Nick Cannon is a proponent of free speech, especially when it comes to comedy. He has expressed disagreement with the notion of “canceling” entertainers for seemingly offensive content in the past. In the same stroke, Cannon uses these moments to point out the hypocrisy of public opinion. His latest critique follows the Virginia blackface scandal involving politicians.
The political correctness mob had come for Nick back in 2014 after seeing him wearing white makeup to play a character. He referred to this moment to conclude a series of teachable moments in honor of Black History Month. First, he posted a montage showing comedians in blackface costume. The caption attached to the images of Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, and Jimmy Fallon, was relatively obnoxious: “Happy ‘BLACKFACE’ History Month!!! I’m sure we can expect some more ‘Apologies’ by Monday… “
He follows up with more pertinence in the text attached to video footage of both late-night hosts in action. “You know I’m always on the side of the comedian and never pander to the sensitive, but I feel there needs to be some “truth & reconciliation” discussions and teachable moments amongst our communities,” he wrote. “I’m ready and willing for the discourse, so who wants to step up to the table first? In the meantime, I’ll just leave this right here. Tell the Jimmys to holla at me!”
Finally, the entertainer turned to his “white face” moment to break down why the depiction of his ashy self differs from those of his white peers. “The racist and severely damaging ‘Jim Crow laws’ received its name from the Blackface minstrel movement of the 19th century and proceeds to cause pain to this day. A constant reminder that People of color are looked at as second class citizens in this country.”
“These recent revealings of people painting themselves black or brown and speaking in broken slang in an attempt to be humorous or have fun; as if our culture is some sort of party trick or costume is unacceptable,” continued.
“Racism is when an “elite” group uses its systemic power to enforce harm, hardship, and pain on others,” he said in conclusion. “If you don’t understand this, then it probably means you are or benefit from that elite group of privileged oppressors that we speak of.”