Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Double standards?

Joslyn and I just had a pretty interesting conversation about Jennifer Hudson and race relations in this country. Once I put some coherent thoughts together, I'll revisit this topic at a later time. I'm curious to know what y'all think. But in the meantime, get a taste of this:

A friend of mine just sent me this link with comedian D.L. Hughley during an interview on Jay Leno's late-night talk show.

In this clip, he's responding to the recent controversy involving what Don Imus said about the Rutgers women's basketball team. The comments Hughley made are nothing short of offensive and downright ignorant. What's worst is that there hasn't been ANY outcrying made by the Black community.

This is a prime example of the double standard practices that make it more and more difficult for black folks to socially legitimize themselves. When Imus made the "nappy-headed hoes" reference, people were out in droves to get his head on a silver platter. DL says it and it's comedy.

Where's the outrage? How long will we let this new-aged minstrel bull**** go on?

25 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Cynthia said...

No argument here. Hughley is a disgrace. Personally, I think this was his attempt to make up for having a bombed show.

Joslyn said...

Cynthia,

I think that everyone can agree that his show SUCKED!!!!

Also, everytime he hosts a show, he tries too hard to be funny and just winds up being...

*crickets*

Damn you DL....BE FUNNY!!!

Joslyn said...

By the way....no one pays attention to what DL says because he's simply trying to "re-up" his dead ass career. He was sitting in his house like "I bet if I play devils advocate, I can't get on TV!! HE HE HE HE HE!"

Kim said...

His comments were deplorable, but we need to lay off the "outcries". We are starting to walk the fine line of censorship.

It's frightning to think that Big Brother is watching and listening carefully to all comments to make sure that they are not offensive to anyone.

Yes it was offensive, does that mean that he doesn't have the right to say it? If no, says who? Next Big Brother will start to edit the contents of this blog to make sure that they are not socially offensive.

Cynthia said...

Kim, I don't think censorship is the way to go and if I read into this post correctly, 'outcrying' doesn't necessarily equal censoring. But they ARE standards that we should be able to place on the people that we're making rich. Included in those standards is the expectation that they WON'T do things that are socially damaging to their 'people'. Getting on national television and calling the Rutgers black players "the ugliest women I've ever seen in my life" doesn't do much for black psyche. What did they do to deserve this onslaught from Imus or DL? I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times; this man is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

OK, maybe I'm just the conservative voice here, but you really need to let this go. At the end of the day, this is only comedy. How will this hurt anybody? A part of comedy involves making fun of other people.

Besides that, if his comments were so bad, why haven't more people spoken out? I think its because his comments were NOT really all that bad. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, aren't there black artists promoting the idea "Happy to be Nappy"? There's a double standard if anything. You're saying on the one hand to be proud of your nappy hair and then on the other getting mad when other people call it nappy.

Finally, even when he called the girls ugly, isn't he entitled to his opinion? How has stating your opinion become grounds for being protested against?

Andre said...

@ Cynthia: "Personally, I think this was his attempt to make up for having a bombed show."

No doubt.

@ Joslyn: Whether DL ever gets funny again or not, I'm done with him either way.

To your second point, I think you're right. Unlike Michael Richards (who just unleashed all the racism he could when he was put on the spot), DL's outlashing was clearly some move to resurrect his career. But he opened a racial Pandora's box doing so. Sad.

@ Kim: A couple of things. (1) Cynthia was right. Outcrying doesn't have to come in the form of picket lines and Al Sharpton yelling through a megaphone. All we need to do is stop buying his crap and any crap that denigrates our people (especially black women). How does it look to the world is we crucify Imus while bouncin' to Ludacris? (2) As it always seems to come up with freedom of speech arguments; it's a double-edged sword. DL has the right to say what he wants. We have the right to call him out for his bull****

@ Cyn (part II): Amen.

@ Anonymous: Let me try to address this bit by bit:

"At the end of the day, this is only comedy. How will this hurt anybody? A part of comedy involves making fun of other people."

Most comedy that makes fun of others involves either using anonymous people or people who set themselves up for it by being in the spotlight and doing stupid shit. Neither is the case for the Rutgers basketball team. They weren't anonymous; to the extent that they were playing for the highest award in Women's Basketball. They're not famous, in the spotlight, or guilty of doing anything worthy of making them the butt of a series of vicious attacks.

That's when comedy is NOT funny.

"Besides that, if his comments were so bad, why haven't more people spoken out?"

Mixed priorities perhaps. Just because people aren't making as much of an uproar about it doesn't mean they shouldn't.

"Plus, if I'm not mistaken, aren't there black artists promoting the idea "Happy to be Nappy"? There's a double standard if anything. You're saying on the one hand to be proud of your nappy hair and then on the other getting mad when other people call it nappy.

