That Was My Reaction Too

Comments

1
Um... Here's how "everyone" reacted:

I am glad this was made by an African-American artist, because if the creator were white, it would be impossible to enjoy.66 votes (13.41%) .

Making fun of stereotypes obviously involves displaying stereotypes. Relax and enjoy the high-density wit.106 votes (21.54%) .

You don't understand—the way this mirrors the Disney scene is ASTOUNDING. All other issues are secondary.91 votes (18.50%) .

Trotting out cartoony black stereotypes in the service of parodying a 20-year-old Disney cartoon is an iffy proposition—but this dude makes it work.97 votes (19.72%) .

Hey, LaWasha! Hey, LaDrya! LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE.103 votes (20.93%) .

Too racist to enjoy.29 votes (5.89%) .

2
David Schmader on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 9:42 AM with accompanying poll
3
Damn! I have got to start reading this blog.
4
Ha ha.
5
it's all good. studies have shown that the majority of americans like repetition and familiarity.
6
@3, nah, your reposts are usually more fun than the original posts anyway. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
7
@3
I wouldn’t bother. It’s mostly filled with the lunatic ravings of this guy “Charles Mudede” who rants on and on about how we should all live in empty cells the size of broom closets and moons over how high unemployment and a populace burdened with college debt and toiling in temporary, lower-wage positions might finally bringing about his Marxist fantasy of equal misery for everyone through Socialism. I think he might smoke lots of crack. He looks kinda crazy in the eyes.
8

This was innovative and hilarious.

Maybe the confusion comes from the fact that you don't realize the principal character is black herself.

So as such, the humor comes from an inter-African-American juxtaposition.
9
Dave Chappelle forced me to lose my "white guilt" long ago so I had no problem enjoying the video.
10
@3 Please don't. Yours is the only one I read, and if you'd not posted this, I'd have never seen it. And I'm so glad to have seen it.
11
@7 Yeah, you just made me crack up.
12
Dan, I've been trying to reach you by email -- can you please just send a quick "no thanks" if you're not interested in my offer? I don't mean to be a pest but in this day of spam filters, I'd just like to know you got my message... (ericapsavage@gmail.com)
13
Man, I felt just like this. I was all like, "Uhhh, this is SOOOO racist! But it's kinda funny... BUT IT'S RACIST!" Then I found out the creator was a gay black guy, and I thought, "Well, maybe it's okay? Maybe he's just parodying black stereotypes." Now the song's stuck in my head...

So confused. So white guilty. :(
14
I only read your stuff most of the time as well... I think your reaction depends on where you think the joke lies. To me, it was a parody of black stereotypes and an amusing juxtaposition of opposing fictional worlds. So, hilarious, and I don't feel bad about it, myself.
15
You "I only read Dan" mopes are a drag.
16
@10: Or you could do something crazy and read the whole damn blog.
17
@3

If you do, you'd better be prepared for that guy who posts people's sex questions.
18
Anyway:

1. I'd never watched the original till after I saw this. I like the voice of the singer in the parody much better than the voice of Belle in the cartoon.

2. It's got offensive elements, but I'd say it gets away with it because it's funny. Like the jive scene with June Cleaver in Airplane.
19
Fuck. Now I have that goddamn tune stuck in my head.
20
I don't know. Yes, it's racist and reenforces stereotypes that hurt a community, even if it is created by members of that community. But haven't stereotypes of poor, marginalized communities been exploited for comedy before? I'm thinking In Living Color (plenty in there and not just about black people), Don't Be a Menace to Society, David Chappelle, Viridiana, The Simpsons, Monty Python, and so forth. Can I laugh and openly enjoy those yet get properly righteous over this? What about the serious dramas that dwell on stereotypes, such as the mafia movies going back to Little Ceasar? Stereotypes are based on some truth, are they not? Would it make you feel better if we pretended these social issues didn't exist?

Think of it this way: At least no harm is intended, as in Birth of a Nation.

Spike Lee beat this horse to death in Bamboozled (recommended).
21
If you think this kind of thing is what causes or even perpetuates social injustice, then you're the victim of a red herring. I see this as a tribute to inner city communities by someone who knows those communities well.
22
It's so sad that black people stoop so low to make a clearly racist video about themselves. It's a shame that they just don't know any better we should educate them more about how to not be racist
23
The problem with prejudiced humor is that it reinforces the stereotypes it portrays -- even if the humor is an attempt to subvert them. There have been experiments showing, for example, that a group of men exposed to sexist jokes -- but not outright, "serious" sexism -- acted more misogynistically than a control group not exposed to the sexist jokes. (You can find it fairly easily by searching for "sexism" on sciencedirect dot com.)

