My Solution for Saving the Racist Joke

Oompa Loompa -- People We Can HateEd Kilgore wrote a really good article over at Political Animal, Tell Us What You Really Mean By “Political Correctness,” Conservatives! It is mostly an attack on little brain SE Cupp. (I mean that: she is dimwitted; she wouldn’t have a job if she weren’t conservative.) She claims that the rise of Donald Trump is because of political correctness on college campuses. “If not for the loony sensitivities foisted upon us by the left, someone like Trump would be immediately dismissed as unprofessional and unserious, an incoherent blurter.” That’s actually quite funny. Because school kids aren’t able to shoot pretend guns, old people are voting for Trump. There is something unprofessional and unserious here, but it ain’t Trump.

Kilgore fired back, “Is that the source of all this hysteria?” Of course, it isn’t. It is just another excuse for a conservative pundit to blame the dysfunction of the Republican Party on the liberals. According to this view, if it weren’t for liberals being such meanies, the Republicans would be nominating people like Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Well, Kilgore called bunk on that:

The Trump supporters and proto-Trump supporters I know are upset by things like having to listen to Spanish-language messages on customer service lines, not being able to call women “chicks” without someone frowning at them, and having to stop telling racist jokes at work. That’s what “political correctness” is code for: having to worry about the sensitivities of people who were invisible or submissive not that very long ago.

That’s exactly right. Since the 1970s, I’ve been hearing the same thing about the LGBT community: “I don’t care, but do they have to rub it in my face?” This same exact thing was told to me less than a month ago by a young social conservative who was about to go into the military. What the “it” that is rubbed in everyone’s faces is the fact of their identity. When we see an old heterosexual couple holding hands, it is charming. But two old gay men?! Oh. My. God! It’s somehow not a sign of personal affection but a political statement. “Look at us! We’re gay!” And this is what Kilgore is getting at: conservatives want those gay men back in the closet.

This goes along with what I’ve long argued about the supposed war on Christmas. It isn’t enough to be inclusive of Christians, they must be held up as uniquely right. It’s perfectly fine for there to be atheists and Muslims — as long as they are quiet and don’t mess up the illusion that everyone is a Christian. But this is part of a broader conservative complaint. And it is what is behind the “take our country back” meme. This is because they actually think that “our country” belongs to white Christian men and the women who are subservient to them.

But I have an idea for how we can maintain at least a little of our homogeneous culture: we can make up outsiders. And I recommend the Oompa Loompas. As Paul Bibeau reminds us, they are just “green-haired freaks.” So let’s take my very favorite joke when I was a kid. It was originally an Italian joke. When I got older, I made it a Portuguese joke, because my family is from Portugal. But it works great with the Oompa Loompas:

There was a joint space mission between the Americans, the Russians, and the people of Loompaland. And as will happen in these situations, the three of them were talking and getting a little boastful. The Russian said, “We were the first in space.” The American countered, “Well, so what? We were the first to land on the moon!” And the Oompa Loompa said, “That’s nothing! We are going to be the first to land on the sun!” The Russian and American burst out laughing. “You can’t do that,” said the Russian. “You’d burn up. The Oompa Loompa sighed, “You think we’re stupid?! We’re going at night.”

So you see: we can maintain our hateful bigotry at almost no cost to society. That is assuming that we don’t discover of a orange faced green-haired freaks. Oh my God! I just thought: what if John Boehner starts swimming in over-chlorinated water? Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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