Much like the word "nigga", "nappy" is often considered a racist term if used by whites in describing blacks and acceptable (sometimes endearing) if used by blacks in describing other blacks. Sorry. That's just how it is. All the same, it's impractical for a white person to say "I should be free to insult your family if you can do it."

To eliminate the double standard allegations currently in place, I think that the black community needs to challenge itself to eliminate the entitlement we think we have when it comes to using these types of terms. In so doing, whites and other groups will have NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER to piggyback.

So, yes: I'm blaming EVERYBODY.

"Finally, even when he called the girls ugly, isn't he entitled to his opinion? How has stating your opinion become grounds for being protested against?"

Whoever said that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" was a flat-out liar. As James Baldwin wrote, language has power. If you think that saying those types of horrible things about people (who didn't provoke any of this, by the way) wasn't hurtful, you're sadly mistaken. These women were embarrased on a national stage for doing nothing to DL except being uneasy on his eyes.

On top of that, getting insulted by an obnoxious racist like Imus is one thing. Getting attacked by your own is another.

Free speech or not, DL needs to get his ass kicked.

KC said...

I'm sorry, but was DL Hughley ever funny to begin with?

Joanne said...

I actually saw the interview in its entirety. In his defense (I know. I'm sorry!) he also gets on Imus and Sharpton. And he also speaks to black illiteracy (though I think his numbers were pretty far off). It's deceiving for YouTube to only capture the comments about the Rutgers girls.

Andre said...

Joanne: DL did on Leno what rappers have been doing for years to the detriment of black folks: trying to expose and justify our denigration; all with white America as the audience. As I said before, calling out Imus and Sharpton is cool. Both profit from being public figures and it comes with the territory. These girls carry no such badge and are just college students playing for a school.

Besides that, who made DL the academic authority on issues like illiteracy? Last I checked, this dude made a living off making people laugh; not educating them. If I need to examine literacy in the black community, I'll write a thesis on it, not tune into the Kings of Comedy.

I'm sorry, but I'm not willing to give him a pass just because he's black. If anything, I hold him to a higher standard because he should know better.

Ga girl said...

Stories like this point out exactly why so many women have low self-esteem. They're expected to look like supermodels when that may not be their genetic makeup. Besides, even the "beautiful" people in society are well made-up. Most female athletes don't go around playing their sports with heels and make-up on. DL Hugley should be ashamed of himself for being so narrow-minded.

KC said...

This just goes to show that we don't need white America to make a fool out us. You give us a microphone and a national stage and we'll do it ourselves. What a fool.

Joanne said...

I stand by my argument. Both Don Imus and DL Hughley are comedians without any political correctness or irreverence. How can people NOT expect this?

Joslyn said...

Anonymous,

If you're the same "anonymous" that always posts on here, let me ask you a question: While I "sorta" agree with what you said today, don't you think that it's hypicritial to the comment that you made about SNL's Maya Rudolph singing the national anthem?

"At the end of the day, this is only comedy. How will this hurt anybody? A part of comedy involves making fun of other people."

But when speaking about the SNL skit you said:


"....and stop trying to make humor out of everything? That's people's problems nowadays. People want to make jokes out of everything when sometimes it's not called for."

Now, if these statements weren't from the same person, then I apologize and you can just disregard this comment, but, if you did make both of those comments, then which of your statments is correct? It seems as though it's okay when it affects a "certain group of people" but not all around.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me. There's a difference between mocking the country and mocking a group of college students. Last I checked, nobody fought and died for the Rutgers basketball team.

Now, back to the important matters, it wasn't like DL Hughley said that ALL black women were ugly. He only commented on these girls which, because of the freedoms we have, he's able to do.

Everybody needs to get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Let me also point out that (no offense to these girls) they weren't exactly runway models. I'm sure that if you asked any number of men what they thought about these girls, the response would've been the same. DL just took it and ran with it.

Personally, I don't think there needs to be any more attention brought to this than what has already come about. If you don't like what he does, don't support him. Don't go to his movies and concerts. Don't watch his TV shows. We all have our FREEDOMS whether you like what he does or not!

Joslyn said...

Anonymous,

First off, you should really consider your writing tone. You don't have to try and belittle someone because of your opinion.

Secondly, my point is that you pick and choose when it's okay and when it's not okay. Personally, I do get offended by some comedians, and others I find hilarious while others are offended.

Thirdly, as far as this comment:

"Last I checked, nobody fought and died for the Rutgers basketball team."

No one fought and died for the bastketball team itself, but some fought and died for them to even have the priviiledge to be on the team....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, your words:

"Let me also point out that (no offense to these girls) they weren't exactly runway models. I'm sure that if you asked any number of men what they thought about these girls, the response would've been the same. DL just took it and ran with it."


Ga Girl pointed out most female athletes don't go around playing their sport with makeup and high heels on, which is true, and I'm sure if you put makeup and heels on the Rutgers team and dress them up otherwise, I'm sure they'd look just as good as Tyra Banks or any other runway model, if not better.

