Are we segregating comedy?

Nah, we’re probably not. Chris Rock does what works for him and Larry The Cable Guy does his thing… huh…

I’m thinking about Usain Bolt and Ellen Degeneres and the hundreds of people who commented on the recent meme. The Rio Olympics are in full swing and everyone is enthralled. Fear and wonder… Sports never did anything for me. Give me my movies!

Okay so I don’t know how this picture was captured but it’s amazing all on its own.

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Someone photoshopped Ellen onto it and we get this awesomeness from her twitter feed, no I don’t follow her.

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When I saw it I did not LOL, I actually laughed out loud! I don’t know Mr. Bolt (awesome name for a runner, right?!). I assume he took the time while dominating an olympic race to smile sideways for this shot because he’s got an amazing sense of humour. I don’t know Ms. Degeneres either but I’ve never heard of Ellen Degeneres being anything but a history making, trend setting, socially active, dancing, fun loving talk show host. So why would anyone see this as anything other than a fun joke?

Then the whole moment was soured by internet fuck heads calling it racist. I don’t care if you’re black and offended or white and scared of offending someone this was not meant to be offensive. It’s a joke made with good will by two people who are clearly fun loving.

It fucks with your head though. I immediately started to look internally.

  • Am I racist?
  • Why didn’t I see a problem with this?
  • Is it not ok for a white woman to insinuate she would ride the fastest man alive like horse because he’s black?
  • What is wrong with me?

I went around like this in my head for about ten seconds before I cast myself back into the light of day and said, “Relax. Jeez bud, simmer down.”

I used to think I was racist when I rode the number 2 bus in Ottawa. The number 2 goes through every borough in Ottawa; it came through North Gloucester where I lived, Vanier, Downtown, Bank St., Somerset, Chinatown, Little Italy, to Westboro where I got off. Every walk of life the city had to offer was on that bus. I would always sit in the back because I was cool and that’s where cool people sat. Every day one or two black dudes would get on the bus at the Rideau Centre in their big baggy pants, do rags, gold chains, gold teeth, what have you. They’d sit down around me and I’d always get a little frightened. I thought I was actually afraid because of the colour of their skin. One day a nice looking dude gets on the bus. His shoes are black and polished to a shine, his head is clean shaven with a razor, he was wearing a dark grey pin striped jacket and slacks and a lavender coloured button up shirt, no tie. Oh yeah and he was also black. Guy looked like a million bucks! I remember what he was wearing like it was yesterday because in that moment I realized: I am not racist, I am afraid of people who look like they are going to rob me. After that I started sitting at the front of the bus near the driver and had no further problems.

Racism comes in many forms but we have to remember that we’re all people. If we can’t include someone in a joke that has no ill will or intent to hurt because of the colour of their skin then we’re segregating humour and that’s not ok either.

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