April 2, 2012

"I think if President Obama came out as gay, he wouldn't lose the black vote."

Van Jones laughs, riffing on the "come out" language in the question: "Do you think President Obama would lose some of the black vote if in fact he did come out in support of gay marriage."

Let's analyze why Van Jones thinks that's so funny. The foundation of the joke is the assumption that black people have negative feelings toward gay people. It works as funny because only because we're expected not to take this negativity seriously — either because black bigotry doesn't matter — or is fair retribution for America's racism — or because gay people don't matter... or all three. Throw in the breezy assumption that black people, looking at Obama, will not in any way engage with the actual political issues. Jones portrays black people as emotional, simple-minded, and all alike.

It's a big stew of racial stereotypes from the lawyer/civil rights activist who was chosen by President Obama as the first Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Are we supposed to laugh?

61 comments:

ElPresidenteCastro said...

Hell hath no furry. . .

G Joubert said...

I say you're supposed to consider the source.

Scott said...

As a gay man, I didn't find it particularly offensive, or funny for that matter. Are we supposed to be shocked? Feh. These days, people who work in the race industry are saying all sorts of stupid shit. Sui generis.

David said...

Yes you are supposed to laugh.

If you don't you are a racist.

Laugh, Dammit.

Fen said...

Is this Van Jones the Marxist they wanted to put in charge of Watermelon Energy?

Bender said...

If Obama got caught at a Washington D.C. hotel with a miked up prostitute who sold him crack in a police sting, complete with video of Obama smoking the crack and then saying when the police came in, "bitch set me up, bitch set me up!" -- he still would not lose a single black vote.

Ken said...

Seriously? I think you think too hard about things. Is it really so hard to let a joke to be a joke for crying out loud? Does everything have to be reduced to race and racism?

Of all the shitty things about Van Jones, this is what you're going to get outraged about?

But is the America we live in today. Obama was made to apologize about a Special Olympics joke.

Really, people, get over yourselves. I'm looking at you Ann.

YoungHegelian said...

Really? You're surprised that Van Jones got caught out in public being an asshole?

Every time I've seen Van Jones in the press since his firing, he has always behaved like an asshole.

I also think asking Van Jones about how the black man on the street thinks & feels is like asking Mayor Bloomberg what it's like to work the mines in WV day in day out.

Bender said...

Where is Andy the Hat to tell us all what a hateful homophobe that Jones is?

Now, if someone like Rush Limbaugh were to play a tape of Jones saying that, of course that would make Rush a hateful homophobe who would probably cheer if gays were dragged to death behind pick-up trucks.

CWJ said...

In other news, water is wet.

Kchiker said...

Perhaps he simply doesn’t perceive African Americans as the homophobes that Althouse seems to here. Perhaps he’s laughing at her.

Bender said...

In other plantation news, if someone like Bill Clinton were to go and rape someone and abuse others before walking out with "you better put some ice on that," he still would not lose the votes of leftist, counterfeit feminist, women.

Palladian said...

The foundation of the joke is the assumption that black people have negative feelings toward gay people.

Many American black people seem to have negative feelings toward a lot of different kinds of people. Gay, white, latino, Jewish, Korean, black Africans... But we daren't talk of such poisonous realities. American blacks are apparently too stupid and/or too sensitive to be treated like everyone else, according to some people.

But the communist Jones is correct; race, to racialist-minded American black people, trumps all other considerations.

Are we supposed to laugh?

Perhaps in a bleak, sardonic sort of manner...

Scott said...

Van Jones is probably right. And that must warm the cockles of Maggie Gallagher's pea-sized heart.

Bender said...

Many American black people seem to have negative feelings toward a lot of different kinds of people

Next you'll be suggesting that maybe, just maybe, a certain black teenager in Florida engaged in racial profiling while confronting some Latino guy as suspicious when he was just lawfully and peacefully walking in the neighborhood.

edutcher said...

Commies aren't known for their sense of humor, as Jones proves so masterfully here.

OTOH, how can you laugh when the black vote is given up so mindlessly to the people who have kept them enslaved for almost 250 years?

Kchiker said...

"Van Jones is probably right. And that must warm the cockles of Maggie Gallagher's pea-sized heart.”

I bet she’d argue that Jones portrays black people as emotional, simple-minded, and all alike.

EDH said...

What if Obama came out as bi-curious?

Titus said...

Was there an abortion center bombing in Wisconsin?

