Well, chums, let's talk about Chris Rock and his
penchant for racial tribalism. You see, Chris has a bit of a
reputation for dividing people into groups based on the colour of
their skin. Some might call it a talent, others might call it
divisive, but it is something that he has become known for. Now, some
folks might argue that Chris Rock is simply shining a light on the
differences between races and how they are perceived in society, but
is that really the case? Or is he just perpetuating the very racism
that he claims to be against?
You see, the thing about racial tribalism is that
it's not just about acknowledging our differences. It is about drawing
lines in the sand and creating an "us vs. them" mentality.
And that's exactly what Chris Rock does.
In his latest Netflix special, Selective
Outrage, the comedian makes a lot of good points and lampoons the
selective outrage of all the political sides, but it is difficult to ignore
his binary views on race.
When joking about the fake January 6th
insurrection, Rock not only repeats left-wing talking points from
Democrats, he divides the country into racial groups, saying, “When
did white men become victims?”
“Can you believe it? Did you see the Capitol
riots? White men trying to overthrow the government they run!”
I don't know about you, my friends, but I must
have missed the memo about how it is only morally justified to overthrow a government that is made up of people from the
opposite race. Now, if indeed the rioters were trying to “overthrow”
the government like Rock claims, would it only be of significance or
relevance if the rioters were black? If a government were to become
irreparably corrupt, would a true insurrection only be justified if
the two competing sides had different coloured skin?
“What kind of white Planet Of The Apes
shit was that!?” Rock cries.
If the government was controlled by blacks, would
it then—and only then—be justified for whites to riot? Is Rock implying that whites would only overthrow a black government? Are whites
not allowed to find other whites corrupt? Are Chris Rock's views on
race and injustice strictly confined to such binary parameters? Would
peace and agreement only arise from a homogeneous society made up of
one, unified race?
Although funny at times, this sort of tribalism
divides people and their problems along racial lines. It fails to
address individualism and aims to paint the problems faced by our
society with competing colours. Were there blacks involved in the
Capitol riots? Maybe, but if there wasn't, does that mean the
problems seen by the rioters are less important? Are fears about
stolen elections exclusively reserved for white people, or are blacks
and black issues exclusively meant to be defended by blacks alone?
Can we not stand up for one another?
Behind every joke, there is some truth. Rock's
views on the Capitol riots are probably shared by many other
Americans, which would be why so many find his jokes funny. He has
several truthful and poignant jokes about race, but when addressing
the Capitol riots, Chris Rock misses the mark and travels down the
wrong path. When it comes to the riots on Capitol Hill, race had very
little to do with it. Those who protested were not there because they
were white, or because their government was white, or because they
might “lose” their country. They were there to protest what they
perceived as an injustice.
Those Capitol protesters would have welcomed any
blacks with open arms.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that racism
does not exist. Of course it does! But the way to combat racism is not by perpetuating tribalism. It is done by recognizing our shared humanity
and working together to dismantle the systems that perpetuate the
same inequality that Chris Rock jokes about.
As for Chris Rock? Well, I think he is a talented
bloke, but I also think he should consider taking a long, hard look at the way
he approaches issues of race. Is he really helping to create a more
inclusive and equitable society? Or is he just perpetuating the very
problems he claims to be against? Repeating false talking points from
Democrats may indicate that Rock is caught up in some mainstream
political narratives that are designed to divide Americans. In such a
case, we can forgive him, but he should try getting more of his news
from alternative sources.
At the end of the day, it is up to us to decide
how we want to approach issues of race and tribalism. Rock's jokes
are hilarious when they come from a truthful place, but when they are
based on false narratives and political lies, they are much less