‘Tis the season to be jolly…or as right wing conservatives would have it: ’tis the season to be racist and to spread hatred. Humanevents.com, a website which deems itself as the “headquarters of the conservative underground” is promoting the right wing’s newest shot at sick, racist humor, a holiday song parody titled “Illegals in my Yard”, which is set to the tune of “Feliz Navidad”. The song is rampant with Latino stereotypes as drunken freeloaders who escaped from border patrol and are out to spread disease and to take down Lou Dobbs (you can view the lyrics here, but please keep a brown bag nearby, as you may just hurl).
“Feliz Navidad” was originally written and composed by Jose Feliciano who intentionally used both English and Spanish for his holiday song, as a way to “create a bridge between two wonderful cultures during the time of year in which we hope for goodwill toward all.” Leave it to the right wing to take this well-intentioned Christmas song and turn it into a way to spread their hateful, racist agenda.
Earlier in the year, the Republican National Committee released a “humorous” parody of “Puff the Magic Dragon”, and called it “Barack the Magic Negro”. Though there was considerable backlash from those who saw past the “oh it’s just fun and games” excuse, the RNC refused to apologize. Why apologize? It’s just the right wing conservatives’ miserably failed attempt at “humor”. There is unlikely any feelings of shame or remorse coming from the right wing for creating and circulating such parodies of popular songs. According to right wing conservatives, racist “humor” is apparently alright, so long as it is “humor” aimed towards Latino Americans and African Americans. And, if you cannot laugh at it and brush it off as good fun and humor, you must not be able to take a joke, right? You must not be funny, and you must not have a sense of humor, right?
How do we address this type of “humor”, especially when it is created and perpetuated by those men who are racially, economically and authoritatively in posititions of power? If they refuse to recognize and confront their own racism due to an enormous sense of hubris and denial, how do we respond? Though the answers to these questions are difficult, they are important for us to discuss. So I open this up to you: how do we deal with this particular type of racism?