One of the most venerable guardians of free speech in the nation, The Washington Post, took a step to a surprising direction after it published an article by David Leonard and Dr. Stacy Patton, calling the comedian Amy Schumer a racist.
The article tried to linking the comedy of Schumer to the politics of Donald Trump, accusing Schumer of the use of dehumanizing languages, which gives life to an ecosystem of racial violence and fear. Also, the article accused the comedian of suggesting that the Mexicans or other men of color are actually born as natural rapists. It also added that while churches are being burned, the black families bury their dead, death threats are sent to black women pastors in churches and KKK plans rallies in South Carolina, all that Schumer does is play with race, with the laughter coming from white people alone.
Some powerful accusations have been laid down here, with The Washington Post’s masthead carrying a considerable weight. With a lot of worthy targets to choose from that create genuine oppression, some people cannot but wonder why the Post chose to aim the rather sizable artillery at this specific target at this time? Why comedy? Why Amy Schumer?
Several months ago, The Washington Post together with the whole world clamored to support the victims at Charlie Hebdo, the satire newspaper in France after the attacks on their office that caused the demise of 12 people. The Post stood up for free expression and they published a very polarizing and controversial cover.
The editorial that was published stated that it is must that the US and the rest of Western democracies should rally to their unambiguous defense. If freedom pertains to anything, this is the freedom to express, to include expressions that for some might be offensive, irresponsible or even blasphemous. But in the realm of ideas of art, there is nothing that is or should be sacred, unless the society heads down the slippery slope of self-censorship or censorship.
But it seems that the comedic and sometimes satirical expression of Amy Schumer is not considered important in the piece written by Leonard and Patton. The article seems to say that some topics are actually sacred and cannot be accepted in comedy.
However, the most surprising thing here is that Dr. Patton herself admits that she was never able to watch the shows or performances of Amy while she was writing the article. It seems that she just had presumptions about the racial composition of the audience of Schumer and she also presumed the effect of the comedy of Schumer on the audience. But these presumptions were made with no actual information, and were only based on Dr. Patton’s social medial following and speculations.
The Interrobang: Have you ever watched Amy’s television show… in preparation for the article?
Stacey Patton: Nope. Not at all.
The Interrobang: Her stand up sets? have you ever watched any of them?
Stacey Patton: Nope. None of them.
Why Amy now? It is definitely not because she already went too far beyond the line compared to the rest of the performers. She is not even famous for racial sets. It seems that she became the target because she is getting lots of press with the release of her upcoming film Trainwreck, and many people took interest in her, and a controversy can be profitable.
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