“I’m Not Racist.” Does this claim rid you of the of the title of being a racist? Can this claim remove the guilt you have after saying a racist comment? In America, many are hiding behind the term “I’m not racist” in order to preserve their reputation.
Rapper Joyner Lucas clearly expresses this white reputation preservation in his song titled “I’m Not Racist.” This song’s music video is a conversation between a white stereotypical Donald Trump supporter and a stereotypical African American man. Beginning the video, the white man comments on the lifestyle of the African American community in an extremely condescending manner confused on why he is not able to partake in the “black experience.” The white man continues to demoralize the African American community by claiming that their struggles are caused by their own behaviors. After making statements that tear down African Americans as a whole, he claims “I’m not racist” which is justified by his connection with black friends.
There seems to be a disconnect between races. “I’m Not Racist” by Joyner Lucas clearly depicts how the white culture expects all of the black culture to be exactly like them which in reality will never happen. There is a difference between cultures and that is okay. Within 2 Dope Queens’ show, they have to validate their performance by bringing on a white comedian Jon Stuart. Through the introduction of this character, the majority white audience opens up to the 2 Dope Queens’ performance. Where did this subtle belief that white culture is superior originate? Undoubtedly, the discrete racism that we see in today’s society can be linked to the oppressive views of our ancestors. This subtle racism is demonstrated anywhere from the black man denying that the 2 Dope Queens at the beginning of their show were actually the 2 Dope Queens to the disparity within this country’s education system. Many of the problems that the African American community face are not based on their own behaviors which is expressed in “I’m Not Racist;” however, these struggles are due to the governmental structures that are constructed by the white majority in order to protect their own race.
In order to address the declarations made by the white trump supporter in Joyner Lucas’s “I’m Not Racist” video, the black man responds in an explicit manner. His response includes the reasons why white people cannot say the “n-word” and the effects slavery has had on his own life. The discussion continues to expose the racism in America in addition to the fact that the color of your skin impacts different opportunities that are offered. The African American man concludes his monologue claiming that the only way racism and racial disparity will end is if all races strive to see life from the opposing side.
Within the comedy of Dave Chappelle, he is able to cleverly express his beliefs on the racial disparities that are prevalent today. Similar to the claims made by Joyner Lucas about the difficulty of finding work for a black family, Dave Chappelle opens his show by explaining how his mother had to work multiple jobs in order to provide for her family. Even though this fact about his upbringing was a small portion of his overall joke, he is able to express the hardships that the African American community face. Joyner Lucas explicitly addresses the racism in America; however, Dave Chappelle implicitly comments on the racial disparity in America. Both artists use their means of exposing racism for a specific purpose. The main audience for Joyner Lucas’s music video is the African American community who are able to fully relate to the claims made in the video. On the other hand, Dave Chappelle has a whole different audience of white people who would be turned off by his comedy if he directly exposed the racism in America. Joyner Lucas and Dave Chappelle are in the process of breaking down the barriers between races. In order to bring races together, it is necessary to accept community’s differences and accept them for who they are.