#CancelColbert and America’s System of Racism

Colbertjoke1

 

Suey Park’s recent hashtag activism was #CancelColbert after a tweet quoting a sketch on his show that said “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” The hashtag was kept trending for a long period of time and has incited mass outrage…by liberals. There’s an irony there. Liberals will happily claim that they stand up for the poor, the minorities, the underdogs, anything except the rich white males who hold privilege in America…that is, until the focus is on a rich white male that they LIKE.

Now, Suey has had to deal with racial slurs and rape threats from liberals for being the same activist she was before the focus went towards Colbert. People are freaking out over her interview with Salon.com where she used the term “whiteness” and agreed that the white male is the enemy. Well, before the focus was on the poor judgement of a liberal white male, no one on the left took issue with that. It makes sense. In America, the straight cis white male has always held privilege. It is because of that privilege that the system of racism in this country exists and is so detrimental.

Let me first explain the system of racism, for those who don’t really understand it. You see, in America today, aside from the yahoos, the overt racism that once was prevalent is really more of background noise. It’s not the powerful force it once was. Today, however, there is still just as widespread racism as there always was. It just takes a different form, and this form is, in many ways, more insidious and harder to defeat. It’s a system of racism designed to discriminate.

On the right, within the political spectrum, you still see a bit of the overt racism, however. The difference is that they couch it in “I’m not racist, but…” which is usually followed by cliche’s like “black people are more often criminals” or “asians can’t drive.” The racism on the right stems from more of a xenophobic worldview.

On the left, it’s a level of hypocrisy that is cringe worthy. The left claims to be against racism in all forms. Your typical white liberal, however, is still afraid to go to black neighborhoods. The common sentiment is that it’s OK to make jokes about minorities that weren’t once slaves, because that’s not really racism. It’s OK to make racial jokes all around, so long as you don’t use one of the taboo racial slurs.

Now, let’s look at the system itself. Our system is designed to keep minorities poor. There’s no funding for minority dominated schools or neighborhoods. There is serious discrimination in hiring, even today. They’ll hire the minority person who acts the most like a white person, and call themselves diverse. I’ve even seen the executive management of a very large corporation exclaim that they’re promoting diversity, because they have a single female in management.

Our educational system and social structure makes getting a good education hard on minorities, and we’re outsources all of the unskilled labor jobs that could help to change that in a generation or two of people being able to make a good, honest living so their children can afford a good education.

Now, back to #CancelColbert and the liberal outrage. The majority of people that are outraged are white males. They’re so offended at being lumped in with the “bad guy” that they feel the need to make more racial slurs, and start going after Suey Park, claiming she’s being racist. Now, let’s think about this. Suey is an activist. Due to the racism in our society, there is a need for activism. When the activist is doing activism and expressing outrage, the liberals are going after her for the language she uses in her outrage…instead of going after the reason she’s outraged, the reason we need activism to begin with. Why? Well, the white male she’s going after is a liberal celebrity. Americans are good are throwing away their values, or at least showing their true colors, when it comes to famous people on TV.

So, I truly hope that Suey Park and others like her keep pushing the envelope and keep being the vocal activists that they are. In showing the true colors of those who claim to be allies under most other circumstances, they force us to take a good look at ourselves. I hope I’m not the only one who, when looking back at what the left looks like right now, doesn’t like what I see. THAT is more of a potential catalyst for change than any outside force could possibly be.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

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8 thoughts on “#CancelColbert and America’s System of Racism

  1. And where do you find separation from the character that Colbert is playing and the man himself? The Colbert show is a mockery of a conservative news show. It is in fact making fun of people who would be racist in that way. What is it about the mockery on that show that you and others don’t seem to be able to understand.

    • Actually, people understand that fairly well. The problem is that even in satire, you’re marginalizing another group of people to shed light on the marginalization of a different group. It could have been done just fine without having to use another minority.

      That said, if you read the Salon article, the intent was never to actually harm Colbert, and Suey is a fan of the show as well. The intent was to shed light on a systemic problem with racial stereotypes and racial language, even in comedy, and how that’s problematic.

      People always seem to think that under the guide of comedy, you can say whatever you want. Comics make rape jokes and race jokes all the time, and think it makes them funny and edgy. It doesn’t. It just offends and marginalizes people.

      Comedy can be done, and satire can be done, without that type of speech.

      Now, that said, even if there was nothing wrong with Colbert’s sketch, there is still a massive problem with the things liberals are saying towards Suey. The rape threats and racist comments are crazy. I think that, if nothing else, this event illustrated a mass hypocrisy in America’s left wing.

      • Oh, I don’t condone the nasty things pointed at Suey but I understand the frustration behind them. Censoring speech, whether self censored or enforced censorship is not something that I find agreeable in any form. For the sakes of not having such in comedy to highlight the negative side of it is to create a bigger problem. It seems to me that this is what is being sought at the expense of a show which is very good at highlighting the ugliness of some portions of our world.

      • I’d suggest reading the Salon interview I linked to in my post. The intent was never to actually get Colbert cancelled or censor speech. It was to spread awareness.

        That said, again, comedy can highlight terrible things without also perpetuating them.

  2. Interesting article… do not agree with all of it but yes I do believe racism is alive and well among Americans. I also noticed a smidgen of bias and racism on your writing style and word groupings.
    Calling people out on their thought patterns and beliefs of course causes dismay in the masses being attacked. It is human nature to react. Personally, I like Colbert, but not every thing from his mouth is ok. Is it his fault or the writers of the show? Lets face it we all are puppets on a string to some extent. This is his job just as Suey’s choice was to become an activist. Colbert’s job is entertainment and brights the moods through comedy. An activist’s approach is far from entertainment style and some see them as complainers.
    I do mott feel as if racism will never disappear completely because it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks…

  3. “Our educational system and social structure makes getting a good education hard on minorities”

    There is much evidence to suggest a strong link between socioeconomic status and educational opportunity. “Minorities” are at a disadvantage because they have so much more income disparity between them (think poor, undereducated gangster vs super-rich, undereducated athlete).

    Anyway, I would love to know your rationale behind your statement.

    • Sure, no problem. My rationale comes from the income disparity that you’re mentioning.

      Our educational system is setup, more so no with vouchers, so that the funding goes to the schools with the higher test scores. It’s self defeating, because you need the funding to improve the quality of education, to get the funding. The vouchers have allowed the mass exodus of students who can push up those test score averages out of the lower income public schools. These underfunded and often overpopulated schools are largely in areas that are largely populated by minority groups.

      Our social structure segregates both income and race in neighborhoods, serving the exact same purpose.

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