Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Even minorities can get it wrong

I didn't watch the Oscar telecast so I missed out on Chris Rock's and Sacha Baron Cohen's routines. Both, apparently, included brain-dead Asian jokes, according to Lowen Liu in Slate. Worse, both tried to structure the jokes in a meta-context so as to deflect criticism.

Comedians aren't philosophers or sociologists or psychologists: I don't expect them to analyze their material for hidden bias. I hope, though, that Rock and Cohen pay attention to the Asian-American community's reaction. The two funny men need to learn from their mistakes, which those jokes were. You don't get to mock (and thereby to lecture) a white audience on its privilege and implicit bias, then turn around and indulge your own blind spot against another minority.

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