Video: Micropolis Live - Funny or Racist?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Crissle West in The Greene Space (The Greene Space)

We love our Pryor, our Chappelle, our Key & Peele – so why do we spend so much time being outraged by racial humor?

For the next installment of his Micropolis Live series on race and culture in New York City, host Arun Venugopal gathered a panel in The Greene Space on Wed, May 27 to talk comedy, asking: when does it effectively push our buttons and when is it just plain ugly? 

He was joined by Desus Nice of Desus vs. Mero, writer and co-host of hit comedy podcast The Read, Crissle West, Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Yang and comedian Guy Branum 

Watch the entire conversation below, and weigh in on Twitter with #Micropolis: 
Note: This video contains explicit language

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Comments [3]

Leatrice from NYC

It's interesting how white people try to define what is racist to black folks.

Jun. 06 2015 12:38 PM
Bob

Very interesting discussion. On some level, though, seems like people got in their demographic corners and came out swinging. So, not sure how constructive it was. I wonder if we can't accept that if someone is making a joke, they are generally not trying to hurt anyone and are just trying to bring levity to sometimes painful issues. That's kind of what humor is for. If you can't joke about pain, you can't joke.

May. 31 2015 10:24 AM
EM from United States

I thought this was a GREAT conversation, but it did seem like white women came out as the punching bag here.

In particular, when Crissle West took issue with Iggy Izalea for calling out sexually violent rap music. West scoffed at Izalea because rap has been like that for years. Is that really a reason to dismiss sexual violence? For all of her saying on this panel how offensive it is when a comedian jokes about a group s/he's not a part of, I was disappointed West then went and made several generalizations about white women--and acted as if Sarah Silverman is representative of white women. I was also disappointed that Guy, who also made some great points, saying "this panel is powered by women's offense." The whole panel was about the idea that people are sometimes allowed to take offense at comedy, and yet only white women are belittled--even when there was not a white woman on the panel--for taking offense (even though no white woman was taking offense!)! Did you also notice how a couple of the panelists lightly made fun of the woman who raised her hand to ask a question ("Yeah, she is ready!")

It was too bad because West made so many good points, and I absolutely think that the man who asked the question at the end was condescending. As a white (Jewish) woman, no one is trying to say I have it the same as you, to dismiss us or any group because of who we are is doing exactly what you're fighting against on behalf of yourself and the groups you're a part of.

Thanks for the great conversation, and I hope a future panel will include a white woman (even though we're not all the same) to give at least some voice.

May. 28 2015 10:30 PM

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