DL was way out of line on this one.


Positive Anonymous

Andre said...

@ KC: "I'm sorry, but was DL Hughley ever funny to begin with?"

Sorry I missed this. I actually enjoyed a lot of DL's humor about growing up, being at church, etc. But when he needed new material...well...we know what happened. We just saw the clip.

@ GA girl: The standard of beauty has become so manufactured that it creates a false identity that NOBODY (not even the people being glamorized...without their touch ups) can ever accomplish. Sad.

@ KC: "You give us a microphone and a national stage and we'll do it ourselves."

Described most suitably by three letters: B.E.T.


@ Joanne: "Both Don Imus and DL Hughley are comedians without any political correctness or irreverence. How can people NOT expect this?"

Whether people expect it or not doesn't make it acceptable when it happens. At least that's not how I think.

@ Joslyn: Good way to flip it. Nicely done.

@ Anonymous: "Excuse me. There's a difference between mocking the country and mocking a group of college students. Last I checked, nobody fought and died for the Rutgers basketball team.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that the country has tons of players "defending" it should anybody (the media, activists, anybody with a brain) challenge the nation's status quo. These women were voiceless, innocent, and unimposing. Also, their attacks were done by men (which speaks to gender power structures) who also had national platforms. So yeah: there is a difference.

"Now, back to the important matters, it wasn't like DL Hughley said that ALL black women were ugly."

Whether or not his comments were directed at those women alone is irrelevant. He attacked an entire culture of black women. Looking a this on the surface level, the Rutgers women aren't the only black women on the planet who possess the physical attributes that DL considered "ugly". On a deeper and more profound level, once you insult one of us, you insult ALL of us. That could have very well been his mother, wife, or sister on that team. Would he have been as harshly critical?

"Let me also point out that (no offense to these girls) they weren't exactly runway models. I'm sure that if you asked any number of men what they thought about these girls, the response would've been the same."

Will these women ever grace the cover of Vogue; as representatives of American 'beauty'?

Most likely, no.

Have they done anything worth getting that thrown in their face (for all the nation to see, no less)?

Absolutely not.

"If you don't like what he does, don't support him. Don't go to his movies and concerts. Don't watch his TV shows. We all have our FREEDOMS whether you like what he does or not!"

Funny how you keep throwing "freedom" in the mix. Whenever you do, you seem to forget about MY freedom to challenge, to vary in opinion, to express my differences, to call him out for being an ass.

Or the freedoms I GIVE YOU to post on my blog.

Checkmate.

@ Joslyn: "...my point is that you pick and choose when it's okay and when it's not okay. Personally, I do get offended by some comedians, and others I find hilarious while others are offended."

Probably why some people (no names mentioned, "anonymous") like to think that 'freedom' apply to one thing but not to another.

"No one fought and died for the bastketball team itself, but some fought and died for them to even have the priviiledge to be on the team...."

All the more reason why DL is a loser. He's not only attacking those women (who more than likely worked their asses off to be where they are), but he's also dissing generations who made it possible for them -- AND his sorry ass -- to be out there.

@ Anonymous (number 2?):

"I'm sure they'd look just as good as Tyra Banks or any other runway model, if not better."

Have you ever seen Tyra Banks (or any other "beautiful" people) before surgeries and makeup? As I said earlier, even the people who set the bar for "beauty" aren't there themselves. Not without enhancements and cosmetics at least. DL's ignorance won't even allow him to fathom that idea.

j alex said...

DL's hair is not exactly silky smooth in this clip either. I won't even get on his 'attractive quotient'. P.S. What's that dirt brown thing on his face?

Cynthia said...

LOL@ J Alex. Good points. DL is not exactly a brotha who would be a top contender for GQ's man of the year. The cutest he's ever been was when he was wearing Cross Colours on ComicView. Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

So how is it that on shows like Martin black women like Pam can get insulted ( with names like "buckshot", "beadie bead", and an assortment of others), but DL can't do it?

Talk about "double standards".

Tired of Anonymous said...

Could you just shut the hell up?????? Sheesh, and I'm a conservative!!!

Andre said...

@ J. Alex & Cynthia: I think that's some sort of birthmark; far from a beauty mark. Further evidence that he needs to keep to himself from openly commenting about what's pretty and what's ugly.

@ Anonymous: "So how is it that on shows like Martin black women like Pam can get insulted ( with names like "buckshot", "beadie bead", and an assortment of others), but DL can't do it?"

Wha...? You're comparing a fiction comedy (where Pam, by the way, is actually pretty attractive; making Martin's jokes funnier) and DL's real life insults?!

I'll allow you a moment to re-read what you typed. Come back when you've done so.

@ Tired: LOL! I guess that all Republicans don't stick together after all. Comforting to know...

Cynthia said...

Dre, I'm curious to hear what you had to say about Jennifer Hudson and race. Are you going to post something?