Fen said...

Obama won't be coming out of the closet. He's a narcissist... so its more likely he jacks off to his own reflection.

chickenlittle said...

Titus said...
Was there an abortion center bombing in Wisconsin?

Yes Titus. It's just the Republican War On Women flaring up again like herpes.

You can blame it on the South though.

chickenlittle said...

EDH said...
What if Obama came out as bi-curious?

He'd blame his x-chromosome.

Lawler Walken said...

I don't really get the insidious subtext in this joke. I took it to mean that if Obama were to come out as a gay man it would be shocking because he's a (supposedly) happily married man with a family and hasn't ever even hinted at some kind of alternate preference and so if he did come out it would be stunning. But they would still vote for him. Because he's the Dem on the ticket. It's more that than anything else. This we know because Blacks who run as Republicans don't get the racial solidarity vote.

Fen said...

I don't really get the insidious subtext in this joke.

Demographically, blacks are the most homophobic.

bagoh20 said...

Althouse, this is either trolling or oversensitivity.

Sometimes a cigar is just a joke.

Fen said...

Black hatred of gays? Comedy Gold!

Lem said...

My initial reaction is to praise our Fearless Imperious Leader ;)

Lawler Walken said...

"Demographically, blacks are the most homophobic."

And politically they're GOP-phobic. Which I believe trumps whatever irrational fears they supposedly have about homosexuality. Which I'll have to take your word for, not being Black or gay myself.

Seven Machos said...

I blame Bush.

bagoh20 said...

There has to be at least one black gay conservative.

Which Van Jones would call an "Aunt Tom".

chickenlittle said...

Seven Machos said...
blame Bush.

I blame Pubic Enemy

chuck b. said...

"It works as funny because only because we're expected not to take this negativity seriously — either because black bigotry doesn't matter — or is fair retribution for America's racism — or because gay people don't matter... or all three."

Well, who really knows what the fuck anyone is talking about anymore. But this is something big in the gay internets right now that may or may not be helpful:

http://storify.com/homophobes/a-homophobe-s-guide-for-dealing-with-a-gay-child

You might have to put on your glasses to see the possible relevance.

I'm looking for some outrage about today's strip search ruling from the Supreme Court. Anyone know where I can find some? My usual sources of outrage seem oddly, even suspiciously, quiet. Frankly, I'm disappointed.

Lem said...

Lets see..

Van Jones is a public figure..
that's a start.

I suppose I cant discuss race w/o getting into it..

Couldn't we for the purposes of this discussion about race call it something other than race.. like.. I don't know.. a sprint.. except for when I deem beneficial to some cause in the future, I will call it race again.

I just want to lay some ground rules.

Seven Machos said...

Public Enemy is awesome. But does not hold up as well as NWA. Of course, NWA sold out. Except Easy E, who died from AIDS. Now, I've always wondered how he got AIDS, but that would upset the Van Jones comic narrative.

Maguro said...

Well, not unless he was running against a non-gay black guy.

Lem said...

In defence of Van Jones..

Hasn't our vice president said worst things.. about ethnic groups and.. on second thought..

To be compared to Joe Biden is not much of a defence.

Lem said...

Could it be that in the mind of Van Jones all our racial sins of the past have been forgiven and forgotten by the grace and mercy of the election of the one..

So that when Van Jones jokes about race he is doing so out of some historical appreciation for our not so distant (2008 bc) past.

The gays are on their own ;)

Bender said...

Which Van Jones would call an "Aunt Tom".

Of course, the truth is that Tom is actually very heroic, especially in his resistance to evil, even to the point of giving up his life so that others might be free.

But such ignorance combined with the twisting of truth is par for the course in the "up is down" left, which is full of Quimbos and Sambos (such as Jones), the overseers who sadistically seek to keep everyone on the Democrat Plantation, even as that plantation, like Simon Legree's, seeks into a dysfunctional hell-hole.

rcommal said...

I'm looking for some outrage about today's strip search ruling from the Supreme Court. Anyone know where I can find some?

Yeah, I do. [Waves hands vigorously!] I just think it's pointless to bother to express it anymore, especially when and where I know, almost as a certainty, it won't make a spit's worth of difference whether I do.

Bender said...

Strip-searched when picked up for failure to appear in court for allegedly failing to pay a traffic fine?

Yes, it is an outrage. A horrible outrage.

