June 2, 2016
David Cole: ‘Yes, the frog on the unicycle is racist’
David Cole writes:
For a people who like to boast about being descended from kings, this is most surely an ignominious reduction in influence. “My ancestors ruled over a vast, fertile kingdom and commanded an army of warriors. I got a frog on a unicycle banned from a Facebook group.” From Zulu emperor to hobo emperor. It would be funny if not for the fact that the black community in the U.S. can ill afford such stupidity from its leaders and activists. Stoners wearing dreadlocks and frogs on unicycles…these are the worst problems black Americans face?
As a Jew, this whole cultural appropriation thing befuddles me… (…)
Fletcher proved that Americans have a voracious (and color-blind) appetite for catchphrase comedy. “Open the door, Richard!” became not only a comedy phenomenon, but a musical one as well, with artists like Count Basie, Jack McVea, and Louis Jordan (as well as Fletcher himself) putting the routine to music. “Open the door, Richard!”—as a routine, a catchphrase, and a song—was a massive crossover hit. So of course the NAACP complained, on the grounds that whites were enjoying something performed in the “black vernacular.” As long as only blacks were laughing at Fletcher, it was fine. But when whites found the exact same thing funny, it became a genocidal atrocity. The NAACP protested Fletcher’s popularity, demanding that the poor bastard be sent straight to the underside of the bus. Dusty Fletcher’s legacy was lost, but what was won? Nothing, other than the ability to say, “We took our ball and went home.”