Did you know that you’re racist? You are. Just ask this black man 28-year-old white girl (pictured above) who writes for Jezebel.
“ It’s, you know, introducing your black friend as “my black friend”—as a joke!!!—to show everybody how totally not preoccupied you are with your black friend’s blackness… [people who] believe that not wanting to be racist makes it okay for them to be totally racist. “
The gist of her article is that a joke about racism is actually a form of racism, in and of itself. If you jokingly say, “Black people are lazy,” that joke immediately transmogrifies into real racism — a communion wafer turning into the n-word on your tongue.
Continues Lindy: “Sure, you can’t say racist things anymore, but you can pretend to say them! Which, it turns out, is pretty much the exact same thing.”
It is? It’s the same thing? Really? So, there is no such thing as a joke? Everyone who pretends to be horrible actually is horrible? When a child says, “Grrr, I’m a werewolf!” we should shoot it with a silver bullet.
I guess no one in Lindy’s world engages in the timeless act of busting their friend’s balls. They just all squeal and run around in vintage eyeglasses and complement each other on what not-racist hipsters they are.
I suppose that Lindy is trying to write a socially conscious article. She is, essentially, just asking white people to be sensitive, right? However, she is doing it in a weirdly racist way. That is, she acts like people who aren’t white have no sense of humor, do not possess the ability to discern ironic racism from real racism, cannot choose who to be friends with, and need to be protected (by her) from jokes made by hipsters. She’s the underground railroad of Jezebel. Black people, sleep easy now. Jezebel has your back.
The main reason I think her article is bullshit is because my boyfriend Marcus is Puerto Rican and I make fun of him all the time for it. Then he makes fun of me for being half-Jewish. We have what is called “a good relationship” — the kind where you can freely joke with each other, and even — gasp! — be ironically racist.
When we first started dating, I bought him soap that said “Hispano” on it and gave him a card that said “Because you are a dirty Spic.” Why? Because I love him and I knew it would make him laugh.
(I should note that the main reason ironic racism is funny is because people like Lindy write articles about how it’s not funny. So, if you really hate ironic racism, stop writing tightass holier-than-thou articles about it.)
Ironic racism differs from real racism in one main way: it is play acting. It is a commentary on racism, because racism is a horrible thing. It’s not funny because racism is secretly wonderful and we want to joke about it so that we can passive aggressively say what we really mean and get away with it. It’s funny because… Well. Actually, I don’t even know if it’s that funny. It’s kind of hacky. All I know is that it’s not RACISM.
And — here’s the kicker — when white people are around, we don’t joke this way. Why? Because, as it turns out, white people are easily offended! A million times more so than my Spanish boyfriend, who isn’t offended at all.
Also, if it bothered him, he wouldn’t look to Lindy West to write an article asking people to stop. He would break up with me and move out.
Why? Because he’s not a pathetic, overly sensitive minority who is nothing more than a victim to the white hipsters in his immediate environment. He’s a self-actualized man who can tell the difference between real racism (like when he was falsely accused of shoplifting as a teenager) and joke racism (like gifted soap).
I asked Marcus what he thought of Lindy’s article, and this is what he said:
“The existence of white guilt is one thing that makes me glad I’m not white. It’s the most pathetic, annoying, lopsided, stupid fucking thing in the world. People like that are hostile to comedy. They’re hostile to art.”
But he said it from bed, because he’s lazy.
An image of Marcus with a black puppet, because we are bad people:
UPDATE: our old editor Arvind Dilawar wrote this about the HBO GIrls ordeal. We’ve already said most of it so we didn’t run it but this is a great part…
“I was born and raised in Queens, in a neighborhood so full of minorities that I didn’t have have a white friend until I attended high school in Manhattan. I grew up with black and Hispanic kids saying nigga all the time, and said it myself without an issue — until I met white kids like Max Read; you know the type, kids who feel uncomfortable about race, so they enforce a blanket approach in condemning and censoring everything as a means of proving they aren’t racist.”