It is an outrage right up until the point where you consider that the arrest necessitated taking the detainee to a jail. And jail is full of other bad guys.

Bad guys who would like to have all sorts of contraband smuggled in. And one of the places that contraband is smuggled into jails in inside people's rectums and vaginas.

As a consequence, for security reasons, it is necessary for some jailer taking custody of the detainee -- regardless of what he was picked up for -- to take a look up the detainee's orifices to make sure that no drugs or weapons are brought in.

bagoh20 said...

The thing about the strip search is that it is important to make sure that people put into the jail do not have weapons or drugs on them. It's just too dangerous to not search. I've had the search, I've gone to a sleep over in an LA jail. The search is truly humiliating, but you don't want those people to have anything on them. They will fight over a pillow, a blanket, a wrong look, anything.

But, since jail is such a dangerous place and you need to be strip searched, people should NOT be put in jail so carelessly. It's willful endangerment and humiliation of a legally innocent citizen. It needs to be for a damned good reason, unless it's solitary.

Bender said...

The question in the Florence v. Board case is not whether the strip-search was reasonable or an outrage, the question is whether it was necessary to place him in a jail setting, where such a search was necessary, or whether he might have been temporarily held in some lesser-level of detention, like a police station holding cell or handcuffed to a bench in the booking area.

In Florence's particular case, because he was picked up on a bench warrant from another jurisdiction, requiring that he be transported to another county, apparently there was no other alternative to jail.

Lem said...

Van Jones was strip-searched?

Somebody needs to stop Sheriff Arpaio.

bagoh20 said...

Something that bothers me is that many standard police procedures are a worse offense to the citizenry than the infraction the citizen is accused of, and often without reason. The search is one, and it should not be taken lightly. I think the search and much of the over the top stuff is just bullying plain and simple. Some people are into that, and unfortunately many are cops.

Bender said...

Reading the actual opinion now, and not just a summary, I need to correct what I said above -- it is not a traffic fine that Florence was alleged to have not paid, it was a fine for criminal convictions for obstruction of justice and use of a deadly weapon, after he had been arrested for fleeing from police several years earlier.

Any kind of prior charge for flight and you can be sure that, because you are forever a flight risk, they are going to take you to jail, or at the least impose a large bond on you, especially if you are then picked up on a warrant for failure to appear. They are going to make sure that you get to court this time. And if that court is in another county, that means spending at least a night in jail before they can transport you.

Ken said...

Macho,

Chickenlittle said "Pubic Enemy", not "Public Enemy". Ha! A sex joke about a gay joke.

Seven Machos said...

I know.

Too bad the conversation somehow went to anal cavity searches when you get speeding tickets. I wish Bender would stick to bitching and moaning about Romney without remotely suggesting any alternative.

SGT Ted said...

We already know the answer to that question. It was answered in 2008 when the very large turn out of blacks that voted for Obama also helped pass Prop 8 here in CA banning gay marriage. Exit polling shows that 70% of minorities voted to oppose gay marriage.

Liberals here in CA deny this outright. Even a cooked study that a pro-gay marriage group recently released claiming that the 70% number wasn't real still showed majority support for prop 8 amongst the black community.

They will not criticise minority support for prop 8. They will bash the Mormons and White Catholics til kingdom come for sending money to black and Latino pastors and priests that had agreed with them to support Prop 8.

But, they will NOT, NOT, NOT talk about the "homophobia" of minorities, whether black or hispanic, who are religious and overwhelmingly anti-gay marriage. They insist it doesn't exist. Its a huge blind spot.

They also REALLY don't like it when you point out Obamas opposition to gay marriage.

pm317 said...

Jones portrays black people as emotional, simple-minded, and all alike.

Why is he wrong? They voted for Obama upwards of 90% and may still do so in Nov. That is why he is laughing. It is a happy laugh, a deceitful laugh, a triumphant laugh at the stupid people who deplore gays but would still vote for Obama even if he says he is gay all because of his skin.

BarryD said...

"Jones portrays black people as emotional, simple-minded, and all alike."

First off, he's portraying ~95% of black voters that way, not "black people". And whenever you have a voting bloc like that, "emotional and simple-minded" are a likely characterization of that bloc AS VOTERS.

They might not be that way in general, but as voters that is likely the case.

Reagan's electoral vote landslide in 1980 was a 50.7% to 41% vote, and Carter was the most unpopular incumbent in my lifetime. Amid Depression panic, for which Hoover took the fall, Hoover STILL got almost 40% of the popular vote.