I think this is because although we are trained to recognize (and reject) outright displays of bigotry, we all harbor some degree of prejudice which racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-semitic/etc humor allows us to express... The humor in a way, normalizes and perpetuates those feelings.

Even if the creator is black (and gay), I still don't feel terribly comfortable watching this video. I don't condemn those who enjoy it. But rather than "letting go of our white guilt", I say white people need MORE of it. There are too many people who are just subtly racist -- not KKK members, but people who will cross the street when they see a black man, or who think that affirmative action is "reverse racism" etc.
24
An updated "West Side Story".
25
As a fan of the Disney film, I *love* this as an affectionate parody, and the actress playing Belle has a stunningly beautiful voice.

But, ashamed as I'm to write this, is there a transcript of it somewhere? I'm one of them dirty foreigners and I didn't understand half of it, I'm afraid.
26
I'm that white guy that has never found this type of "popular black comedy" to be funny at all. It just feels racist, which is enough racist for me to not like it. I'm sure on many levels it's not racist, but I don't think black people usually talk like that, even if they are singing a song.
28
Never mind the transcript, I just realized the text's on the YouTube page of the vid. Just fyi if anybody else got trouble understanding it.
29
Yeah, Elaine, I understood maybe 1/4 of what they were saying. Between this and the episode of QI I watched last night, I'm feeling like English is rapidly approaching mutual incomprehensibility.
30
I'm white. No guilt. Just don't find it funny. Just depressingly slapstick.
31
There is no need to have a discussion about how racist this is when it has been made by a black person. However, the video is classist, so it's just another way of disenfranchising people.
32
I kind of worry about how some will interpret this. I've seen Lisa Lampanelli perform and as a gay man I wasn't offended by her cracks because I don't believe they are born of malice. My concern is that folks that really are racist or homophobic laugh for a different reason than I would. It may allow them to feel their racist views are acceptable and validated by this type of humor. A young lady I work with love Lampanelli but since I've heard her try to argue with black folks to "just get over" people using tthe "N" word, all the horrible stuff that happened to black people is long in the past and shouldn't affect you. I got the same story about "faggot". Her response.....it's just a bunch of sticks. She then proceeded to sit down and say the "n" word three consecutive times for no reason other than to offend. I hope this is coherent enough.....if so, anyone else think this way?
33
Dudes name is Todrick?
34
The humor hinges on color-blindness. Belle is subjected to everybody's petty judgements but they all find something other than whiteness to judge her by. They may be crude stereotypes but in a way they are more evolved than us (the audience) because they are oblivious to her color. Belle too - she's ridiculously naive - but you have to envy her because she sees each person as an individual. Color doesn't register. That's the charm of the fairy tale - a world where skin color does not register.
35
4:03 "Girl hide your kids"

Did you see who that was!?
36
No 35, who was it?
37
Antoine Dodson. Youtube search him. Best use of autotune ever. He is a star !
38
Cannot. Stop. Watching.
39
I love the stereotype of a naive white woman wearing a bodice, who prances and twirls with a basket of flowers. No one's life is like that. Well, maybe Mitt Romney's.
40
Much worse stuff than this is in our pop culture all the time. Just listen to rap music, it's very misogynistic and perpetuates all sorts of stereotypes.

I don't have white guilt but I still did not think that video was funny. I have seen too many Disney parodies before.
41
I couldn't watch more than about 30 seconds of this, because I don't find stereotypes about black people particularly funny. So, could someone explain what Todrick's being gay has to do with this? Does the humor get homophobic later on?
42
@26 you clearly have not spoken to that many black people. it's obviously over the top, but the heart is there. and it's funny. so all you poo-pooing nay sayers really need to relax. being a relatively attractive white woman with a big booty, i really related to belle's adventures around town. white guilt is so old. as a society, we should be able to tell the difference between actual racism and playful jabs. would there be this faux outrage if this was a jab at say, Scandinavian people?
43
Nobody finds it strange that the dynamic of PC/white guilt/whatever you want to call it results in white people dictating to black people what they can and can't do?
44
@23, I'm having trouble finding that article, and I'd really love to read it. Can you give anything more specific from the citation?
45
@35 I died inside. Antoine Dodson is great - I wish he would appear in more videos.

@26 this video doesn't seem racist because its not portaying all black people, its portraying black hood people. (Theres a difference. So while it would be crude to portray "all black people as talking like this", the video doesn't. It portrays a specific community that, roughly speaking, DOES talk like this.) And you don't have to laugh AT the characters - you can laugh with them.
46
@44 better late than never... sorry

More Than “Just a Joke”: The Prejudice-Releasing Function of Sexist Humor
Thomas E. Ford

Romero-Sánchez et al. (2010) Exposure to sexist humor and rape proclivity: the moderator effect of aversiveness ratings

Also a ton of other research on this front.