The Problematic Criticism of Suey Park and #CancelColbert

I know there are many of you, as regular readers of The Daily Banter, who have wondered when I was going to speak out on the #CancelColbert controversy and the ongoing work of the young woman behind it, Suey Park. I say this only because I realize that I’m the only true liberal ally of People of Color and specifically Women of Color here at the Banter, in that I’m deferential at all times to the complaints and outrages of every single POC, as I am to those of every member of any traditionally oppressed minority.

As one of the white cishetriarchy, I understand that I have no way of knowing whether the views of one person of color (or any member of any other persecuted group) are representative of the larger group. So best I simply not offer a dissenting opinion of any kind, lest I be a part of the problem rather than the solution, with the solution of course being balancing the scales of social justice, something for which all real liberals should be striving. I can never overcome my original sin, the one that renders my opinion worthless if it isn’t entirely supportive of each and every minority viewpoint. That original sin: I’m a white, heterosexual male. I can never make up for my privilege and for this I am eternally contrite.

With that in mind, I think that while there are well-intentioned critiques of Suey Park from so-called allies within the sea of microaggressions, microinvalidations, and outright hostility she’s currently having to wade through, most of the negative reaction to Park’s viewpoint is, I’m sorry to say, deeply problematic. By now you know the details of the #CancelColbert controversy so they’re not worth revisiting. Suffice it to say, Park is correct when she says that Stephen Colbert’s satire was attempted at the expense of Asian-Americans rather than at the expense of its intended target, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. She’s correct when she says that it was a joke that misfired. She’s correct when she rails online against supposed allies trying to “gaslight” her on Twitter, and journalists who don’t take her side immediately and who ask what they claim are legitimate questions that actually push her to the edges of her fragile sanity, and the white majority that seeks to oppress her at every single turn in every single thing it does, and apostate Asian-Americans in thrall to their white masters who dismiss her opinion as not indicative of theirs and who tell her to basically relax.

She’s correct about all of this. She’s correct about everything. I would be able to say this even if I didn’t know the specifics of the discussion because, as a white male liberal ally, it isn’t my place to have a dissenting opinion, or offer constructive criticism, or dismiss certain aspects of an argument as youthful, petty narcissism when it would leave me open to accusations of racism, sexism, or heteronormative oppression. Best I just switch off my brain and simply defer across the board rather than be misinterpreted or show my white privilege.

So, I #SideWithSuey and if you’re a true ally — particularly a white male ally or really anyone who isn’t specifically a 23-year-old queer Asian-American woman named Suey Park — no matter how long and strong your history of speaking out against racism and sexism, I suggest you shut up and do likewise. I #SideWithSuey in spite of the obvious reservations I should have about getting behind a campaign of such questionable legitimacy. I do this because it’s simply not my place to do otherwise. Suey Park made an important point about white liberal racism. What that point is I’m not quite sure, but it hardly matters. What matters is that she made it. And she’s Asian-American. And I’m not. Who am I to argue?

  • villemar

    I’m sorry I missed this article yesterday but on the other hand I am a wellspring of tears and suffering paroxysms of shock right now because of the issues raised here. Stop Triggering me!

  • joepin

    Now you get it! Damn Straight. You shut your condescending mouth Mr. Doloncot! HA!

  • Schneibster

    Finally it’s the 2nd everywhere, so I can say “LOL” and salute you for the amusing April Fools’ joke without wrecking it for anyone. :D Well done, “Sam.”

  • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

    Not only do I consider this the definitive final word on the “#CancelColbert” debacle, it’s also one of the first and only examples I’ve seen of a commentator who understands the theory and rhetoric of the “social justice” crowd well enough to satirize it accurately – and even better, get at the ideological root of the problem: the “litcridiocy”, as another commenter put it, i.e. postmodernist claptrap that renders narrative more important than truth and “solidarity” more important than rational discourse.

    So, bravo, Mr. Doloncot.

  • mrbrink

    So brave. I think all people of color will remember this day as the day non-people of colorless color finally learned their place.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Happy Birthday, Sammy. It’s so obvious April 1st is your birthdate. :D

  • BobSimonhouse

    Joke that misfired? It was friggin hilarious, how can you say it misfired? That some uptight schmuckballs were offended reinforces the quality of the joke. It was funny AND it offended some people. Now that is a good joke.

    • essar1

      Nailed it.

  • Draxiar

    You had me at “cishetriarchy”. Holy smoke I love it Sam needs to be heard!

  • captkurt

    Happy April Fool’s day. This morning, I promised myself I would not go online today, in hopes of avoiding any ridiculous nonsense that might flummox me at a time when I am not in the mood for it. But, board silly with my day job, I broke down and went to The Banter.

  • sherifffruitfly

    pfft you’re noob.

    i even agree with them when they disagree with each other!

    that’s right, imma vet o/

    ps: excellent parody of the litcridiocy that’s actually the underlying problem

  • JMAshby

    Dead.

  • kushiro -

    Sam (I hope I do not offend you by using your first name, but I am unaware of your current self-identification and therefore your preferred honorific), as someone who does not share your history and experience as a human being engaged in journalistic and editorial pursuits, I cannot, should not, and shall not comment in a judgmental (or non-judgmental, for that matter) fashion about the content of this article. However, I do salute (though not in a pro-military — or anti-military, either! — manner) you for continuing to check your privilege and for speaking your personal truth. I recognize you!

    • LiberalLibrarian719

      Well, you’ve won the Intertubez for today.

      Funny thing is that Monty Python foresaw this 40 years ago.

    • https://twitter.com/Ni_Go_Zero_Ichi Project 2501

      This is perfect. Literally perfect.

  • aceshigh

    “I #SideWithSuey in spite of the obvious reservations…”

    Mr. Doloncot…your callous and privileged use of the word “reservation” is offensive to all Native Americans.

    Now be a good Indian giver and take it back!

  • aceshigh

    Doloncot lives!