I was going to end this topic and wait for September to add additional contemplation as I said I would in my last submission but happened to see an article in the Boston Globe this morning directly related to this topic of the developing new school racism that instinctively is too funny for me to pass on without comment. It was entitled “A Sad Day for Late Night” by a Renee Graham complaining of the recent cancellation of Larry Wilmore’s “Nightly Show” on Comedy Central. For those that are unfamiliar with the show, Larry Wilmore is the comic (at least he calls himself a comic, whether he was ever actually funny is a separate issue) who took over the television spot left open by Stephen Colbert ending the “Colbert Report” by moving to CBS to start “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.
For those not familiar with Stephen Colbert, it is important to tell you that the mainstream CBS Late Show with him is nothing like the Colbert Report and the latter was in a completely different genre. The Colbert Report was complete, total, high art satire — the satire was so subtle and done so well that many times the guests and people being satirized did not even know they were being satirized. During one year of his show, congressional leaders barred their members from appearing on the Colbert Report because they were constantly looking like idiots during his questioning of them as part of a satire called “Better Know a District”. I admittedly loved the show, watched the premier of his Late Show and his fall from grace, and have not seen the Late Show again and do not intend to see it again — another example in the battle against the powers of “how the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished”.
Ms. Graham’s thesis is that the Nightly Show was cancelled because of Larry Wilmore’s “unabashed blackness”. “Unabashed blackness”? What the hell does that mean? Since he was cancelled because of unabashed blackness, does that meet that the multimillionaire black comics from Redd Fox and Flip Wilson to Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, and many more succeeded because of abashed blackness?
I tried watching Larry Wilmore and the Nightly Show hoping that Colbert had told him to “take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.” Instead, what I got was a nice guy Larry Wilmore having politically correct guests stating the usual politically correct ideas in as non-offensive a way as possible. What was really sad is when he actually came anywhere near an actual new idea, comment, or satire, he would immediately regret it and apologize! For example, during one episode, while discussing black fatherhood Wilmore referenced a statistic that fewer black women were getting married and then made the following joke: “Is it because black women are too bossy?” This is not even a new joke. Richard Pryor, the early nightclub Chris Rock, and many other black comics had and to this day have entire routines on this comic ridicule of black women that almost always leads into a ridicule of “white women” as being too easy. Wilmore had immediately to apologize for this joke and then repeated his apology the next night saying, “we love you” — otherwise he probably would have been cancelled a long time ago. He was always making apologies, not for not being funny which is the only sin for which comics should apologize, but for actually trying to be funny. I have never seen a comic apologize for a joke except for Don Rickles who would use an apology as a setup for much worse ridicule. So, is being a comic wimp “unabashed blackness” and Chris Rock and the rest are really white comics?
For anyone unfamiliar with the Boston Globe, you need to know that it is Boston’s brahmin newspaper preferred by New England brahmin Yankees over its opposition the lowbred, uncouth, working class Boston Herald. (This situation of only two newspapers is new school. Growing up in Chicago, we had several working class newspapers and several opposition brahmin papers to choose from. Now, you must surf the internet to get any diversity of opinion on any news.)
I have not been able to find out much about Ms. Renee Graham except that she is a black woman and the Globe lists her as a freelance contributor and pop culture critic. Do not know to what pop culture they are referring but it certainly must not be comedy pop culture. I have looked up her articles available on the internet and they are the usual politically correct droning with not one containing any original or new idea on any topic. No doubt, given that Ms. Graham works for the Boston Globe, she has succeeded in life — like Mr. Coates — by telling rich white people what they what to hear and being their black friend.
What is sad or funny about Ms. Graham’s topic is that while making the false accusation that Mr. Wilmore was cancelled because he was black, neither she nor any “pop culture” critic is doing anything about the virtual lynching of a black comic Bill Crosby based on mainly white women’s complains that he raped them, some accusations going back to supposed events of 40 years ago. Bill Crosby is the working class kid from Philadelphia who worked his way up not only to being a pioneer for black comics as role models instead of renegades but also with the television show I Spy became the first black actor to have a starring role in a weekly dramatic television series. He deserves better than the ridicule and treatment he is receiving for what may turn out to be false allegations and at worse may be unfortunately what was accepted procedure in Hollywood and television at the time by those in power and by women who wanted power. I doubt Crosby would be treated as he is by “pop culture” if he was an upper class rich male in the Kennedy family. Ted Kennedy drowned one of his late night lady friends (Ms. Mary Jo Kopechne) at Chappaquiddick, got away with it through his family and political connections, and then lived his life and ended it as a politically correct friend of liberated black and white women despite his and his family’s history of treating them and all their female acquaintances and especially the female members of their families like shit in their personal relationships with them.
The reasonable conclusion is that what Ms. Graham means by “unabashed blackness” is that Mr. Wilmore acted like politically correct Yankee brahmins attending an afternoon tea in which nothing is said that may make anyone think or feel uncomfortable so that all can go home satisfied with themselves and sleep well at night knowing they are perfect. In short, “unabashed blackness” is the same as “abashed whiteness”. Without doubt, Ms. Graham is a new school racist but deludes herself and her readers into believing they are not — this is the new harm and danger of new school racism.