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January 12, 2005

Racial Humor

This is a difficult subject to write about, obviously, since people have so many different -- and deeply felt -- opinions on the subject.

I'm curious, though-- why does Oliver Willis presume himself permitted to keep harping on Michelle Malkin's Filipino heritage?

Let's put aside, for the moment, the question of whether a black person can demean another black person in the most thuggishly racist of terms.

Willis is black; Malkin is Fillipino. Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, that blacks are allowed to call each other "Uncle Tom," "Aunt Jemima" and worse (much worse), how does that "rule," if it is a rule, extend to Willis' attacks on Malkin?

Is he extending the rule to say that any minority can use racially-charged attacks on any other minority? Would he say, then, that a Korean or Hassidim can attack him on racial grounds?

I doubt it. I doubt that very much.

I think there's too much PC in the world. I don't like when people attack me for plainly-inoffensive jokes, just because they might have a racial or "homophobic" component, and I don't really relish applying this same thin-skinned standard to Willis.

But the left has announced these standards; they are the ones who most zealously prosecute racial "wrongdoing." They're the first ones to cry "racism" or "homophobia."

If they're going to employ such a strict standard against their enemies, doesn't it behoove them to observe that strict standard themselves?

Otherwise, we might begin to think that they're really not so committed to the idea of tolerance, color-blindness, and exquisitely finely-tuned racial senstitivity, so much as they're committed to using these standards as political clubs against their enemies while freely indulging in the occasional bit of race-baiting themselves.

We might begin to suspect that, you understand.

I think we should all give each other a bit of a break on these matters, myself.

Much of it depends on context and the spirit in which the joke is intended, of course. But I find that those on the left stubbornly refuse to take context and spirit into account when they're dealing with those on the right.

For example:

A long time ago Ann Coulter wrote an article in which she pointed out that Dick Clarke had singled out Condi Rice as being utterly clueless about Al Qaeda. Ann Coulter made the point that, were Clarke Republican-friendly rather than Democrat-friendly, there would have been a predictably obnoxious firestorm of outrage over his singling out a black woman as being incompetent, while not making similar charges against any white guys in the Bush Administration.

A fair point, I think.

So, to amplify Coulter's point in a humorous manner, I wrote Top Ten Other Judgments Dick Clarke Made About Condi Rice Based on Her, errrm, Appearance. (The link may take you too high; you will probably have to scroll down.)

Now, the whole point of the Top Ten was to accuse Dick Clarke of the most retrograde and absurd sort of racism. I didn't really think he was guilty of such racism; but I was exaggerating for comic effect. And of course Condi Rice wasn't a target at all; and neither, of course, was her race. I was defending her, in a roundabout, attack-her-enemies way.

The list got republished in a lot of forums. And I still remember one obnoxious liberals' comment on the list:

That must be the most racist thing I have ever read in my life.

Racist, she was saying, because I was accusing Clarke of having very over-the-top racist beliefs about Condi Rice. It just did not dawn on her at all that I was not endorsing such beliefs, but putting them into Clarke's mouth in order to attack him.

Either it didn't dawn on her, or she just deliberately ignored the clear intent of the piece in order to call a conservative a racist.

Either way. She was either stupid or an opportunistic and unprincipled partisan.

We see this all the time. Liberal comedians are permitted to make what I call "ironic racist" jokes-- they're not actually endorsing the racist remark; they're parodizing it in order to demean the sort of people who really do think such things -- and liberal crowds whoop and clap and laugh, understanding perfectly well that Jon Stewart (or whoever) had good motives in making the joke.

But they seem to utterly refuse to even contemplate the possibility that a conservative might similarly have good motives for such joking.

Jon Steward and I could make the exact same joke, with the exact same intent, but liberals would hoot for him and call me a racist.

It gets old, guys. We're tired of the double standard, and if you were more principled -- or simply more civil in dealing with political opponents -- you would also be tired of the double-standard.

What does this have to do with ol' Ollie? I'm not sure if has anything to do with it. Filet-O-Fish does seem to be making racial-allusions, if not racial insults, against someone he clearly despises; there doesn't seem to be any irony in his joke. He calls Michelle Malkin "Michelle Malagang" to emphasize she's Fillipino, for no particular reason I can divine.

I don't think he'd like it much if someone began referring to him as Oliver Chaka Zulu or something. And yet that would be the same sort of "joke."

So what is it, Oliver? Is that sort of "joke" permitted or not? it cannot be the case that you have license to indulge in race-baiting while your opponents are to be castigated for it.

Either live up to the standard you impose on your opponents or clean up your own goddamned act.

Wills is In Good Company, At Least! Check out the very thoughtful, tolerant emails Michelle Malkin gets day after day from enlightened, racially sensitive liberals:

Hi Self hating flat nosed Filipino Bitch! As we used to refer to your kind - little brown Fucking Machines. Looks like this little LBFM learned to whore in a different way to make some pesos. How sweet.

Classy.


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posted by Ace at 04:03 PM

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