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View Diary: Out-of-context joke sparks Twitter campaign to cancel Colbert (713 comments)

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  •  Actually, now that you mention it, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhancock
    if he had used African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans as a "target," it would not have gone over at all, so why should it be acceptable to use Asians as the "target?"
    The satire works even more effectively because Colbert & his writers chose the most benign, best-regarded minority in American culture.  To juxtapose obvious, denigrating slurs against Asians & Asian-Americans to highlight the invisibility of racism against Native Americans is to give a highlight that otherwise would not have been able to be effected.
    •  Which is ok if you're not Asian-American? (0+ / 0-)

      I can see why Asian-Americans might be offended, and I think if they are, they should be able to criticize Colbert without being subjected to a racist barrage of would-be Colbert defenders. Colbert didn't ask for their defense and doesn't need it. If these defenders are seen as bigoted liberals, which may or may not be the case, then how does that help promote liberal values.

      The whole point of satire is that it might pierce the bubble of the bigots and allow them to see their bigotry for what it is, not that people who "get it" can pat themselves on the back for how clever they are.

      As I said earlier, you can't satirize racism without pretending to be racist, and people sometimes don't make the distinction between the two, but the racism against Ms. Park is not satirical, and it exposes the supposed racist underbelly that liberalism is often accused of. When the left is shown in such a light, it is used against them. This is not necessarily a bad thing because the left does need to realize that there is racism and sexism etc. among its ranks, and incidents like this don't allow the left to pretend otherwise. Futhermore, it should be remembered that it is not only right-wingers who need to be mindful of others.

      No matter how apt the parallel, if the controversy of slurring Asian-Americans even in jest overshadows the point about the racism against Native Americans, is the joke even really any longer an effective commentary helpful to them? Furthermore, if the overall effect is to incite only more racism against another group is this a desirable outcome? Are the Asian-Americans supposed to take one for the team? But which team is that? Hopefully, Colbert will be able to flip it some way again so that both Asian and Native Americans and others will be content, but satire doesn't usually work that way.

      I am not upset with Colbert's satire, but with the reaction of some people to Ms. Park, which reveals more about the racism in our culture than we like to admit, and the excuse of defending Colbert is a fig leaf.

      "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

      by politically indigo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:00:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be clear, (0+ / 0-)
        I am not upset with Colbert's satire, but with the reaction of some people to Ms. Park, which reveals more about the racism in our culture than we like to admit, and the excuse of defending Colbert is a fig leaf.
        I was referring to Colbert's use of satire, not any slurs that may have come to Ms. Park as a result of her statements.

        I believe that it is possible to separate Colbert's use of offensive language to upend racist language in general & the actual use of racist language to silence a critic.  I don't believe that defending Colbert's bit, or his comedy on the whole, or satire itself, is the same trying to justify any racist comments directed at Ms. Park.  The conflation is, IMO, rather intellectually dishonest.

        •  Well, if you want to get personal about it, I see (0+ / 0-)

          that you have taken offense. I can understand why you would think I was conflating the two if you felt that I was implying that your defense of Colbert was the same as attacking Ms. Park. Since you did not attack her, I wonder why you might think this. I assumed you realized that I understood that you were defending Colbert's use of satire. I wasn't including you as one who was attacking Ms. Park, but those who did attack her used their defense of Colbert as their rationale for doing so.

          Most often when someone is offended it is not usually the intention of the offender to do so. Colbert did not intend to offend Ms. Park, and she probably realized that he was being satirical, since she is familiar with his comedy, and yet she was offended anyway. This is one of the hazards of language, and with satire even more so. I think Ms. Parks cry to cancel the show speaks more to the degree of her anger than to any real desire to cancel the show. I think she had a right to vent her feelings, and I think people who disagreed with her had a right to civilly disagree. The racist attacks on the other hand, No.

          Like you, "I believe it is possible to separate Colbert's use of offensive language to upend racist language in general & the actual use of racist language to silence a critic."  Which is along the lines of what I first thought when reading the article. I believe that even the satirical "target" may have the ability to do so, but I can also see that it is a more difficult situation because it is not merely an abstraction in that case. And your statement also leaves open the possibility that it is possible for someone not to separate the two. When this happens should we simply dismiss this person or try to understand where they are coming from. What would Colbert do?

          "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

          by politically indigo on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:15:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for your clarification. (0+ / 0-)

            For the record, I apologize for coming across as though you intended to target me.  On my side, I had been reading through another community's characterization of the whole episode, wherein there was conflation of the two stances.  (Moreover, there have been some folk here doing the same.) Your wording seemed very similar to theirs, but your words are yours alone.  I again apologize for letting their characterizations color how I interpreted your statement.

            Most often when someone is offended it is not usually the intention of the offender to do so. Colbert did not intend to offend Ms. Park, and she probably realized that he was being satirical, since she is familiar with his comedy, and yet she was offended anyway. This is one of the hazards of language, and with satire even more so.
            I completely agree with you.  Language is amazingly powerful & often fraught with pitfalls.  Comedians are expected to adroitly traverse such treacherous terrain.  That we've ended up here means that something went terribly awry.
            •  "That we've ended up here means that something (0+ / 0-)

              went terribly awry."

              I'm glad you can see that.

              What worries me is the thin veneer under which lies so much hostility. That is why I responded to the two remarks against Ms. Park above mine. They made me see that she had a point.

              "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

              by politically indigo on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:16:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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