I missed a couple of weeks again! I had really good excuses but never mind that. I’m going to try to hit on a few things that have come to my attention in the last few weeks. Enjoy the rapid fire journey!
South Dakota lawmakers, in a display of “patriotism” passed a law requiring the national motto “In God We Trust” to be prominently displayed in all public schools.
It may feel like this is a violation of the separation of church and state and no doubt that will be tested. I think it will actually stand because “In God We Trust” is actually our national motto and Donald Trump has been allowed to seat two conservative Christian white dudes on the Supreme Court.
You can argue that “In God We Trust” is a shitty national motto and far worse than the one it replaced (E Pluribus Unim or “Out of Many, One) but it doesn’t matter because it’s still the national motto. You could also argue that the word “God” could be referring to any god and not just the Christian god it clearly refers to.
Hiding behind patriotism is the dodge that really pisses me off. I mean they have to do that because if they admitted their motivation was to put God on every public school wall because Christianity just isn’t enough places in our lives already, even Brett Kavanagh and Clarence Thomas might need to stop hitting on their clerks long enough to strike the law down. But the transparency of the act is galling. Of course this is about religion.
If you wanted it to be about patriotism, you’d just pass some law about posting the bill of rights in every school.
For the record, I’d be 100% behind that one. Kids should know their rights. Read More…
Roseanne Barr and Whataboutism
The big news of last week was Roseanne Barr’s popular sitcom being shut down because she tweeted something seriously racist.
For those unaware of what she tweeted, I’m going to show you. This is in reference to Valerie Jarrett, who is black:
It’s important to understand that comparing people of color (specifically black people) to apes is not just kind of racist. It is part of a long history of dehumanizing black people.
So what she said wasn’t just a “misstatement,” it was racist as fuck.
Barr has made racist statements in the past and has been publicly supportive of Donald Trump (as is her right), who is also a racist. And a sexual predator. We shouldn’t forget that Trump is a sexual predator.
This one, however, got her fired. And that doesn’t piss me off because free speech is not consequence free speech.
It does piss me off that a whole lot of other people are out of work because of what Barr said. Now, that’s the way this shit goes sometimes. They all knew Barr had a tendency to say outrageous things and they took that risk. The likely assumed the fact the show was enjoying high ratings might protect them from all but the most egregious things their star might say online.
Bad news: She said the most egregious thing.
Still, in the midst of liberal dance jams celebrating the fall of Roseanne, remember that our racist in chief is going to give Roseanne a golden parachute of some kind because he has shown the unending capacity to reward those who show him loyalty. Like Dinesh D’Souza.
So while Barr will carry on supported by the most nepotistic President in history, the rest of her cast and crew is out of work. They will find other work. But let’s remember that when Barr took herself off the air, she got a shit ton of other people fired in the process and they are not as likely to enjoy the love of the right Roseanne will enjoy.
Of course, a side effect of Trumpism is what John Oliver calls Whataboutism (he didn’t originate it but I heard it from him so I’m giving him credit).
Since Roseanne Barr got in trouble for being a racist, the right has immediately started looking for left leaning celebrities to punish. While this is fallacious reasoning, they don’t care. They can’t blame Barr for being racist so instead they want to find someone they can point to as a liberal who didn’t get punished for doing the same thing Barr did.
This allows them to remain the victimized underdog despite the fact they control all three branches of the Federal government, most governor mansions, and most state legislatures.
So what they came up with was Whoopi Goldberg and a shirt she was “wearing.”
I put “wearing” in quotes for a reason. The reason, of course, is that this image is a complete fucking fake. You can actually tell it is doctored if you know anything about doctoring images.
But that really doesn’t matter. What matters is to switch the conversation from Barr being a racist to Goldberg wearing a horrible shirt about Trump killing himself.
And let’s be clear – while I believe all of us (especially people of color) would be a lot better off if Trump was not our President – I don’t want him to shoot himself. I wouldn’t wish that on his family any more than I would wish all of the people working on “Roseanne” would lose their jobs because their star is a racist shitbag.
