Comedy has been used as a positive social tool for thousands of years. It has bridged gaps, shared information, and aided our understanding of the world since ancient times – sometimes, though, humor can be no laughing matter. Jokes at the expense of BIPOC, JLGBTQ+, and other underrepresented communities have gained massive popularity since the Trump presidency in a worrying trend that continues to go unchecked. Our proposed solution to comedy’s recent alt-right coup? Widespread censorship.
The BIPOC/JLGBTQ+ community has been victimized by oppressive social norms for generations. Jokes at their expense serve as just one example of humor’s negative potential, but are even more indicative of these minority communities’ larger struggle.
Satire is a weapon. There are no two ways about it. White male bigots use fake-news-adjacent dogwhistles to attack and diminish marginalized groups in any of their struggles for equality, even going so far as to appropriate minority identities for “comedic” effect. These incidents of textual blackface often utilize hyperbolic stereotypes that paint minorities’ daily lives and struggles as nothing but one big joke. Satire writers who have never experienced the pain and suffering of minority life spin their offensive smear pieces so that “everyone” can laugh at the underprivileged, mocking oppressed communities both in spite of and partly due to their complete lack of reference when it comes to these communities’ lived experiences. Ever wonder why womxn and minorities never participate in satire? It’s because they know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of harmful “jokes” made by their oppressors.
This practice is often referred to as “punching down” – someone in a privileged position of power belittling another who is unable to defend themselves due to their disadvantaged place in unjust power structures. Imagine a slaveholder making fun of their “property”, or a certain misogynistic orange celebrity mocking a disabled reporter. These are both examples of punching down, and are both equally harmful to their victims.
Punching down is often used by other hateful individuals such as Ulster Scot Mark Meechan aka “Count Dankula” who taught his girlfriend’s pug to Nazi salute on command because “it’s just a prank, bro.” It comes to no surprise that Count Dankula is also friends with British right-wing extremist youtubers Paul Joseph Watson and Carl Benjamin “Sargon of Akkad” who all repeatedly hide behind layers of irony and sarcasm.
YOU CAN BE A MONSTER,
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Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special perfectly sums up this brand of misogynistic white supremacist “humor”. He even mentions multiple times that he is punching down. In his set Chappelle mocks the JLGBT+ community before implying that trans womxn are invalid, suggests that his audience beat up lesbians and other non-cishet individuals, and even defends JK Rowling’s blatant racism and transphobia. While his defenders may hide behind the facade of “free speech,” this two-hour barrage of bigotry clearly crosses the line into hate speech – something which is not protected by the first amendment.
And what happened to the Netflix employees who fairly requested that the special be removed so as to ensure a safe work-environment for their JLGBT+ colleagues? They were forced to walk out of the company after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings denied their humble requests.
We here at Cinch News recognize that we possess a worldwide audience who cares about minority communities and is passionate about social justice. It is for this reason that we encourage everyone reading this to cancel their Netflix subscriptions. It’s the only way to show the capitalists in charge that we will not tolerate bigotry in our media. If we cannot vote with our ballots (as evidenced by the fraudulent 2016 election and multiple false accusations by ex-President Donald Trump regarding the integrity of the 2020 election), we will vote with our dollars.
We also encourage you to tell Dave Chappelle that the BIPOC/JLGBTQ+ communities are valid and that Amy Schumer is a much funnier comedian.