Saturday, February 5, 2011

Racism Isn't Ironic

An Idiot Abroad has been running for a while now. If you haven't heard about it, the show is premised on following a inexperienced British man on a trip around the world, so that everyone can laugh at the racist things he says. One of the creators is Ricky Gervais. Something happened recently that made me think of it. 

My partner's father has a tendency to say offensive things. My partner had a tendency to do impressions of his father saying offensive things. He wasn't recounting stories, just saying what he thought his father would say in a given context. 

It got kind of irritating. 

"You know, just because you're saying something in your dad's voice, doesn't mean that you're not the one who's actually saying it."

My partner thought about this for a moment. 

"Yeah, you're right." 

So he pretty much cut it out. 

Ironic/hipster racism - of which An Idiot Abroad is a prime example - works the same way. You can put an ironic tone on it, be all like, "This is what a racist person would say! Ha ha! We're not like that!" But ultimately, you're the one who came up with the racist stuff, and decided that it needed to be shared. 

Ironic racism really is just plain racism. 

1 comment:

  1. So very true. If anyone tries "ironic" racism in my precence in the future, I'll use those handy words of yours. Not their voice but their words indeed.


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