Nobody gets 95% of the vote. There are always arguments on either side. A voting bloc that is so close to monolithic probably IS voting with emotions, and taking a simple-minded approach to that election.

If 95% of the evangelical vote went to Huckabee, or 95% of LDS vote went to Romney, including Harry Reid voters, or 95% of the caucasian vote went to McCain, or whatever you want to dream up, the same sort of emotional, simple-minded tribalism would be at play IN THAT VOTE. That doesn't say anything about how those voters are as parents, soccer coaches, engineers, chefs or mechanics.

It's just an empirical observation. What underlies it is a different, and perhaps complex, question.

Unknown said...

Wait, Barry's not gay?

You putting me on?

Segesta said...

I need to create a new form of Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock to account for the varying relationships between blacks, gays, "White Hispanics", aging college students who want free contraception, and former DC Mayors.

submandave said...

"Jones portrays black people as emotional, simple-minded, and all alike."

And, unfortunately, as a voting demographic, I'm afraid he may be accurate. I have friends and coworkers who are black and are as politically thoughtful as any other good citizen, but living in a city that is majority black and seeing, year after year, the same crooks roll out the "you're disadvantaged because of racism and I'm gonna help you" campaign BS without any demonstrable results I can't help but agree with Van Jones' assessment in the aggregate.

BTW, that's not to say that the average white voter is any less emotional or simple-minded.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I think if President Obama came out as gay. . .

TRIAL BALLOON!!

BarryD said...

"Wait, Barry's not gay?"

Jones said "come out as gay". In no way did he imply that BO isn't gay. In fact, he implied that he is.

Molly said...

The premise of the question is not that blacks are anti-gay, but that the black religious establishment is anti-gay-marriage.

In Maryland, during the recent debate over gay marriage is was (initially, though it later passed) the opposition of black pastors that kept the bill from advancing.

From this perspective, the question makes sense: Do these religious blacks feel so strongly about the biblical basis of no-gay-marriage that would turn away from Obama. And Van Jones's response is simply that no issue is strong enough to make a difference for most black Obama supporters.

Famac said...

Unfortunately it happens to be true.

paul a'barge said...

Jones portrays black people as emotional, simple-minded, and all alike

ummm, ok. And? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Bruce Hayden said...

""I think if President Obama came out as gay, he wouldn't lose the black vote.""

I do find that both interesting and very plausible. Supposedly, Blacks are far more "homophobic" (or, probably more accurately, anti-gay) than are Whites. But also more pro-life and conservatively Christian. Yet, they find themselves constantly having to cut deals with their moral enemies in order to retain their seat at the table in Democratic party politics.

But, hey, Jews find themselves having to support racial quotas and Affirmative Action, despite being one of the groups most harmed by such.

Bruce Hayden said...

If 95% of the evangelical vote went to Huckabee, or 95% of LDS vote went to Romney, including Harry Reid voters, or 95% of the caucasian vote went to McCain, or whatever you want to dream up, the same sort of emotional, simple-minded tribalism would be at play IN THAT VOTE.

Nothing against our Mormon brethren here, but I do expect that if it comes down to an Obama/Romney election, that the later will pull 80+% of the LDS vote, even in Nevada, which continues to return Harry Reid to the Senate. Maybe even 90%.

The problem is that there does appear to be some religious tribalism with the adherents of that religion. Not that Harry Reid got anywhere near those levels of the Mormon vote, but rather, that when all things are close to equal, Mormons seem to prefer their own, combined with them being, on average (at least since the epic deal that traded statehood for 8 Senators a bit over a century ago) somewhat conservative. One place you see this is in the legal profession - that, for example, the adage that you should have at least one Mormon on your litigation team, if you are litigating in Las Vegas. I should throw in Tempe Arizona and Salt Lake City, though the later is a given.

And, this, I think, pales to the tribalism you often see with Jews. As a fried calls it, the MOT (Member of the Tribe) discount or preference that he often wrangles. The only reason that I don't think that it is more noticeable when voting, is the low percentage of Jews in our country.

What all these groups have in common is persecution. The Blacks since so many were imported as slaves, the Mormons since at least they were burned out of Illinois, and the Jews for maybe 1600 years. Maybe closer to 2,000, or at least the destruction of the Second Temple.

Don M said...

All this time I thought Navoo was in Missouri.

Learn something every day.