Note to Racists: At Least Be Funny

Look, I know it’s hard to run a small weekly paper like The Independent, a newspaper for Long Island, NY’s East End. Even if you potentially have rich readers in the Hamptons to help out, you’re still going to run on a shoestring budget.

Still, do you think you might pay your writers more so your editor wouldn’t end up writing a racist article about Barack Obama? And then running it during the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

I was telling this very thing to my wife AliBama the other night when we were in bed, umm, praying. I said, “AliBama, I want to be your next president so together we can begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.”

And she said, “YoMama, then why don’t you cut out the president shit and get a real job and make some freakin’ money?” But I explained I have plenty of money, because bleeding heart liberal Democrats from all across this vast country of ours have felt it in their hearts to send a contribution to my campaign so I can begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today and also because I need to buy my little daughter Bamma Slamma a PlayStation so she will get off my back.”

There’s also the fun part where the column says, “Ultimately, if [Hillary Clinton] gets too close, one of my New York advisors has advised me to ‘Bitch slap that ho.’ White women, I am told, like that.”

I’m not going to talk about the steaming helping of racism the newspaper’s serving us, though I will note that both the publisher and the editor and author of the piece have apologized. What I will say is, c’mon, if you’re going to be racist like that, at least be a funny racist.

This column is all over the place. In parts it paints Obama as a black man with little education; elsewhere it depicts him as not really being black at all. Focus, Rick Murphy! Pick one insulting stereotype and stay with it throughout!

While you’re at it, update your jokes. “Talk jive. Brothers want to hear jive.” Jive? What is this, the 1970s? The least you could do is pretend you’ve paid attention to newer African-American stereotypes and reference ebonics. That way your jokes would only be one decade out of date instead of three. And for all that is holy, don’t mix Valley Speak in there as well. “…you know, the system is, like, broken, y’all”? Have you paid attention to American pop culture since 1982?

In a further example of your unwillingness to commit to your article’s conceit, you took sideswipes at women and gays (“…I might consider bitch slapping [John Edwards], as he is somewhat of a Pretty Boy, if you get my jist[sic]”) but didn’t really drive the burning cross home. Me, I’d have left those out — being racist is enough work without adding in misogyny or other examples of hatred — but perhaps your shoulders are broad enough to carry them all.

Finally, don’t set up jokes and then not follow through. “I’m kind of like Will Smith, except he’s got those Dumbo ears and mine are normal. So, for the next six months, I am going to fly all over the country, and everywhere I speak…” See, you’re clearly setting up a joke about Obama getting his ears stretched so, like Dumbo and Will Smith, he can fly around the country, but then you don’t do anything with it. Or, and I’m just spitballing here, you could reference the racist caricatures of the ravens who gave Dumbo his feather, and maybe make them a stand-in for Oprah or Jesse Jackson or some other black celebrity whose name has reached you there in 1982.

Good grief. It’s like you’re not even trying.

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