Two People I Dislike Immensely Unshockingly Do Something I Dislike Immensely

by Joseph Lamour

*Warning: Strong Language*

We’re living in an age where almost everything a person shares with their friends can now be permanently filed away on a server somewhere (in a room, not unlike where Olivia and Fitz like to make out, but that’s for another post). For some people, this permanence proves especially problematic. Laura Beck over at Jezebel rightly filed this story under “WTF”, and seriously, WTF, Lisa Lampanelli?

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 2.31.39 PM

As you can see above, “Queen of Mean” still thinks she can use the n-word because, in her words:

I can get away with it because I’m a nice person, I have a warm personality, my intention is good behind it.

Let me correct you, Miss: No, no you can’t. Her wikipedia page states that she “is noted for her racy and controversial style of comedy, which frequently includes subjects such as race and homosexuality.” Neither of which she is–which wouldn’t make it OK in my eyes, but being that she is a heterosexual white woman who routinely jokes about her affinity for black men, only because of her usual punchlines: that we’ll date chubby girls or that she can get better looking black men than white ones. The example she uses is she could either get Jared from Subway or LL Cool J. I’ll just let that sit for a moment. Don’t even get me started on the Suicide Girls interview from where the quote originates, in which the interviewer refers to the words “nigger” and “spic” as words that “many consider to be racial slurs”.

They are racial slurs.

To be fair to Lena Dunham, she has no part in this- except, perhaps, that bad things seem happen to black people when she’s around? I guess that’s not fair, but it’s looking like life isn’t fair, either, since white comedians like Lampanelli and, until recently, Shirley Q. Liqour (birth name: Chuck Knipp) continuously bellow racist slurs with no consequence.

My father’s first job in America was as a chef at a Holiday Inn (when he told me, I was shocked that a Holiday Inn even had a kitchen, but, you know… the 70s), and he once told me about a time when a gospel group came to town and shortchanged the white waitress that was serving them. The waitress came into the kitchen where my father was while muttering the n-word under her breath. When my dad took one look at her and pointed to himself (it’s becoming clear that get my smartass-ness from my father), she said, “Oh, not you. Those people.”

It’s the same thought process that the good people over at Perez Hilton went through when they wrote about this same story and said:

But why is she calling Girls creator Lena Dunham a volatile, racial slur?!?!

OOohhhhhhh wait! She doesn’t mean it in a NEGATIVE sense at all!

Lisa’s just using the now familiar usage of the term — ie. “friend, acquaintance, brah” — in regards to Lena… cause they are apparently total besties!!

I guess it’s just the same for comedians like Lisa Lampanelli when pondering whether or not they can say things like this:

She is not talking about Black people with jobs and houses and mortgages, she’s talking about those people. We are all those people, Lisa. Every time I hear a joke of hers I’m reminded of my father’s story. Forty years later, he still remembers it clearly because it affected him the same as if that waitress had called him the n-word. Some people think that since a black man is president, that racism is officially over (it’s not!). But, since the people who pay for Lampanelli’s tickets keep coming to her shows and (inexplicably) keep laughing, she continues to think its OK to continue the way she does.

She probably should get another opinion from my dad.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

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  • Dienna

    I don’t expect any less from her. This is the same woman who referred to Lt. Uhura as “the ship’s mammy” on that trashy Comedy Central roast for William Shatner a few years ago.

  • Jamie La Salla

    Its like when I hear people bitch about people on welfare, and then I mention “I am on welfare. All kinds of welfare”. “Oh, we aren’t talking about you, we’re talking about ‘those people'”. K. If people aren’t being racist, they are being “classist” or whatever the world is for the rich looking down on the poor. Or they’re being sexist. Why can’t people just be happy with who they are and what they have, and leave everyone else alone?

  • Michelle Kirkwood

    I’ve never liked Lampanelli’s act,whatsoever—I saw her on the Tonight Show about 3 years ago, and frankly,a lot of the jokes she made were downright offensive, and not even funny at all. It just sounded like the same old,tired racist jokes about black people and other folks of color that have been around as long as we’re been in America just recycled over and over again like stale leftovers left in the fridge too long.

