Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spoiling our Sensitivity

so I've been thinking of the whole I-muss. The man did say something pretty heinous. At the same time he's said stuff like that before and gotten paid pretty well for it. It seems hypocritical to now vilify and then fire him. But what of comedians? what if white comedians say something about another ethnic group that may seem rude, but is actually true? or maybe it's not true but a lot of people would like to believe it is true? Black comedians regularly point out how much white people love mayo, or mimick whites as prim suburban nerds. Now, what if you don't actually name a certain ethnic group, you just characterize what they do and everyone knows it's that group because everyone knows that's what they do? like saying you can find illegal aliens working construction for example. No one names the group, but you know it is probably Mexicans. Is that rude? Is that uncalled for? Where's the line? Can we not say anything about any group? Can we not generalize because it might be racist? I just want to take a poll. so hands up, what do y'all think?

4 comments:

Sherpa said...

I think the big problem (and one you touched upon) is that people like Imus are being paid the big bucks to say outrageous things. These individuals seem to be in competition with eachother to say the more outrageous thing. Until this is addressed, stuff like this will continue to happen.

Scully said...

I think it is the way you say generalizations. Saying "A lot of illegal immigrants come from Mexico and work at construction jobs." is not racist because it is a) a non-judgemental statement and b) is supported by quantifiable information. What Imus said is neither non-judgemnetal (I think just calling the basketball players 'hos' was offensive enough to cause controversy, let alone the rest) nor supported by quantifiable information.

SJ said...

I put the illegal aliens at construction sites thing in there because that's actually a line from a piece I did yesterday. It got pulled because of that line. I thought about it but determined we are overly sensitive from the Imus thing. Still producers decided to censor it. I feel like we are now way over sensitive here because of the way it played out with Imus.

Steve said...

Oh, don't be such a white bread cracker! hahaha.

I often think that cultural sensitivity goes a little too far and is often hypocritical, but I think I'd rather have that than the other extreme.

I think the recent hubbub is two-fold; 1) b/c it is high profile and grossly overpaid people in a public setting saying such moronic things and 2) in today's non-privacy environment, anything anyone half famous says or does is bound to be seen or heard by someone else, thus it gets reported. Again, I think it's just a matter of people that have the public's ear being aware of themselves and more importantly, what they say.