Western culture looked radically different seven years ago, but it still gave us a preview at what was heading our way.
Woke warriors willing to take down anyone for any reason.
Cancel Culture remained years away, but special interest groups were looking for offenses both large and microscopic back in 2014.
Enter Stephen Colbert.
The far-left comedian toiled at Comedy Central at the time. His “Colbert Report,” a nightly show taking Bill O’Reilly to task for his “no spin zone” bluster, followed Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show.”
During one fateful broadcast, Colbert attacked Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder, a popular target in sports circles. Colbert cracked that Snyder started a new organization to take the heat off him for his team’s allegedly racist nature.
‘I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ch***-Ch*** Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.'”
The joke? Snyder is so tone deaf even his attempts at damage control make the problem worse, if not more racist. The bit actually referenced a similar routine Colbert performed in 2005 and repeated over the following years:
“Oh, I ruv tea. It’s so good for you. You so pretty, American girl,” Colbert, in his conservative talk-show host persona, jibber-jabbers in the 2005 segment. “You come here. You kiss my tea make her sweet. I need no sugar when you around. Come on my rickshaw, I give you a ride to Bangkok.”
The comic conceit involving Snyder was progressive to the core, on paper. Except the official Twitter account for the Comedy Central show shared the “Ch***-Ch***” quote sans context.
Seen that way, it’s a potentially offensive gag. That triggered the usual suspects.
Suey Park, a freelance writer and online activist, was quick to pick up on the post and, believing Mr Colbert himself to be behind the tweet, demanded the show be cancelled.
She wrote: ‘The Ch***-Ch*** Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals has decide to call for #CancelColbert. Trend it.’
It did trend, forcing Colbert to explain the situation on his Comedy Central show.
The host turned the incident into a bit where he dreamed that his program did, indeed, get canceled.
“We almost lost me. I’m never going to take me for granted ever again …the interweb tried to swallow me whole but I am proud to say that I got lodged in its throat and it hacked me back up like a hastily-chewed chicken wing.”
Colbert understood why the Tweet caused a kerfuffle and trotted out some self-deprecating shtick to chase the problem away.
The comedian also assured the audience that he “is not a racist,” saying, “I don’t even see race. Not even my own. People tell me I’m white and I believe them because I just devoted six minutes explaining why I’m not a racist….”
“To recap,” Colbert continued. “A web editor I’ve never met posts a tweet on an account I don’t control, outrages a hashtag activist, and the news media gets 72 hours of content. The system worked.”
Colbert might take a very different approach had the matter erupted in 2021, not 2014. The media, along with the Left, is showcasing a rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans, in part, to attack former President Donald Trump anew.
Heck, that’s precisely what Colbert himself did a few days ago following a mass shooting in Atlanta that killed eight people, including six Asian-Americans. There’s zero proof to date that the tragic shooting was racially motivated, something liberal journalist Andrew Sullivan said while calling out the media for assuming just that.
That’s how Colbert framed the shooting, weaponizing it to smite his favorite target.
“This horrifying act of senseless violence has once again shocked the nation,” Colbert said, although it’s not surprising given the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans, which climbed by 150% in America’s biggest cities climbed last year; the spikes in March and April, when the coronavirus first locked down the country, coincided with Donald Trump calling the virus “kung flu” and blaming China for the pandemic.
We’re living in a moment when comedians like Jay Leno are apologizing for old Asian jokes that some consider racist in the current climate.
What about Colbert? Shouldn’t he have to apologize for his “offensive” Asian gag, which he trotted out on more than a few occasions? Given how Cancel Culture works today, we’re due for a “hostage apology”-style mea culpa, no?
The Snyder joke was meant to attack someone Colbert assumed was racist, and his other Asian moments were shared in his blowhard conservative persona. Too bad intent doesn’t matter to the woke mob. We’ve seen examples of people using the “n-word” without any attempt to hurt or demean anyone, and they still got cancelled.
Just ask country superstar Morgan Wallen.
Should Colbert’s serial Asian jokes “resurface” he could be in much bigger trouble than he was seven years prior.
Then again, the woke mob adores Colbert. He spends five nights a week promoting their causes, including attacks on Dr. Seuss. Jimmy Kimmel and Howard Stern ducked the woke mob by playing up their anti-Trump bona fides, too.
Still, we’re starting to see the woke mob take down fellow liberals with increasing speed. The new editor of Teen Vogue lost the gig in record time this month after her old, racially insensitive Tweets resurfaced.
The woke mob is growing in strength and ferocity, something Colbert may eventually learn the hard way.