It’s Not Racist If It’s A Joke

Posted: December 10, 2012 in racism
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve already covered Jamie Foxx giving “honor to God and (his) lord and savior Barack Obama”, well since he has pissed bunch of conservatives off he, of course is immediately brought on SNL.

He has already defended his blasphemy by saying it’s just a joke, and since you can say what you want, as long as it’s a “joke” he decided to joke around some more Saturday. This is his latest attempt at humor, “I got a new movie coming out ‘Django Unchained’. And in the movie I got to wear chains. But don’t be worried about it because in the movie I get out of the chains. I get free. I save my wife and I kill all the white people in the room. How great is that?”

The crowd goes wild so evidently they think that’s great. Would it be ok to replace white with black in that? I doubt it. I don’t think many people would like a joke like that, I know I wouldn’t like that any more than I like what Foxx said.

What do you think?

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Comments
  1. No, it wouldn’t be okay, because a white guy killing all the blacks in the room is stuff that really happened.

    The fact that it’s reversed is what *makes* it noteworthy, and makes it a humorous irony that it’s something that is both portrayed in the movie and therefore something he can joke about without fear of violent reprisal.

    Yes, it’s a double standard. In the context of history, it’s a completely justifiable one.

    I find the comment amusing.

    I don’t find it racist because I don’t see it as having any intrinsic negative prejudices or any belief of superiority attached. The mere mention of race is not what makes things racist.

    • truestorey says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t call him racist though, that was just the title. I couldn’t say if Foxx is a bigot or not, I think he is trying to be shocking now to get himself more attention, it’s working so far. It got him on SNL. I personally haven’t heard from him since he was in the video for “Blame it on the Alcohol”.

      To say that it’s ok for someone to joke about killing all the white people, by arguing, “they did it first” doesn’t fly. Reminds me of Obama justifying the debt he has built up by pointing at Bush, “He did it first!”

      • I didn’t say it was okay because ‘they did it first’. I said it was okay because there is no history of black men perpetrating mass violence on white men in this country, whereas there is ample evidence of the reverse. That’s what makes the movie and the scene noteworthy, and that’s what makes the comment humorous.

        He didn’t joke about killing white people in reality, he joked about his character killing white people in a movie.

      • truestorey says:

        You are right there has never been mass violence towards white men by blacks, unless you count all the white people who are singled out on the street by blacks in robberies and muggings every day, but I guess that doesn’t count, huh? That still doesn’t make it ok though. Where I have problem is with the “isn’t that great!?!” at the end of the comment.

        If I make a movie about a white man killing blacks for whatever reason, would it be ok to joke about it? The whole “well, since whites have held the black man down, it’s ok” bull does not make sense. There is not a man alive today that experienced slavery, there isn’t even a person alive who ever knew someone who experienced slavery. The civil war was 150 years ago, Jim Crow ended 50 years ago, so most people never even remember segregation. My mother started school the first year of segregation, that’s how long ago this crap was. I know that you are an older woman, I read your about page, so, how about you, do you remember, in your lifetime, any acts of mass violence perpetrated by whitey?

      • You think most people don’t vividly remember segregation? You think simply making segregation illegal ended discrimination?

        I am *extremely* fortunate to have grown up in a very diverse neighborhood. That is not the norm, I’m sorry to say. Police still routinely stop black or hispanics for no reason at all except that they are black or hispanic. There are still white people who are apparently so afraid of black teens with loud music they will open fire and kill them for no other reason than “they felt threatened”. Well, that’s reason enough for black teens to feel threatened and start shooting white men, claiming “stand your ground” and getting away with it, but I don’t really see that becoming a problem, do you? Do you really think if a black guy had shot an unarmed white teen there’d be any question of it being flat out murder? Yet in reverse it’s a question. It isn’t obvious, it’s “understandable”. THAT is bullshit.

        I’ve never been treated as if I’m a lesser person for the color of my skin. I’ve never been treated as if I’m a threat for the color of my skin. I’ve never been denied work because of the color of my skin. I’ve never had to be *exceptionally* careful and quiet around police because of the color of my skin. I’ve never been detained at a border crossing because of the color of my skin. I’ve never been assumed to be a shoplifter because of the color of my skin.

        When no one has to deal with these things, then maybe I won’t find the joke about a *movie* in which the black character kills the white ones funny anymore. Until then, it’s not that it’s funny “ha ha” it’s that it’s humorous irony, the reversal of everything that’s so usual and expected in this culture.

        When it isn’t exceptional, when it isn’t the departure from the ‘norm’ in movies and entertainment, when it isn’t *noteworthy*, then it won’t be funny.

        Until then, it will still be an amusing reversal of the historic norm of the “white hero” vanquishing all the black enemies as is too often seen in movies, video games, TV, and – sadly – real life.

        Can you actually provide all the mounds of evidence of “white people singled out by blacks every day” or is that just a common retort with no backing because you once knew a guy in New York who got mugged by a black guy therefore it must be some sort of epidemic. How about the masses of robberies, muggings, and murders by white people? Oh, right, because no one bothers to mention race when it’s white, only when it isn’t.

        No one is going out and “killing all the white men.” No one is advocating going out and “killing all the white men.” A black actor, who played a black character who kills the white characters found it funny that – for once – the black guy kills all the white guys.

        Stop making such a freakin big deal over it – it isn’t.

      • truestorey says:

        I guess we will have to just agree to disagree. I’m not arguing that discrimination no longer exists, I know it does, but it’s a blade that cuts both ways. I do thank you for your opinion though.

  2. sillystephie says:

    @Creative Metaphor: You say that the comment Foxx made is okay because of the historical irony, the fact that the exact opposite is what REALLY happened years and years and years ago, and that historical irony is what makes it “humorous.” The fact that a black man killing all the white people is obviously not what happened is the reason it’s okay to say what he did and why it’s okay that the audience laughed joyously when he said, “Isn’t that great!?”

    But, would it be okay if Brad Pitt starred in a movie about a wealthy plantation owner, who didn’t own any slaves, disagreed with slavery COMPLETELY, whose wife was abducted by black slaves and held as hostage for ransom money or forced to labor in the fields or for whatever reason, and then said on LIVE television, “I get to kill all the black people in the movie!! Isn’t that GREAT!?”

    Would that be okay?

    I mean, there’s still irony there. Obviously, a wealthy white woman being abducted, held against her will and forced to work the fields by a group of slaves during the age of slavery was not the norm.

    This antislavery character, portrayed by a white man, murdering slaves for taking his wife, just as in “Django Unchained,” would be a “departure from the norm.”

    So would it be okay for Pitt to brag about “killing all the black people?” Would it be acceptable for him to then add, “Isn’t that GREAT!?”

    And, possibly more important, do you think black people in our culture today would laugh about it? Or do you think they would be upset? And would anyone blame them for being upset? I don’t think I would.

    But, because this unkind comment was made about white people, we’re all supposed to laugh and be comfortable with being the dead end of the joke. And if we decide that we’re not comfortable, and we don’t think it’s so funny, then we’re racist, discriminating, intolerant.

    At the root of the matter, I don’t think it has anything to do with race at all.

    I don’t think ANYONE should say, “I get to kill all the —– people!! Isn’t that great!?”

    Because, no, murder is not great, no matter who is the victim, or who is committing it.

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