If you're a dark-skinned black woman in Egypt, you're likely to be sexually propositioned by men and slighted by women there. At least, that's what African-American journalist Sunni Khalid observed during his three years in the North African country with his Kenyan Somali wife.
How did you celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday—sleeping in, cruising sales at the mall or maybe even working because you didn't have the day off? Of course, you may have actually spent the day attending a Martin Luther King Day parade or engaging in civil rights activism—for which you deserve to be commended because so few people observe the holiday by recognizing King and his work. I, for one, spent MLK Day watching the Oprah Winfrey Show to check out her roundup of programs she's done on race over the past 25 years. So, what were Oprah's most memorable shows on the subject?
I'd be remiss to begin a blog on the intersection of race, gender and pop culture without mentioning that, in reading various other blogs on all three topics, I've kept happening upon the same complaint: that pop culture and many feminist publications often exclude or oversee the unique perspectives offered by women who aren't white. So this blog, then, is a group effort, with your comments and experiences forming an integral part in fostering a thoughtful and inclusive discussion on feminism.
But I am writing to you today not to talk about lady business. Instead I want to talk about how we are both mixed race Southeast Asian high femme ladies, and you are the first mixed race Southeast Asian lady I have ever seen on American television (I am not counting Cassie because she had hardly a line in Step Up 2: The Streets). Your work at the Daily Show has made me feel sad, alone, and quite a bit like crying, despite the fact that I have a shriveled angry little anti-racist feminist heart, and it's rare that things on TV hurt my feelings anymore.
I'm not going to argue about whether or not you got where you got because the male-dominated worlds of gaming and comedy value women who are beautiful, over women who are competently funny, because that horse has been beat to death. And also, comedy is pretty subjective and obviously you have a lot of fans, so clearly there is an audience for your style.
What angers me about your comedy, Olivia Munn, is how it is built on gleeful collusion with misogyny and racism. If we're talking about the race stuff, unlike other comedians of colour (Katt Williams! Dave Chappelle! Russell Peters!) whose jokes—while hit or miss with the kyriarchy—rely on poking fun at white racism, your jokes generally rely on racist stereotypes about your own damn people, to get a laugh out of a racist white audience.
Here's the thing, Ms. Goldberg. You're saying that your judgment of whether someone is racist is the most valid judgment because you're black; that everyone's a little bit racist, and that because everyone's a little bit racist, it's not okay for anyone to condemn racism. You're saying things that would be unquestionably considered racist if they came from a white person, but that you seem to think are just charming and irreverent. You're also suggesting that I actually watch a full episode of The View, which is just silly. There are a lot of things wrong with your defense of Gibson, then your defense of your defense of Gibson, but I still don't want to give the Decree to you alone. I think pouring a cooler full of haterade on you is kind of an easy way out. If you read the comments on any of the blog posts or YouTube videos about this incident (my advice: don't), it's obvious that although you're speaking only from personal experience, you're still voicing pretty popular opinions.