Columns / Discourse / October 4, 2017

Response to “Is Comedy Desensitized to Bigotry?”

The article published last week regarding a comedy group and their insensitive, offensive behavior bothered me in a lot of ways, so I’d like to comment from my perspective. First of all, “the ability to judge what you should and shouldn’t say” isn’t really a relationship people have with people or comedy. It’s a matter of human decency and respect.

You think you’re devastated to see blatant racist behavior, especially here in Galesburg? It seems odd to think of a Galesburg local “retreat[ing] back into the safe space of Knox” as if he weren’t a part of the comedy act. And a white male saying another’s behavior “might as well been wearing blackface” seems inappropriate.

Comedy is NOT desensitized to bigotry. If anything, people that call themselves comedians may act as if they’re desensitized to bigotry, but that is likely just a negative side effect of not knowing when and where to draw the line and never having had to deal with the negative connotations of what they’re saying/doing.

After all this discussion of race and insensitivity, I was so disappointed that Joey said someone suggested “break[ing] up the sausage party and hav[ing] a chick check the troupe”. Seriously, “a chick” was the best they could come up with? Not knowing where to draw the line with racial jokes is real problem, and adding a female member to the group has NOTHING to do with that. How about a person of color (if they’d be willing)? Or perhaps just stop the troupe while you’re ahead because clearly there are boundary issues and you’ll only dig yourself into a deeper hole.

 

Deja Jenkins, Copy Editor

Tags:  bigotry Galesburg racism

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