Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Mischief and power

Is this Boondocks cartoon racist? Some white people have been protesting that it is. I think those protests are insincere. Not to mention moronic.

Two thoughts:

- The white person is obviously presented in a wholesome way, even if he's a bit over-earnest. Imagine a version with Legolas watching Aragorn jogging, and he's saying 'Humans!' Its gentle, affectionate humour. If anyone can't see that, I wonder about them.

- Even if the teasing was a bit stronger it would still be OK. Teasing and mischief is funny when it is carried out by those in socially weaker positions. It's always been like that. In ancient Roman comedies the slaves tricked the masters. In Tom and Jerry the mouse beats the cat. Little kids, black children without much money, are less socially powerful than wealthy adult men. So they can get away with teasing and mischief.

Some people don't think that's fair. Perhaps it isn't. But a cartoon of rich adult men ridiculing poor kids wouldn't be funny. A cartoon about a cat eating a mouse wouldn't be funny. A play about a Roman aristocrat outwitting his elderly slave wouldn't be funny.

I just thought - teasing is also funny between equals isn't it, but you have to be a bit careful don't you?
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