    I could say the same exact thing about Ralphie May, a white comedian who performs for black audiences—I caught his act a couple of years back on a DVD of a black comedy show, and he pretty much spouted racist jokes about other folks of color similar to what Lampanelli does, except that (in the DVD and during the show) except that some black folks seemed to be co-signing on what he was saying—he’s also a huge guy who makes fun of himself. He and Lampanelli are pretty much on the same tip–he’s also married to a sister. Apparently both of them think dating and marrying a black person gives them a pass on saying stupid racist s***, which it doesn’t.

    But,yeah, I don’t know why some white folks seem to think that just because we have a black President, that that in itself takes the sting out of racism and just magically makes it okay, as if it’s just automatically disappeared because of that. Well, right now, here in Michigan, a black nurse is suing a hospital in Flint because she and some other black nurses were told not to attend to a white baby because the father actually SAID he did not want any black people around his child. It didn’t matter that she’s a registered nurse with 25 years experience—the father even pulled his sleeve and showed a swastika—here’s a link to the story:

    What kills me is how half the comments support the father’s request or claim it’s no big deal–so much for a post-racial,color-blind America. I even got into an argument about this yesterday, in which my acquaintence claimed that it was just as well the nurse was asked not to take care of the baby, because if something jumped off or happened to the child, she would have been blamed. I said that wasn’t even the point because neither he or anyone else could predict anything happening to the child—the point was that his request was discriminatory, and the hospital should not have catered to the father’s racism, which is basically what they did.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Blacks get all ‘torn up’ if someone uses the ‘n’ word. But, they call whites a filthy word like ‘hon key’. A black women told me that. Sometimes they use ‘crac ker’. What racist hypocrites they are.

    • JosephLamour

      I’m not sure what you mean, Katherine. I’m just as offended when someone uses a racial slur against a white person, and I’m a black person. People always calling Britney Spears white trash comes to mind. None of it is okay to me, so this hypocrite argument holds no water here.

  • Tusconian

    And lest people think this is a shocking isolated event (not that anyone reading this blog would), I went through the same situation this weekend, except it was a man, not a woman, and it happened in person, not on twitter. Followed by “but black people can say it, it’s not faaaair” (when did I say I wanted to hear black people saying it anyway?), “but it’s just a word, I can intend it however I waaaaant” (I can call a dog a dinosaur, that doesn’t make it so), and- CUE THE VIOLINS- running off in a pout to complain about the mean black people/PC folks (white people present were not impressed either) ruining all his fun when he “didn’t do annnnnnnything.”

    Why are so many white people obsessed with this word, and further, too unaware to realize that them screaming it all the time, no matter how they “mean” it, it will cause controversy?

    • crazygemini12

      I think a major difference between white people and POC is that POC are told from a very young age all the things we aren’t allowed to/shouldn’t do. White people don’t hear this often enough. Society rarely tells white people the things they can’t do or holds them accountable for terrible behavior (this explains why they are in utter disbelief when someone DOES tell them they’re wrong for doing something and they deny it was wrong. They literally haven’t been told it’s wrong before).

      Racial slurs are the lone exception to this rule. It’s the one thing they’ve been told they can’t do, hence their obsession with finding new ways to do it (like saying “ninja” instead, as if we’re too stupid to know what they mean) or just saying it (brazenly, as Quentin Tarantino is obsessed with doing) and telling other people THEY need to get over it because we’re post racial now.

  • Jay

    There are two kinds of comedians who tell offensive jokes: those who are putting on a character in order to mock and take down those who have offensive beliefs, and those who are merely yelling ignorant crap and desperately hoping other ignorant people will laugh. Lisa Lampanelli is clearly the latter.

  • oofstar

    that comment on the video, that’s not even a joke. that is just using a slur to slur someone. jesus.

  • myothercarsthetardis

    Well, it’s not really racist because “hipster racism isn’t racist” ( Sigh. One of the problems of living in post-racial America (because electing Barack Obama meant that all of our brains were lobotomized of that part) is all the self-satisfied white people thinking they’re “beyond racism”.