Quote of the Day: Yes, #CancelColbert Is Stupid

“No one’s minimalizing your experiences. No one’s minimalizing your right to have an opinion. It’s just a stupid opinion.”

HuffPost Live’s Josh Zepps to activist Suey Park, who started the hashtag #CancelColbert after the Colbert Report‘s official Twitter feed repeated a joke Stephen Colbert had made without the necessary context (for the basics of the story, see here)

Zepps’s interview with Park is seriously one for the ages. If at some point we actually make the conscious decision as a culture that we’re exhausted with the activist internet’s state of perpetual outrage — as well as the notion that because a person has a few Twitter followers what he or she says is of enhanced consequence — maybe this interview will be the opening volley at Lexington and Concord.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating, but Zepps’s bemused incredulity when facing off with Park, who’s basically a human umbrage machine, almost makes this entire stupid “controversy” worth it. It certainly does if this can be a teachable moment. Not in the sense that enforcers of, and adherents to, the “white patriarchy” can learn that they’re not allowed to make any joke that isn’t somehow preapproved — usually by people who have no fucking sense of humor whatsoever and who take offense at every little goddamn thing — but that if you misunderstand satire and then begin a misguided campaign to silence the person behind that satire, be prepared to be mercilessly ridiculed.

Suey Park knee-jerked when she read the Colbert Report tweet. Once the context was made clear she easily could’ve backed off her silly demand for an apology and push to make #CancelColbert a trending topic, but by then she was apparently committed and so figured she’d double down. By doing so, she made herself look even more foolish and less serious than she did when she misunderstood the crack in the first place, didn’t bother looking beyond 140-characters, and just went from zero-to-outrage in two seconds flat. Calling her out for this rank stupidity doesn’t make you racist or sexist or oppressive — it makes you fucking reasonable. She started this idiocy — which was of course parroted on Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy, because the left and the right can always agree on pissing all over the left — and therefore, yes, she gets to be made an example of here.

Thankfully, by tomorrow, Park and her handful of followers’ little tirade will likely be relegated to the circular file where so many other ill-advised Twitter tantrums have wound up — even Salon’s headline piece says this one goes way too far — but hopefully this will in fact serve as the breaking point for progressive pop culture, when it finally decides that the constant ridiculous outrage has become nothing more than self-parody.

And this isn’t “white mansplaining” or whatever absurd neologism you want to label it — it’s just common sense. And while it can be argued that Zepps was indeed somewhat condescending to Park during her interview, it wasn’t because she’s a woman, or Asian, or even an activist — it was because her #CancelColbert crusade is fucking stupid and doesn’t deserve to be taken the least bit seriously.

  • Frau From Fly-Over USA

    Well Well Michelle Malkin: the very one who advocated in one of her books the racist policy of forced encampment of Japanese Americans during WW2-saying it was the right thing for the government to do. And, oh yes, She claims to be a strong Christian. Yes. interment camps are very Jesus. She’s a awful human being.

  • D@rth T@ter

    Ironically she has aligned herself perfectly with the conservatives who also don’t understand satire…foot, meet bullet. Learn how humor works and exactly where the joke is aimed before spouting droll psuedo-intellectual tirades.

    • Sabyen91

      As much as she despises white liberals I think she aligned herself with the right people.

  • Katela

    Seriously. Her name is Suey Park as in Chop Suey? She is satire all by herself.

  • undsoweiter

    Rewrite!! I hope Ms. Park is prepared to have her ethnic/gender paranoia skewered, because the comedy writers at Colbert are not likely to let this one go away quietly.

    • condew

      One can only hope.

  • Peter James

    Nobody, in the history of histories, has ever sounded smart on Twitter.

    You just never do.
    You could have a good point or argument to make, but the 140 character format and instant knee-jerky response nature of the format will always have a way of reducing you to sounding like an idiot.

    You want to avoid looking foolish in life? First thing you gotta do is get rid of your Twitter account.

  • nomoremister

    “Enact the labor”? I’m so fucking glad I never went to graduate school.

    • Dennis

      That’s not what she wrote, it’s what she said in the heat of the moment after being told directly by someone that her opinion was stupid. You act like that doesn’t happen to everyone, and you use it as a cheap mechanism to demean and delegitimize her unnecessarily. It’s what you do. Other than that, what exactly was your point?

      • D_C_Wilson

        Well, she went on the chat to explain her views and the best she could come up with is that white people should shut up. Yeah, calling her opinion stupid (even though it was) wasn’t the most professional way to respond to her, but instead of retorting with a good, rational argument in support of her POV, she got into a snit and wouldn’t respond. If she plans on being an advocate in some professional capacity, she’s going to need to grow up a little and learn to do better in a debate, even when the attacks become personal.

