It’s never an admirable thing to be the white guy explaining to women or minorities why taking offense at a joke is wrongheaded, or to tell them that they’re being “too sensitive.” But in the case of #cancelcolbert, a topic that blew up on Twitter last night, I feel pretty confident in saying you’re being too sensitive. Or, I would say that, if I actually believed any of it was sincere. The avalanche of outrage panic, offense-taking, meta-racism, meta-anti-racism, and plain old fashioned dumb, a response to a tweet from the Colbert Report’s Twitter account last night, is a breathtaking cavalcade of concern-trolling, disingenuousness and conservatives trying to do irony. It’s not pretty. Wade through the mystical swamp of phonies here.
The tweet in question, which was a quote from a bit from the show on Wednesday night, was Colbert’s attempt to satirize just how ridiculous the stance of the Washington Redskins owner Dan Synder has been in response to the controversy surrounding the team’s name. Reasonable people can disagree on whether or not the deeply self-reflexive character, a staple of Colbert’s show for years, is funny or not, but its unfuniness is sort of the entire point. Colbert is playing a character all the time, and playing an even more obliviously racist character within the character just might be too many levels of remove for conservatives and the professional offense takers of the far left, the two least funny groups of people in the world, to understand.
Recognizing a chance to act like an obtuse false equivalency shit-head when she sees it, Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy got the ball rolling after noticing a few people complaining about the joke on Twitter.
#CancelColbert because white liberals are just as complicit in making Asian Americans into punchlines and we aren’t amused.
— Suey Park (@suey_park) March 27, 2014
It quickly picked up steam, becoming a trending topic that eventually prompted Colbert and the Comedy Central-run account to clarify.
For her part, Suey Park, one of the agitators for the hashtag, has said she’s been receiving numerous death and rape threats, and responses that prove white liberals aren’t as progressive as they pretend to be.
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) March 28, 2014
It goes without saying that threatening someone on Twitter, especially a woman, is horrible and disgusting, and anyone who does that deserves to be shamed. There are all sorts of reasons why these two are dumb that have absolutely nothing to do with their race or gender.
As for being sick of what liberals do? I’m sort of sick of them picking apart every last ally they have. So let me mansplain this as clearly as I can: racist jokes are bad and not funny. Making fun of racists by playing one as a meta character is not the same thing. It’s not that your sense of outrage is wrong, it’s just that it’s pointed at the wrong guy.