Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang really felt the need to throw a cape on for Joe Rogan in explaining how he isn’t racist because he *checks notes* interacts with Black people and then taking his audacity a step further by citing Rogan’s supposed “Black friends” to back him up on it.
Et tu, Yang? Et tu?
“I don’t think Joe Rogan is racist,” Yang wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “The man interacts with and works with black people literally all of the time.”
You know who else interacted and worked with Black people all the time? Slave masters, sharecroppers, racist police officers and literally any racist white business owner that wasn’t so racist that they wouldn’t accept and exploit Black labor.
I could write a whole separate essay on all the reasons the idea that one can’t be racist if one works with Black people is absurd, but let’s move on to what Yangs tweeted then deleted next.
“Do I know Black friends of Joe’s who would swear by him? Yes I do,” he posted.
Imagine someone who considers himself to be progressive still being so tone-deaf in 2022 that he still thinks the “but he has a Black friend” excuse will fly.
We don’t have to debate whether or not Rogan is racist because his own words already tell us all we need to know—which brings me to my next point…
Why is nobody talking about Rogan’s racism outside of his use of the n-word?
First, let’s just take a look at the part of Rogan’s apology:
Rogan spent a lot of time emphasizing that the clips in Aries reel were “taken out of context” from “12 years of conversations” on his podcast, because when white people get caught being racist, they can’t just say, “I’m sorry for being racist,” they need to clarify that what they said was racist but they themselves are not.
“It looks f****** horrible, even to me,” Rogan said. “I know that to most people there is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast. I agree with that now. I haven’t said it in years.”
“I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing,” Rogan continued.
It’s all well and good that Rogan has finally come to glory on the fact that many Black take issue with the use of the word coming out of non-Black mouths regardless of context and that taking it upon himself to decide what the impact is and isn’t is the height of white privilege. Apparently, there are other broadcasters who could use that lesson as well.
Later on in his apology video, Rogan attempted to explain away the part where he talked about seeing Planet of the Apes in a Black neighborhood in Philadelphia and how he described his experience as having walked “in the planet of the apes” and “in Africa” while his guests laughed at the racist AF joke Rogan said he made to be “entertaining.”
What does it say about Rogan’s audience that he felt the need to call Black people apes just to entertain them? And in what context could what Rogan said possibly be OK?
“I did not nor would I ever say that Black people are apes, but it sure f***** sounded like that,” Rogan said.
Listen: I’ve heard a lot of lame excuses white people give when explaining the racist thing they said, but “I didn’t say the racist thing I admit I did say, but it sounded like I said it because I absolutely did say it,” is definitely a new one.
He went on to say that he acknowledged the comment was racist and he was just saying “there’s a lot of Black people there,” but that’s OK because “it wasn’t a racist story” and he went on to say what a “positive” and “fun” experience it was to see a movie around Black people.
BRO, THAT’S A RACIST STORY!!!
Just because he acknowledged what he said was racist doesn’t mean he isn’t still racist for having thought it up, and the fact that he even had an issue with all the Black people around in the first place and was surprised about how “positive” the experience was says something about his preconceived notions about Black people—and that’s WTF racism is.
Also, if Rogan has learned so much since then, why is he still out here describing Black people from Africa as being “from the darkest place where they’re not wearing any clothes all day and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun” and whitesplaining that only those people should even be considered Black?
Sorry, Yang, but maybe he’s just a racist with a few Black friends.