Racial stereotypes are a big thing in mainstream entertainment today. While some of these stereotypes are considered racists there are some comedians out there making a killing by using their racial stereotypes in their acts. The comedians who are doing this though are not white people.
Dave Chappelle is one comedian who takes the stereotypes and incorporates them into his act. Some of the stereotypes he uses are that black people enjoy fried chicken, watermelon and only drink grape drink. As seen in the video above, Chappelle makes jokes about how white people hate on black people with these stereotypes. However, he also makes jokes about how this isn’t a reason to hate someone as well. Stereotypes can be funny but they are not there for people to be prejudice against another race. “Comic representations of race (i.e., exaggerated portrayals of racial traits) can be identified as a parody of the stereotype and a strategy of subversion, thereby opening up the possibility of critiquing the racial norm and rejecting prejudice.”(Park, Gabbadon, Chernin 2006)
The world we live in today is a lot less racist then the days of old. This is why I think these jokes are more accepted in society these days. The jokes portrayed by comedians such as Dave Chappelle and Aamer Rahman seem to be fine in today. However, there is still the backlash for people being racist in comedy. Remember Stephen Colbert’s tweet a couple weeks ago; Colbert has been at a ‘war’ with the Asian community because of a character he plays on his show The Colbert Report. A simple light hearted dig at the Asian community was condemned as being racist and insensitive however; if an Asian has said it do you think anyone would have kicked up a stink?
To sum up, is it fair for comedians like Dave Chappelle to pay out their own race during their shows along with other races, when if a white person was to do this they would get crucified for it and called a racist? Just some food for thought for you to think about.
Park J.H, Gabbadon N.G, Chernin A.R 2006, ‘Naturalizing Racial Differences Through Comedy: Asian, Black, and White Views on Racial Stereotypes in Rush Hour 2′, Journal of Communication, Vol.56, issue 1, pp.157-177
Headshottrev, 2007, Dave Chappelle- Grape Drink, YouTube Video, 23rd june, Youtube.com, Viewed 4th April 2014 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuTjQLfU6Gk>