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As I See It

Racist jokes don’t belong at White House



There is something uncomfortable about watching the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner. And it’s not just the room was filled with narcissists pretending to love one another. It was uncomfortable because despite the racial tension in this country, there were so many jokes about race. I thought we weren’t supposed to make racially charged jokes, but President Obama dropped one right off the bat when he apologized for being late, saying he was on CPT, a reference to colored people time. That is the same joke that got Hillary Clinton in hot water earlier this year. If it wasn’t funny then, it shouldn’t be funny now. In an era when protesters and police are increasingly clashing over the treatment of black people, how can we laugh at jokes like that? Host Larry Wilmore offered a joke about Hillary Clinton being confronted by the group black lives matter, suggesting he hadn’t seen a white woman that upset over being blindsided by a black person since Kelly Ripa. There were other jokes, targeted at politicians and journalists alike, but there were too many that were racially tinged. Wilmore even referred, apparently lovingly, to Obama by a derivative of the N word in his closing remarks. At this annual event the nation’s leaders are not only saying its ok to tell racist jokes, they are fanning the flames of racism. How can we tell our kids its not ok, when even the President of the United States is telling racist jokes?

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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