Leave us out of your oppression narratives.

Shane Gillis, SNL’s newest castmember, thinks Asian jokes and stereotypes are funny. I assume he thinks they’re funny, because he’s a comedian and he says they’re jokes, but I kept looking for a punchline and couldn’t find any.

Here’s a video from his podcast with another unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

Here’s another video from the same podcast with the unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

Here’s a video from some podcast with a larger group of unremarkable, unfunny white guys.

Here’s audio from…a podcast with an unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

Shane Gillis has a problem with Asians, but if you’re sincerely offended, then you’re probably a crybaby who gets triggered at everything. Those aren’t his exact words, but that’s the subtext of his “apology” in attempt to keep his new job on SNL that he never should’ve gotten in the first place because he’s — wait for it — just another unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

You would be right to assume that a story this close to the top of mainstream pop culture consciousness would draw attention from one of the most high profile Asian public figures in the country right now, the only Asian man running for President. You may also assume that Andrew Yang would give a balanced, nuanced, heartfelt critique of the situation, and if you’re one of the dudebros being courted by Andrew Yang’s never-ending performance of The Cool Asian, you probably love everything he had to say about Shane Gillis.

Shane – I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn’t take cheap shots. But I’m happy to sit down and talk with you if you’d like.

For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.

I’ve been called chink and gook any number of times in my life. It can be extraordinarily hurtful to feel like you are somehow not part of the only country you have ever known. I have certainly felt that – the churning sense of alienation, anger and marginalization.

It’s also the case that anti-Asian racism is particularly virulent because it’s somehow considered more acceptable. If Shane had used the n word the treatment would likely be immediate and clear.

But I took the time to watch and listen to Shane’s work. He does not strike me as malignant or evil. He strikes me as a still-forming comedian from central Pennsylvania who made some terrible and insensitive jokes and comments.

I think we have, as a society, become excessively punitive and vindictive concerning people’s statements and expressions we disagree with or find offensive. I don’t think people should be losing jobs unless it’s truly beyond the pale and egregious.

I understand those who have another point of view on this. Obviously the folks at NBC are the real decision-makers. But if I can forgive Shane, as the guy he called a slur, I hope others can as well. I also hope Shane is open to learning. We are all human, we’re all fallible. 👍

(Twitter: Andrew Yang)

Read that again closely. Andrew Yang just said anti-Asian racism is more acceptable than anti-Blackness, and that the consequences of being anti-Black are more immediate and clear…and in the same thread says “I forgive Shane” in a way that no Black person would forgive someone for saying the n-word.

Pick. A lane, sir.

You can either be mad that the outrage over an Asian slur isn’t as widespread OR you can forgive people for using Asian slurs. You don’t get to point out that people aren’t outraged enough while you yourself aren’t upset enough to want the guy fired. “Why don’t y’all care about this issue more than I do?” is such a non-argument and it feels like a gratuitous shot at Black people for no reason. I’m not saying Andrew Yang is anti-Black, because I don’t pay enough attention to him to know that, but what I am saying is other marginalized communities love to compare their struggles to the struggles of Black people because we’re the loudest.

Every community has the right to highlight their narrative, but bringing Black people into your conversations about how YOUR community has been treated in contrast to US neither furthers YOUR cause nor builds allies with US. Black people have the most experience pushing against oppression in the United States. Instead of saying “well, if it was offensive to Black people instead, everybody would be more upset…” why not try “how would Black people respond to this situation?”

It probably ain’t “I forgive him.”

I’m so tired of Andrew Yang y’all. He wants so badly to walk on both sides of the fence, appealing to dudebros by being the Cool Asian and appealing to POC by highlighting his background. His courting of the Dudebro Voting Bloc keeps winning tho, right down this irrelevant aside about Black people.

Leave us alone. We want the guy fired more than you do. Maybe try genuinely tapping into your own feelings as opposed to tapdancing for white bros.

Email: rafi@soletstalkabout.com
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo

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