Knock Knock, who's there?: Racism
by chloe langlois on October 19, 2015 - 10:47am
In Nathan Robinson's article “Schumer's unfortunate ‘Train wreck’ lesson: Amy's casual racism isn't one of her bad habits to overcome” published on salon.com in 2015, the actress and mostly comedian Amy Schumer is said to defend herself for her racist comments found within the movie she wrote and stars in. Robinson explains how the comedian wanted her characters to be racist but that they never actually cross the line of what is considered wrong. Furthermore, the author explains that although Schumer's intentions may not be bad, the audience is still enjoying and laughing at racist jokes. Throughout the movie, there are scenes of common acts of racism such as rejecting being racist because one has friends of another color. Robinson argues that it is possible to tell a joke about race without it being negative because there is a difference between what subjects are being targeted and that it can be used to show how horrible racism is. Furthermore, Schumer is said to defend herself further by stating that she was trying to use the same tactic as the other comedians who are said to have successfully done so. Robinson ends on the note that in the case of this movie, the racist jokes cannot be forgiven. Schumer does not address or debrief the audience about the racist jokes and stereotypes, although she may have meant well with her intentions, she did not actually do any good.
I agree with Robinson’s hypothesis that the actress/comedian, Amy Schumer, is not doing anything good by using racist humor in her movie. It seems that today, the media has no boundaries and this affects everyone negatively; no matter what race or age. As Robinson explained in his article, the people watching Schumer’s movie laughed along with the jokes even though they were based on racist stereotypes. It is not just adults who see these types of movies, children get a hold of them too. It may not seem like that big of a deal but it is but according to Erin N. Winkler, children absorb what they see and hear in their environment and this shapes their world view. Furthermore, if public figures such as actresses, producers, or comedians declare that using racist jokes are fine as long as they do not cross the line, will that not be something that children take serious? Children look up to these figures and if not careful the wrong morals will be learned. What is this line anyways; how far does it go? If people such as this comedian are forgiven for using other people’s identities for humor, will this not show that racism is not that severe? Yes it is true that humor can be used in great ways but the topic at hand is to severe and sensitive to be used so loosely. Besides, the jokes are targeted to those who are in the minority. When will all this end and how? If the media continues to find excuses for why so many derogatory themes are shown as acceptable, how will it ever stop?
Robinson, N. ( 2015, July). Schumer's unfortunate “Trainwreck”lesson: Amy's casual racism isn’t one of her bad habits to overcome. Salon.com. Retrieved from: http//www.salon.com/2015/07/20/schumer_unfortunate_trainwreck_lesson_anys_casu...
Winkler, N. E. (2009). Children are not colorblind: How young children learn race. Pace, 3(3), 1-8