Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ugh. Just, ugh.

On a Lafayette TV station's Facebook thread yesterday (it was good news — a missing woman was found alive), someone made a comment (since removed) in exaggerated Ebonics to this effect:

"Y'all need to keep track of your people, when black folks lose somebody, they might just be in jail."

And of course people were outraged — because if a white person said that, wouldn't it be racist?!! Huff huff huff! 

Actually, yeah, it is racist. Because the Ebonic-plagued profile in question was very obviously the work of a white person. So it stands to reason that anything coming from it is racist. 

Check it out here if you really want to. Take a note of their "friends," too, at least one of whom actually has "Obama" as part of her name. Fake pictures, fake names, fake stats, few likes, few friends, recent timeline — everything points to these being the creation of white Acadiana residents who find badly outdated black stereotypes funny. (One even lists Compton, Illinois, as a hometown, because bigotry has no time for avoiding epic fails.)

It's sad, but not at all surprising. One of Lafayette's radio stations still has a morning-show character named "Tawana," a sass-talking ghetto woman who I've been told is voiced by a white man. I found it offensive 15 years ago, never mind today.

Acadiana is far more diverse than other places I've lived, but the sense of humor often reflects the opposite — that no white person has ever met a real, thinking, feeling, black person. Instead, they watched Chappelle's Show, stripped all its context and rolled with it. ("If a black comedian can make fun of blacks, it'll be just as funny when I do it!")

I'd give people the benefit of the doubt, but frankly there are too many closet racists here. And racists aren't known for being especially clever. "Well, see, I wanted to satirize the insensitive and inaccurate racial tropes that hinder understanding between cultures..." 

I know better. I've lived here too long. And it's "jokes" like these that make me embarrassed to admit it.

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