And bless his heart for that
The race relations debate in America has become a caricature of its former self. What was once a serious conversation about ending discrimination and hatred has become a three ring circus of hand-wringing and recriminations over whose office, TV show, or university has the largest representation of minority members.
It’s not a question of sharing cultural elements, or learning a new language; all that really matters to the race relations brigade these days comes down to hard numbers—how many of you are there?—and regular reminders about the dangers of “cultural appropriation,” making it nearly impossible for America to enjoy its status as a world class melting pot.
This is why I fully endorse any and all attempts to lampoon the Very Important Concerns© of those who make it their mission in life to question my commitment to love and equality.
In his latest edition of “Pedestrian Questions,” comedian Jimmy Kimmel did just that—and managed to make his own point about race relations in America (even if it happened by accident.)
Shock! Awe! The Week called it “an interesting, if somewhat quixotic and cringe-inducing, way to look at race relations in America.”
What I noticed, though, is the only people cringing were the people being asked how many black friends they could conjure up at any given moment.
I think this is really where America is at: Why is this person asking me if I have black friends? When is the last time I took inventory of the various skin colors on my Facebook timeline? When I tested myself with this question, I was able to create a list of black friends…and Asian friends…and latino and Jewish friends…but it felt weird to do so. I couldn’t remember the last time I tried to do a demographic breakdown of the contacts in my phone.
It didn’t just feel stupid. It felt wrong. Why would I reduce my friends to columns on some sort of politically correct spreadsheet? They’re humans.
Jimmy’s audience laughed along with the bit, and I think it’s because they recognized that. Maybe this is what real progress looks like—getting to the point where it feels completely ridiculous to take inventory of our friends, lest we get caught with a group a little too white for the tastes of the average racially-minded talking head.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.