelli is many things, but what she isn't is a fool and therefore she knew damn well what she was doing when she posted that image with that offensive tweet.
It's already too late as far as I am concerned for Lamanelli to display anything that remotely resembles humanity but it might not be too late for Dunham despite her vapid show, which erased people of colour and then decided to settle on tokenism when criticized. When you lie down with dogs you get fleas. You can protest that you're liberal until the end of time, but if your actions display otherwise, people will judge you on what they see, not what they hear. So far Dunham's attempts to mitigate her massive privilege have been paltry at best and continue an association with someone like Lampanelli is not going to improve her image.
I know that people think that they can by, by doing the bear minimum but if you are not actively challenging your privilege, you're embracing it and perpetuating it. When you think about how evil and pervasive isms are, the very idea that neutrality isn't actively supporting oppression astounds me. You don't get back to sit back on your haunches, declare yourself a progressive liberal and then do everything in your power to oppress marginalized people. If Dunham doesn't say something publicly about this tweet, it will say far more about her, than any other protestation she has made to date.