Last night, Jon Stewart ripped into to the recent controversy swirling around the University of Oklahoma and the video showing members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing a disgustingly racist song linked to the “tradition” of the organization.
Naturally, some conservatives did their best to blame almost anything but blatant racism, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts even suggested that this display was somehow tied to rap music, not racism.
“Two things: first of all, the kids on that bus weren’t repeating a rap song that they had heard,” Stewart said. “They were gleefully performing one of their fraternity’s old, let’s call them anti-Negro spirituals, featuring a word that pre-dates rap. And probably folk. And thought. Black rappers did not introduce that word into the vernacular. And second of all, how come when conservatives talk about African-Americans, they say ‘These people need to take responsibility for themselves, pull up those pants, get a job.’ But when white people do something racist, they’re all, ‘You can’t blame them. How can those poor children know wrong from right, after being driven to madness by the irresistible power of the hippity-hoppity?’”
For Morning Joe to even suggest that there was some other motive besides racism here is just idiotic. There’s really no way to spin what was said in any manner to make it “seem better” than what it was – which was pure racism.
But Stewart also set his sights on Fox News, stating that nearly every time there’s a blatant showing of racism, the network tries to spin it as an “isolated incident” instead of what it really is – a systematic problem proving that racism is still alive and well in the United States.
“Rather than face the lingering reality of prejudice in this country, each incident, even the Department of Justice’s Ferguson report, as comprehensive a catalog of race-based predation as anyone’s gonna find, is an invitation to bend over backwards to negate the role of race,” he stated.
That’s something I’ve often said about racism – it’s nearly impossible to “prove.” No matter how many examples you stroll out showcasing clear racism, there will be those who simply say those are isolated incidents and have nothing to do with society as a whole. I’ve been amazed in my life how many racists I’ve met who didn’t think they were racist. I’ll never forget a woman I talked to once who said she wasn’t racist, she just didn’t want a black president. No matter how much I tried to point out that her comments were another form of racism, she refused to believe she had a racist bone in her body.
But Stewart summed up the response to this video by many conservatives perfectly when he said, “I guess in Fox world, poverty is a choice, but being racist is a product of your environment.”
Sadly, these people are always trying to excuse racism, while often vilifying the poor regardless of what their circumstances in life might be.
Watch the segment below via Comedy Central: