Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Aussie Philosophy: It isn't racist if it's done in the name of comedy?

I have a message for anyone that feels that Harry Connick Jr and the rest of us are being oversensitive about the disgusting display broadcasted on Hey Hey Its Saturday Night: we're not being oversensitive. When an individual or a group finds something you believe to be amusing incredibly insulting and offensive just because you claim that it was a joke, doesn't mean it is or that we should all be laughing. In fact, instead of continuing to portray yourselves as backward and ignorant, perhaps taking the time to do a little research and educating yourselves is in order. I'm not claiming that there isn't ignorance and racism in the rest of the world, but claiming ignorance because your country historically has been racist towards other groups (I don't think anyone can deny that Australia has a colonial past just like many other nations) is no excuse to continue laughing once you've been told the joke you're telling is wrong.

The fact of the matter is, The Jackson Five are African Americans. The Jackson Jive did a disservice to these Black music icons by portraying them in such an offensive light. Blackface has a history of specifically targeting African Americans, and using imagery with such a legacy of hate against this specific group which the Jackson Five identifies as is appalling. The fact that the group performing questioned whether or not to do the act in the first place displays that they were not completely ignorant to the potential controversy the act would bring.

I commend Harry Connick Jr for taking a stand and calling out the act for what it was. It was inappropriate. In the era of a technologically connected planet, it should be no surprise that the world would be alerted to this ignorance and would cry fowl (and justly so in my opinion).

By no means do I believe that this ignorance is a complete or accurate portrayal of all Australians. But defending stupidity when u just let your asses be shown to the world is not improving your image on the world stage. The network did the right thing for immediately apologizing when realizing that what they had done was going to be an issue. The rest of the Australian public that feels this act is still funny would do well to stop talking about things they very obviously do not understand.

Those who continue to believe and vocalize that because the performance was meant as a joke and therefore cannot be racist realize this: not all racism is overt (although taken out of the context of Australian entertainment Blackface performed like this is overtly racist). A spade will be called a spade regardless if it wears the mask of comedy. Be prepared for the rest of the world to see you as backwards racists.


Business Cards Printing said...

I agree with you. I think that it was unintentional, but I guess there's a little problem with how they presented it. It wouldn't be insulting if there's none.

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