        • Dennis

          She’s 23, DC. She was offended by something a well liked liberal said and now she’s paying the price I still don’t get what Steve M.’s point is. What, that she used too many words when less would do?

          Go to his blog and tell him when he does that and see what happens.

          • D_C_Wilson

            Ask Steve M. what his point was. I don’t speak for him. My point is that she’s a spoiled brat.

          • Sabyen91

            And really bigoted toward whites. That isn’t explained away by saying “she is 23.”

          • Dennis

            That was a response to D_C_ saying she needed to grow up. Most 23 year-old political activists could use a little growing up. I commend her for not selling her soul to Media Matters and becoming an Asst. Research Fellow, like most liberal college graduates from private schools do when they want to go into political activism.

          • D_C_Wilson

            Most 23 year-old political activists could use a little growing up.

            Which is why they have no business telling others to shut up.

          • Dennis

            Sure she does, D_C_. You don’t define what she’s offended by, nor what she can and can’t say, activist or not.

            You’ll notice the tweet came down.

          • D_C_Wilson

            Neither does she. And that’s my point.

          • Nos

            Wrong. She made several racist remarks before he ever said that. She talked over him, then he told her to wait, then she decided he was sexist as well as racist. She says “white liberal” the way Nazis say “Jew”. With contempt and malice. She humiliated herself and her supporters which I guess includes you.

          • Dennis

            You went Godwin on your first post, Nos. You said that like you were a Nazi and you thought I was a Jew.

          • Nos

            Sigh. Of course you wouldn’t understand Godwin’s Law. Godwins law states that the longer an internet discussion goes, the chance of a Nazi comparison coming up approaches 1.0 This says nothing of the validity of the comparison, just that it is likely. In this context the Nazi comparison was perfectly valid. I wouldn’t expect someone who supports Suey to be capable of understanding that though.

            You also did not address the substance of my post at all, probably because you knew you could not. Her interview was at the top of Reddit.com /r/videos with the title of “Suey Park’s epic fail Huffington Post interview about #CancelColbert”

            found here http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/21vtkf/suey_parks_epic_fail_huffington_post_interview/

            That link got a score of over 3,000. That means the internet is laughing at her and her supporters. Read the comments, then lick your wounds and try not to embarrass yourself next time.

          • Dennis

            Nos, seriously, are you trying to be this boring?

          • Nos

            Dennis you need to know when to gracefully concede an argument.

          • Dennis

            I’ll take that under advisement, Nos. You have an opinion, biased, and an inflated opinion of yourself. Arguing with you presents no challenges, no discovery, and no stimulation. It’s all rote responses that you’ve gathered from reading too many comments on liberal blogs. You haven’t been educated, you haven’t learned, and you have no real political philosophy or standards you adhere to, you just follow the liberal groupthink spelled out for you which you’re expected to adhere to. There’s no reason to argue with you. None.

          • Nos

            I’m not a liberal and I read no liberal blogs. It says a lot about you as a person and a debator that one 10 word sentence is enough to demolish and invalidate your entire paragraph. You’re good at making the easiest possible points to rebut.

            I without doubt have a stronger understanding of political theory than you (poli-sci major) and the fact that you seem to subscribe to a liberal-conservative dichotomy provides all the evidence I need.

          • Dennis

            Your self-doubt is evident You’re not talking to me, you’re trying to reassure yourself of something. Please, don’t let me interrupt.

          • Dennis

            I did ask him. You responded to me asking him, D.C. I thought you were trying to explain whatever it was his point was.

  • Brendan LeFebvre

    I’m not on board with #CancelColbert either, but Park at least deserves the respect of you getting her name right.

    • Chez Pazienza

      You’re absolutely right and I apologize for the error. Corrected.

    • Katela

      Why?

  • D_C_Wilson

    But Parks does understand satire because she’s a writer! That almost made me laugh out loud. If this is what she’s like on the internet, she must be insufferable in person. The amount of overinflated sense of self-importance that tumbles out of her mouth is just staggering. Nobody can criticize her because they haven’t had HER exerpiences and don’t understand what SHE faces. Wow.

  • Art__VanDalay

    Don’t worry, Salon now has another piece saying that Park is correct.

    • Chez Pazienza

      Ah, “Professor Crunk,” you never let me down.

      • Art__VanDalay

        I had no idea what your response meant until I spent a little while following the stupid around twitter just now. Twitter makes people crazy.

