In a conversation about political correctness on Monday’s Late Show, comedian Margaret Cho said that it’s a “delight” to be able to make racist jokes as part of a minority, as they force the audience to reveal something about themselves: that they’re probably a little bit racist.
Cho told host Stephen Colbert that she grew up in the era of of “Asian driver jokes” and she would go up on stage and say, “My name is Margaret Cho and I drive really well.” In response, “People would be taken aback,” said Cho, “because they’d realize, ‘Oh. … I was racist this whole time.’ ”
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Colbert then wondered if “it might be better if everybody started with a baseline of, ‘I’m going to assume I’m racist’ when I’m talking about a race that isn’t mine because I don’t know what that experience is like and I have presuppositions about what it’s like to be someone of another race or the behavior of the race if I think of a person as part of a race and not as an individual.”
If you got lost somewhere in there, so did Cho. Colbert simplified it by introducing himself as “Stephen Colbert, probably a racist. How are you?”
Cho replied that people needn’t worry so much about whether or not they’re racist. “What’s really annoying is that nobody really cared about race until white people got involved and now all we do is talk about race. All that white fragility is so annoying — you’ve got to walk on eggshells around white people. … It was so much easier when we just walked on their back.”