ATR 21 – Apr 24, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –

The limitation of racial satire is the subject of Carmen’s rant today. What happens when people take it at face value and laugh for the wrong reasons? Should artists and comedians be held responsible for the way their work is perceived? We discuss many different examples of racial satire, including the new film CSA: Confederate States of America, the Chappelle Show, The Boondocks, Margaret Cho’s comedy, Sarah Jones’ performance art, and the new play Jewtopia.

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Jen discusses three recent news items. The Duke Lacrosse team rape case reveals some interesting (racist) patterns in the ways in which the media describe crimes perpetuated by black people versus those perpetuated by whites. Hines Ward’s visit to South Korea prompts the government to make some serious changes in the way it treats mixed Koreans. For the first time ever, a mixed black/Chinese woman enters the Miss Chinatown pageant in Los Angeles and wins third place! Finally, we mourn (ahem) the conclusion of the show we love to hate, Black.White.

Another installment of this favorite segment! Daniel shares his experience with diversity training, and an anonymous listener writes in about the perception that minorities (especially Latinos and Blacks) don’t need or don’t want jobs.

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Duration – 1:34:00
File Size – 43.1 MB
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3 thoughts on “ATR 21 – Apr 24, 2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 –”

  1. Concerning racial satire – along with Cho’s caricature of her mother, which has bothered me, I would also include a sketch on MadTV (not sure if it’s still part of the show) of some kind of “Asian woman” who is in fact played by a white woman. I’ve seen this sketch briefly on the show a few times, and have been deeply disturbed by it, and by how members of my family could laugh at it. I also think it’s really interesting to question and study WHY people laugh – a lot of times laughter comes out of discomfort, out of not really knowing how to deal with what they’re seeing. What I would ask, concerning comedians who do kind of “make fun” of themselves, how empowering that is for the comedian, and who your audience is — and what the line is between audience reaction and personal empowerment. I would also ask if the reaction you’re getting is the audience getting used to static stereotypes or actually joining with you in your complex struggles against racism (allowing stereotypes to “move” or become problematized), and which is more effective.

  2. I just discovered Adult Swim’s Minoriteam and I couldn’t help but think about Carmen’s rant.

    Where do I start? They’re a multiethnic group of superheroes whose powers are based on racial stereotypes. Their arch enemy is The White Shadow.

    I’ve only watched it once, but I’ll have to watch it again to let it sink in. Seems that some people think it takes an anti-racist approach while others think it’s anti-white. Anyway, the creators do seem to be aware of how the characters are perceived. For example, there’s a character called Racist Frankenstein of whom one of the creators, Adam De La Peña, says: “He’s a monster! He’s an idiot!” And his catch phrase is, ‘Me hit blacks with hands,’ which is one of the most horrible catch phrases. And I liked it too, because out of context, it sounds insane. So if people haven’t watched the show, which the vast majority of America hasn’t… but you watched it, and if you’re walking down the street saying Racist Frankenstein’s catch phrases, you’re gonna be in trouble.”

    I think this is Carmen’s concern with this kind of satire.

    If you’re interested the interview is here:

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