UPDATED 6:30 PM EST, 5/4/14:
Leslie Jones responds to criticism of her slave “jokes” via Twitter:
So, yes, a couple of things here:
1.) Rape is the absence of consent, not the absence of melanin.
2.) Being purchased from an auction block and matched with a “Mandingo” to breed babies who will also be enslaved shows the systematic nature of slave rape.
But we’ll just let Jones be great.
After such a huge outcry was raised over Russell Simmons green-lighting the disgusting “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape,” one would think comedians got the message that jokes about the rape culture that flourished during slavery were unacceptable.
Saturday Night Live didn’t get the memo.
During last night’s Weekend Update, comedian Leslie Jones joined host Colin Jost to discuss Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o being named People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman of the Year.
Jones joked that usefulness should be the new standard of beauty, setting up for the painfully embarrassing monologue that followed:
“The way we value Black beauty has changed. I’m single now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I’m six feet tall and I’m strong. Look at me, I’m a Mandingo,” she said.
When Jones was asked by Jost, whom she called a “delectable Caucasian,” did she want to be a slave, she replied:
“I do not want to be a slave. I don’t like working for all you White people now and you pay me. But back in the slave days, my love life would have been better. Master would have hooked me up with the best brotha on the plantation and every nine months I’d be in the corner popping out super babies. I’d just keep popping them out. Shaq. Kobe, LeBron, Kimbo Slice, Sinbad. I would be the number one slave draft pick. All of the plantations would want me” she said. “Now, I can’t get a brotha to take me out for a cheap dinner. Can a bitch get a beef bowl?!!”
Watch it below:
We guess SNL said the trade-off of having Black women join the cast was that they had to joke about slave rape and being forced into motherhood by giving birth to enslaved babies. It’s the American Way, right?
Let’s be clear: Slavery was a holocaust for Black Americans. There has never been one time that the collective trauma of White Americans has been used for laughs. Only marginalized groups are expected to laugh at their pain.
And the fact that a Black woman sat up there shucking and jiving with a White man about the dehumanization of Black women that took place on auction blocks around the country is pathetic.
This is just another example of why cosmetic diversity does not equal true progress.
Follow Kirsten West Savali on Twitter at @KWestSavali.