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This Week in Racism

Johnny Depp Plays Native American in Movie, World Shrugs

Johnny Depp’s new movie, The Lone Ranger, came out this week. In this hilarious romantic comedy, Mr. Depp portrays a potentially schizophrenic Native American named Tonto, who speaks in a bizarre broken English and talks to a dead bird that sits...

Photo by Flickr User ATempltetonPhoto

Welcome to a special post-Fourth of July edition of This Week in Racism. I’ll be ranking news stories on a scale of 1 to RACIST, with “1” being the least racist and “RACIST” being the most racist.

- Johnny Depp’s new movie, The Lone Ranger, came out this week. In this hilarious romantic comedy, Mr. Depp portrays a potentially schizophrenic Native American named Tonto, who speaks in a bizarre broken English and talks to a dead bird that sits on top of his head. All totally normal behavior. Depp, who is definitely white, to the extent that he's appeared in every Tim Burton movie ever made, has claimed that he’s qualified to play Tonto because he’s actually part Cherokee. There are some Native groups that doubt Depp’s connection to their culture, which is kind of akin to demanding Barack Obama’s birth certificate or forcing Applebee’s to disclose their nutrition facts. Some questions don’t need answering. That said, Depp playing Tonto makes as much sense as a black guy playing Jim West in the movie version of Wild Wild West, having a bunch of white kids in The Last Airbender, or eating at Applebee's. 5


- The New York Times Op-Ed page isn’t the first place you’d expect to find prejudice. It’s maybe the 15th or 16th (the first is, of course, Applebee’s). Despite that, columnist David Brooks found it within himself to imply that Egyptians, who are in the process of yet another tumultuous revolution, “lack even the basic mental ingredients” to sustain a democracy. If Brooks is to be believed, an entire nation of people is too stupid to self-govern purely because of their origin (or their religion, it wasn't exactly clear). If being dumb means you can’t govern your own country, then I suggest Mr. Brooks stays out of Applebee’s lest he start feeling the same way about the United States. 8

- If you are watching the live feed of CBS’s Big Brother, chances are pretty good that you’ll hear someone say something bigoted. Yeah, pretty awesome, right? Without the power of editing, reality shows become, well… real again. Unfortunately, that means some people are going to be racist. By “some people,” I mean, “the entire cast of CBS’s Big Brother. was nice enough to compile a few of the choicest gems from the live feed. For instance:

  • Talking about sheets that smelled bad, David said they were that way because “black Candice” was on them, then admitted, “that was totally racist.”
  • Aaryn said about Candice, who is black, “Be careful what you say in the dark; you might not be able to see that bitch.” (A month ago, Aaryn tweeted, “Attractiveness comes from inside. What would you look like if your looks mirrored your words and actions?” So much irony.)
  • Gina Marie said, “You know two blacks stick together. They’re like tokens.”
  • Aaryn said of Helen, “Shut up. Go make some fucking rice.” I assume this “Helen” person is Asian, because what I know about Asians is that they love rice. That’s literally all I know.


CBS is taking a diplomatic stance, stating: “At times, the houseguests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by several of the houseguests on the live internet feed to be offensive. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a houseguest appearing on Big Brother, either on any live feed from the House or during the broadcast, are those of the individual(s) speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program.”

So, instead of coming out and saying they’d be making changes to the live feed so that hateful statements would cease to be made, CBS is just saying, “Hey, we’re not racist, OK????” I understand where they’re coming from. Just because my dog is racist doesn’t mean I’m racist.

Yes… I have a racist dog. I found him in the parking lot outside an Applebee’s. 9

- Here's a picture of Ann Coulter signing a book:

Photo by Flickr User WhiskeyGoneBad

What a sweetheart.

@YesYoureRacist’s Ten Most Racist Retweets of the Week [all grammar sic'd]:

10. @09Devo: "I'm not racist, but when racial stereotypes are proven before my eyes, I can't help but laugh. #friedchicken"

9. @caitynicole_: "Y did obama take a $4.2 billion trip to Africa but cancel the fireworks for marines on the 4th? Bc hes a ni**er"

8. @Joe_Gregs: "I'm not racist but if there was ever a black James Bond it would be a disgrace"


7. @J315Stevo: "I'm not racist but I can't stand when white chicks like black dudes."

6. @bisonpride14: "Happy 4th America. Independence and Freedom! But not anymore cause of that ni**er Obama #FreedomIsntFree#Hesgottogo"

5. @boriesmarrero: "I'm not racist. But the way I act towards people makes then think that i am."

4. @LunaBaaby: "I'm not racist but if these fuckin Mexicans that live by MY HOUSE pop anymore fuckin fireworks… SOMEONE'S getting DEPORTED!"

3. @_Kells5_: "I'm not racist but if ur gonna be crying about slavery when the president is black u can kick rocks all the way out my mentions"

2. @SomeIrishChap: "I'd like to think that I'm not racist, but f*ck me, there's few things more annoying than a bus full of foreign students"

1. @bilalqayyum: "I'm not racist, but if your skin colour is like Akon's, please avoid wearing shocking pink."

Last Week in Racism: A Pork-Laced Bullet Designed to Kill Muslims