  • feloniousgrammar

    Yeah. A human umbrage machine:

    Many belittle the Twitter community and twitter feminism and I saw many patronizing opinions from leading white feminists following the release of Can Feminist Hashtags ‘Dismantle the State’? When my mentions were getting flooded with white feminists explaining to me that Twitter was useless, Mikki Kendall, writer and founder of #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen tweeted at me “You’re about to explain community to people that have none.” [emphasis added]

    It’s ironic, isn’t it? That “thousands of feminists similarly gave an online middle finger to those that reject them, namely patriarchal Asian-American spaces and white feminists” as Kai Ma wrote. She also wrote “what pierced through the tweets was a broad slam around the silence from non-Asian feminists around our causes,” and yet we saw the most vocal opposition after we dared to speak up.

    Before all this started, a professor told me that Ella Baker used to ask “Who are your people?” A question I realized I first had to answer for myself before I could envision any next steps. As Professor and authorBarbara Ransby wrote: “Ella Baker taught us how we ought to do our movement work: take time to be inclusive, be active listeners, walk the thorny and sometimes circuitous path of participatory democracy, mutual respect and genuine solidarity; and build campaigns from the bottom up not the top down. Today’s progressives should take these lessons to heart, if they want to succeed in creating the social change our world desperately needs.” For me, Twitter is a space where many people can have voices and generate change.

    So what does it take to trend a hashtag? A community.

    Ignore her activism in the community where the grass grows and all the people behind her. Just pick this one example of an Asian woman who didn’t think a joke made at the expense of Asian people was funny. Just make sure that it is you who are entitled to determine whether or not her protest has any value, because the real victims here are white men. Can’t catch a break you poor white men, some people actually think you should do a little research about someone before you assassinate their character wholesale.

    Btw, I haven’t heard much about The Daily Banter’s twitter— how’s that working out for ya’?

    • Sam

      It’s more than “not finding a joke funny…” Her and her idiotic and misguided supporters went on a freakin crusade against the completely wrong target who made a satirical joke to bring attention to an ACTUAL ISSUE REGARDING RACE, thereby completely missing the point… In fact they interpreted it completely wrong and took the tweet out of context.. The tweet derived from a averagely funny bit where he was clearly showing how STUPID it is to even make jokes about Asian names like that (that was the point of the goddamn joke).. What’s worse is this pet crusade and the attention given to it completely marginalizes real progressive problems and gets co-opted and made an example of by REAL insensitive assholes who can point to things like this and say all outrage is over the top and unjustified… This girl is an idiot and you don’t get how harmful this nonsense is to the REAL causes of racial/gender equality

    • Razor

      “Just pick this one example of an Asian woman who didn’t think a joke made at the expense of Asian people was funny.”

      It was not a joke made at the expense of Asian people though, it was a joke made at the expense of Dan Snyder and the people who think “Redskins” isn’t racist. It was a joke at the expense of racism.

      I totally get the whole “don’t tell me what to be offended by” thing and I’m down with not letting minor slights slide because there are “real” problems to worry about, but this is a clear-cut case of someone being just plain wrong. Sure, you can be offended by the joke, but you’re wrong. Sorry, you just are. Calling that joke racist is like calling Michael Fassbender a racist because he played one in 12 Years a Slave.

    • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

      Really? Just because the Banter’s Twitter isn’t as popular, you are questioning their ability to criticize such a ridiculous event? Hell, considering the other Twitter silliness that they have reported on, I am kinda glad they don’t have that kind of footprint. At least when they screw up, they don’t embarrass themselves in front of thousands of people.

      You are usually a fairly reasonable commenter, FG. And you do say that this is one person (who happens to be an Asian woman) putting her foot in her mouth, and is not representative of the community at large. But she did put herself out there as a representative of…something, and decided that her opinion was so important that she could demand the CANCELLATION OF THE COLBERT REPORT over this.

      Seriously, Park and her ego is her own worst enemy. She has a lot of good things to say, but she is clearly was too trigger happy to take in her target. Hell, how long would it have taken her to find out the background on the joke? Ten seconds? Twenty? But no, that was too long, and she had to strike NOW.

      Sorry, I can only laugh at this whole situation. Of all the people she wanted to point her ire at, she goes for probably one of the most famous satirists alive right now? A man known for taking the piss out of the Bush Administration AND the DC press TO THEIR FACES at their own circle jerk dinner? And the line in the sand for her was a joke pointing out how offensive such a thing would actually be?

      Nope, she messed up, and made herself look foolish. Not the movement, not the issues, not Asians, not women. HERSELF.

  • formerlywhatithink

    Let Asiansplain something to Suey Parks: If Michelle “Japanese internment during WWII was a good idea” Malkin is supporting you, you’re wrong. Period.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Knowing Malkin, she probably saw it as a great opportunity to get some attention for herself by piggybacking on someone else’s outrage porn.

    • CL Nicholson

      To Be fair, Michelle Malkin put on a skimpy cheerleader outfit to troll Harry Reid over the Iraq War. She’ll do anything for attention.