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[White man's burden] The troubling trend of the hilarious black neighbor

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, May 8, 2013.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    what the writer neglects I think, is the fact that Ramsey, Antoine, et al, are all incredibly charismatic, and the camera loves them. yes, they are miseducated, but that adds to their charm, and everyman appeal.

    --
    The Troubling Viral Trend of the “Hilarious” Black Neighbor

    Charles Ramsey, the man who helped rescue three Cleveland women presumed dead after going missing a decade ago, has become an instant Internet meme. It’s hardly surprising—the interviews he gave yesterday provide plenty of fodder for a viral video, including memorable soundbites (“I was eatin’ my McDonald’s”) and lots of enthusiastic gestures.

    But as Miles Klee and Connor Simpson have noted, Ramsey’s heroism is quickly being overshadowed by the public’s desire to laugh at and autotune his story, and that’s a shame.

    Ramsey has become the latest in a fairly recent trend of “hilarious” black neighbors, unwitting Internet celebrities whose appeal seems rooted in a “colorful” style that is always immediately recognizable as poor or working-class.

    Before Ramsey, there was Antoine Dodson, who saved his younger sister from an intruder, only to wind up famous for his flamboyant recounting of the story to a reporter. Since Dodson’s rise to fame, there have been others: Sweet Brown, a woman who barely escaped her apartment complex during a fire last year, and Michelle Clarke, who couldn’t fathom the hailstorm that rained down in her hometown of Houston, and in turn became “the next Sweet Brown.”

    Granted, the buzzworthy tactic of reporters interviewing the most loquacious witnesses to a crime or other event is nothing new, and YouTube has countless examples of people of all ethnicities saying ridiculous things. One woman, for instance, saw fit to casually mention her breasts while discussing a local accident, while another man described a car crash with theatrical flair.

    Earlier this year, a “hatchet-wielding hitchhiker” named Kai matched Dodson’s fame with his astonishing account of rescuing a woman from a racist attacker. But none of those people have been subjected to quite the same level of derisive memeification as Brown, Clark, and now, perhaps, Ramsey—the inescapable echoes of “Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife!” and “Kabooyaw,” the tens of millions of YouTube hits and cameos in other viral videos, even commercials.

    It’s difficult to watch these videos and not sense that their popularity has something to do with a persistent, if unconscious, desire to see black people perform. Even before the genuinely heroic Ramsey came along, some viewers had expressed concern that the laughter directed at people like Sweet Brown plays into the most basic stereotyping of blacks as simple-minded ramblers living in the “ghetto,” socially out of step with the rest of educated America. Black or white, seeing Clark and Dodson merely as funny instances of random poor people talking nonsense is disrespectful at best. And shushing away the question of race seems like wishful thinking.

    Ramsey is particularly striking in this regard, since, for a moment at least, he put the issue of race front and center himself. Describing the rescue of Amanda Berry and her fellow captives, he says, “I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway!”

    The candid statement seems to catch the reporter off guard; he ends the interview shortly afterward. And it’s notable that among the many memorable things Ramsey said on camera, this one has gotten less meme-attention than most. Those who are simply having fun with the footage of Ramsey might pause for a second to actually listen to the man. He clearly knows a thing or two about the way racism prevents us from seeing each other as people.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat...erry_rescuer_becomes_internet_meme_video.html
     
  2. Katsu

    Katsu Member

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    Reading waaaay too much into it.
     
  3. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Pretty much sensed this the minute I heard the clips on NPR while I was waking up yesterday morning. Unfortunately this guy is the primary source, so there's unambiguous journalistic value in recording and relaying his imagery; and in a society with free speech he's an empirically legitimate target for satire. But the inevitable YouTube clips and meme pics are still genuinely offensive; somehow this generation has fallen into the same trap as those in the early part of the 20th century, thinking that in cartoon, painting or musical form, racial stereotypes are somehow less hurtful.
     
  4. AroundTheWorld

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    Hmm...I think that if a white guy had talked exactly the same way and said the same things with the same facial expressions as Ramsey, I would have laughed at it, too.
     
  5. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    how many times have the "get a brain morans" mullet boys been posted on here? I wouldn't say making fun of blacks is the only game in town...
     
  6. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    Stupid is funny. It's a universal law for us higher beings.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. kpsta

    kpsta Contributing Member

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with making fun of Cardinals fans.
     
  8. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

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    Tomfoolery.
     
  9. Severe Rockets Fan

    Severe Rockets Fan Takin it one stage at a time...

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    So, if we laugh at the dude's mannerisms and quotes it means we're disrespecting the whole black race...and for that matter if we laugh at any quoted black slang we're also disrespecting the black race?
     
  10. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

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    Kai the hatchet hero

    Smash, smash, SMAAAAAASSSHHHH!!!!!!!!

    No matter what you've done, you deserve respect
    even if you made mistakes, you lovable
    doesn't matter your looks, skills, or age and size or anything
    you're worthwhile
    no one can ever take that away from you
    you're worthwhile
    no one can ever take that away from you
    you're worthwhile
    no matter what you've done you deserve respect
    even if you made mistakes, you lovable
    doesn't matter your looks, skills, or age and size or anything
    you're worthwhile
     
  11. krnxsnoopy

    krnxsnoopy Contributing Member

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    Before I click on the link, let me guess, the author of the article is african american??
     
  12. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet
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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Kam

    Kam Contributing Member

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    Nice ebony sister there. What up.
     
  14. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    what's that thing between her breastesses?
     
  15. AroundTheWorld

    Supporting Member

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    I would. I think.
     
  16. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    I knew something was wrong as soon as I saw the article was in Slate. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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  18. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    that's a lot of bad teeth.
     
  19. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Ain't nobody got time for floss.
     
  20. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

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    I can see it, but i also feel that memes start with something ridiculously funny or stupid.

    Race is a big issue even if it's parsed differently between the political spectrum. The issue here isn't political though. It's more a reaction to what they see on the net and create in response to it
     

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