This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life

March 2, 2009

Just “don’t be bringing up chicken and watermellons”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — pprscribe @ 6:07 am

More related to my continuing conversation about comedy in the Obama Age from The Root–“Barack’s Funny, After All“:

…They worried that it would be difficult to make fun of the smart, self-aware new guy in office who also happened to be black. To confirm that this was a serious and concerning question, the New York Times weighed in: “What’s funny, and what’s fair game, about a President Barack Obama? Is it too soon to start ridiculing his achievement? Can blacks make fun of him? Can whites?”

That worry, it seems, was in vain. Just as journalists anxious to prove their bona fides shortened the presidential honeymoon with tough questions for Obama and his press secretary, comedians—who traffic in irreverence—want audiences to know they are equal-opportunity offenders.

…Comedians, black and white, have gone after Obama’s ears, his treasury secretary, Michelle’s hair and, from the vacation beach shots, Obama’s presidential buffness.

Comedian Kym Whitley says that she now has an opening line for any cute white guy she wants to approach.

“You want to make a Barack baby?”

…“She gets her hair pressed and holds that ear,” she said of Michelle Obama. “She knows she’s a black woman.” Anything goes, she says, “as long as it’s funny—don’t be bringing up chicken and watermelons“…

Amen, sister. *Ahem*–Are you listening, Mr. Mayor?...


  1. Comedians have to be able to make fun of Barack Obama. He is a public figure and subject to jokes. However, many comedians and humorists always seem to go for the lowest forms of humor that end up being offensive.

    Comment by Mocha Dad — March 9, 2009 @ 8:44 am

  2. I agree, Mocha Dad. It is kind of like a tightrope act, and there will likely be more missteps than those who get it right.

    Comment by pprscribe — March 9, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

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