When you point out this photo is doctored to conservatives, their response is basically “yeah but she probably wore something that offensive at one point and besides whatever you used to find the proof it’s fake has a liberal bias because we conservatives are persecuted and that’s why we control all three branches of the federal government, and most governor’s mansions and state legislatures.”
They don’t care. Even though the most un biased proof in the world is just looking at the picture. It’s doctored! Holy shit! Are you willfully blind or actually blind?
Later in the week, conservatives shifted their attention from the fake picture of Whoopi Goldberg to a real thing Samantha Bee said on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”
In talking about immigration, Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt.” She has since apologized because it was a poor choice. It wasn’t very funny. And when you are a comedian, being funny is top priority.
Barr should realize that as well.
Cries have gone up for Bee to be fired because, you know, double standard liberal bias blah blah blah. I mean, Barr apologized, right? And she got fired. But Bee didn’t. Yet. LIBERAL BIAS!
Now let’s understand the difference between racism and calling the President’s daughter a bad name.
One is racism. Full stop.
What Bee said was pretty stupid. Her and her writers had opportunities to make a different choice. They probably thought they were being edgy. But they were just calling Ivanka Trump a name. A really horrible name. A name that really didn’t do anything useful.
And look – I’m completely against tone policing. You want to use the c-word to describe someone, that’s your call. But you’d better have a really good fucking reason for doing so and if your reason is “it’s a punchline,” it needs to be the best fucking punchline you’ve ever uttered. The odds are just saying “cunt” is not going to be the best punchline you’ve ever uttered.
The right suggests that Bee’s apology is disingenuous because she had to know what she was doing when she said the word.
And yeah, she did. I’m a comedian. I’ve performed in some really offensive shows and when I’ve said offensive stuff. I knew what I was doing every time.
I’ve also crossed the line and been called on crossing the line. And I apologized.
Not because I didn’t know what I was doing. But because I got it wrong. I thought what I was doing was clever and funny and it was just stupid and wrong. When you screw up, you apologize and that apology can be sincere even if you thought you knew what you were doing at the time. Samantha Bee got it wrong and her apology is basically saying she got it wrong.
Should her show be cancelled? Probably not. Because getting it wrong is different from being a fucking racist.
In the end, though, none of us are talking about racism. And if we can really get to the heart of what pisses me off about all of this, it is that last bit.
What Barr said was racist. Comparing a black woman to an ape is racist and demeaning.
Barr has been racist for a long time. The people supporting her (specifically Trump) are also racist. They don’t like it when people point that out because being racist is bad. And it should be.
Doctoring a picture of a black celebrity to counter what Barr said doesn’t solve the fact that what Barr said was racist.
Tone policing what Bee did just takes attention away from Barr being a racist.
So what we aren’t doing is talking about racism. Barr had the number two show in the country and she’s been racist for a long time. This time she crossed a line and couldn’t walk back to the other side.
But she’s going to be rewarded for that racism because the most powerful man in the country is a racist.
People should lose their jobs for being openly racist. Trump should never have been hired in the first place because he is openly racist.
So please, let’s forget about the fact that Samantha Bee made a bad joke at the expense of the President’s wealthy, powerful, and attractive (to the President) daughter. Because Ivanka Trump can take it.
I mean seriously, stop worrying about Bee’s language choices for a moment to recognize that at the end of all of this, Ivanka Trump is doing just fine. You want to be offended on behalf of anyone in this entire endeavor, how about being offended for Whoopi Goldberg because she’s the only person who didn’t do what people are accusing her of doing. She’s also the only person of color.
You know who isn’t doing just fine? People of color in America. Because our President is a racist and he’s going to give Roseanne Barr a job while all those other people who worked with Barr, most of whom are not racist, won’t get a call from the white house.
Barr, Bee, Ivanka and yes, even Whoopi Goldberg are all sideshows to that basic fact. The racists are winning. Trump even said it himself this week (he said “we are winning” and may have meant “conservative jackasses like me are winning” but “racists” is just as likely). If you want to be pissed off about anything, be pissed off about that.
Post racist America is alive and well in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
14-year-old Brennan Walker (yes – you read that right – he’s fourteen) missed his bus and he got lost. Sounds pretty scary, right? Not compared to what happened next.
