This past year provided many examples of challenging the status quo of institutionalized racism through humor and comedy. The following is by no means a comprehensive list, but here are seven good ones I encountered.
1. Joy Regullano – White Fetish
If this were a top-ten (seven) list, this one might very well occupy the top spot.
2. Aamer Rahman – Reverse Racism
Have this video ready for the next time you hear White people complaining that they can’t make racist jokes against people of color.
3. Buzzfeed – If Black Women Said the Stuff White Men Say
“I got the fever: Prairie Fever.” “I just want to warn you that when I’m watching hockey, my white guy voice comes out.”
4. SAIH Norway – Let’s Save Africa!
This one boards a plane and travels to the continent of Africa to take on the potential racism of volunteering.
5. Hari Kondabolu – Appearance on David Letterman
After this five minutes of insight, I will be following Kondabolu’s career much more closely.
6. Jon Stewart – Race/Off
I wish Jon Stewart would take on social injustice as vehemently as he takes on Fox News’ coverage of it, but at least this video represented an effort to keep the nation’s attention on Ferguson (and, hopefully, he will continue to do so).
7. Jessica Williams – Black Friday Profiling
Okay, this one is from 2013 but it’s too good to pass up.
Bonus Video on the Complexities of Race-Related Comedy:
Chescaleigh – Here’s Why Racism’s Not “Just Comedy”
Comedy is tricky. As wise guest speakers once told my classes, there is a difference between jokes about racism and racist jokes. Here is an explanation on the difference, as well as a rundown of “humor” to avoid. Though not covered in the video below, there’s also a difference between making jokes about racism to heal from it and making racist jokes to mock another group historically, not to mention presently, targeted by racism.