By Lavern Merriweather:
The other night I was watching “Gotham Comedy Live” on the AXS cable network. The show has a different host every episode and this time it was Gilbert Gottfried. Mr. Gottfried made a very derogatory joke about former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Although there was quite a bit of laughter, some people in the audience actually groaned. I sat at home thinking that they were a bunch of whiny assholes. I say that, because if Mr. Gottfried had made a mean joke about Michael Jackson or R. Kelly i.e two black men, the crowd would have roared, as I have seen in the past with other white male comedians. It got me to wondering why is there this rush to vilify black male celebrities with humor yet a reluctance to attack white males the same way.
It’s not even just white males. I was also watching the stand-up Showtime show of my boy Dane Cook, whom I love. He told a joke that he had killed a little boy in a Madden football game. Then Cook mentioned that it was the Aaron Hernandez version and the audience reacted with groans rather than laughs.
Hernandez, for those who don’t know, is the former running back for the New England Patriots team. He was accused in 2010 of murdering a man by the name of Odin Lloyd where he was convicted by a jury this year several months ago. As a matter of fact, Hernandez is suspected in at least four other murders, yet his name is rarely if ever mentioned by many in the media. The same media that tripped over each other’s feet to yack about Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Rae Carruth, Ray McDonald and damn near any black male named Ray, except Ray Charles, is extremely silent about Hernandez despite the fact that he too was accused of murder and even found guilty. Somehow that is overshadowed by the guy who popped his wife on an elevator cam. Once more, the very folks in the media who scream like Banshees about a Negro are quiet when there isn’t one available.
They aren’t the only ones. Apparently, white folks at a comedy show don’t appreciate any supposed funny quips made about non-black folks. Adam Hunter is another white male comedian that hosted “Gotham” who alluded to Hernandez as well in a joke about a football video game. That group of people also didn’t take kindly to a man of color not from Africa being the target of a jokester. Interesting that they groan and get uncomfortable when the object of ridicule isn’t black, yet laugh like fucking hyenas any time something snide is said about an African-American.
I have known for a long time that many in the comedy world use that as a tool or rather excuse to criticize people that they don’t like. And by that I mean black folks. It has become so fucking commonplace that any diversion from it causes people to be turned off. That if there is the slightest attempt to make light of a situation not involving black people, well, that just ain’t acceptable.
Nice to know that it isn’t being tolerated anymore as in the recent discussion on the MTV show “Uncommon Sense” hosted by black male comedian Charlemagne. Charlemagne and his panel commented on the backlash towards the Hulu show “Difficult People” which is a show created and written by actress Amy Pohler. He stated that many people are upset and rightfully so because of a crass joke made by one of the stars about Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy. The female star of “Difficult” joked about Blue being old enough one day for R. Kelly to pee on her. That has caused a firestorm on Twitter as well it should. Some of the guests lamented that the joke crossed the line and went way too far since Blue is a child.
While I admire that they didn’t do the required slave act by agreeing with everything that the white people were saying, I am disappointed that they didn’t call out the show for its racism. Granted, they at least took them to the carpet for something. Still, I would have really liked to seen the issue of race mentioned. And I am going there with race, because of the growing list of white males that have been discovered lately to be perverts.
Recently, Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle, who made millions starring in their commercials, was investigated then arrested for having child porn on his computer. In addition, Fogle is equally guilty of soliciting then having sex with underaged prostitutes for money. (One of the girls was as young as 14.) He has since admitted to jacking off to pictures of 6 year-olds which were found on his laptop. He is the very definition of a scumbag.
Yet, I will be hard pressed to find as many white or black folks that practice stand-up for a living willing to attack him with the same fervor that they use for famous black males, particularly in light of some recent revelations. They still chose to demonize a black man on their stupid show. I haven’t exactly heard a plethora of jokes about Stephen Collins, Josh Duggar, especially now that Duggar is calling himself the world’s biggest hypocrite once he admitted that he was trolling for other women on the internet, or former representative Dennis Hastert. Duggar is a major league sleazebag but that obviously isn’t enough reason for white people to take a long cold hard look at themselves. They don’t like acknowledging that some of the folks they breed didn’t grow up to be model citizens as expected. That despite instilling on their children the mindset that white means ‘perfection’, some white folks leave a lot to be desired. It’s why a bunch of no talents can continue to pick on R. Kelly while eagerly ignoring the predator in their own backyard. I suspect it’s also the reason why reporter Chris Hansen’s show on NBC “To Catch a Predator” took so much flack before it was eventually cancelled. They were given a mirror image and they couldn’t handle the reality of what was looking back at them. Perhaps they found out that the chink in their armor of whiteness was worse than they had originally believed.