Next, he rang a doorbell to ask directions. The woman who answered the door freaked out and said he was trying to rob them. Because most robbers ring the doorbell.
Her husband grabbed a gun and that’s when Brennan ran. As he was running away, the dude shot at him. Fortunately, he missed or Brennan would be a statistic and his murderers would be claiming they were in fear for their lives to avoid going to jail.
And they probably were.
Because they are racist fucks who freaked out when a black kid came to their door. The guy who shot at Brennan (who was convinced he was a “good guy with a gun”) is facing charges but we all know he’s probably going to get away with it. Because a fourteen year old kid asking for directions was a credible threat.
What’s sad is Brennan’s mom told him this could happen. She warned him that people would be afraid of him because he’s young and black. The warning probably saved his life because he ran away from the murdering racists before they could murder him.
Isn’t it great, though, that the mothers of black young men need to prepare them for situations like this? Because they actually happen?
I think we all know that I find the anti vaccination movement one of the worst things in the world today. It’s hard that I can rank anything above our President but as of yet, he has done less real harm. He still has three more years, though (fuuuuuuck).
This particular anti vax kook has an argument that really puts her on the fringe of the movement since she has managed to combine being a naturopathic nut with being a complete right-wing Christian crazy person. It’s a neat trick!
She argues that vaccines can’t be good because god didn’t mention them in the Bible. Which, I must admit, is true.
What’s odd here is that right-wing Christians would freak out if I asked them why god didn’t mention cars in the Bible. Or airplanes.
Because it’s stupid. Whether or not god wrote the Bible, smart people can agree he didn’t bring up stuff like vaccines and cars because it wouldn’t make any sense to the people who were reading it when it was written.
If god had written “Thou shalt yield to the driver on the right when stopping at a four way stop sign,” the hebrews would have said “what the fuck are you talking about god?”
And god would have said “It’ll make sense in a few thousand years.”
And they would have said “can we focus on getting out of this desert right now and then figure out what you mean by four-way stop sign?”
A similar conversation would have happened had Jesus said “How blessed are the unvaccinated for they shall have a lower risk of autism.”
But hopefully it would have involved a fact checker to tell Jesus that the study he was citing had been discredited. Read More…
President Elect Trump
Well yeah, I kind of had to lead with this, didn’t I?
For the last several weeks, I’d been hopeful that come election day, I wouldn’t have to write about Donald Trump any longer. Maybe one more column about how much of a sore loser he was, as we all expected. Instead, he is going to be our President for at least four years.
As a comedian, I should be happy. Hillary isn’t nearly as easy a target as Donald Trump and the parade of people he is going to include in his cabinet. They will say and do things worthy of ridicule on a nearly daily and certainly weekly basis.
I’m a little bit worried, though, that while I’m making jokes about Trump and his cabinet, they will be working on ways to take rights away from same-sex couples in the name of “religious freedom.” I’m a lot worried that they will be creating a country in which Hispanics and muslims are treated with mistrust and hostility simply because of their race and/or faith. I’m a lot worried that my transgender friends will face a supreme court openly hostile to their identity.
But let me tell you what has me super worried – that people who are upset with this outcome will throw up their hands and say they can do nothing because the DNC screwed them out of the candidate they wanted. They will blame others for the fact this happened.
We are all to blame. When almost 50% of eligible voters stay home rather than vote for anyone, we are to blame. When we allow people to say “they are both terrible” when one of those two people is President because he spouted a racist and xenophobic agenda, we are to blame. When we whine because our perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot instead of recognizing that 75% of what we want is far better than 10% (if that) of what we want, we are to blame.
When we angrily shake our fists at a system in which we refuse to take part because all we ever do is vote once every four years, we are to blame.
Donald Trump won because people who have never been excited about voting got off their asses and turned up. I don’t care why they turned up. The fact is they turned up.
If you read my blog, you probably voted. Odds are you didn’t vote for Trump. Some of your might have voted Stein or Johnson but you didn’t vote Trump. You are as upset as I am right now, I would imagine.
So once you stop being angry, you have to ask yourself, what am I going to do now?