Katt Williams Controversial Rant Helps To Shed Light On Black-And-Brown Tension

September 1, 2011  |  
by Cynthia Wright
Earlier this week, comedian Katt Williams got into verbal altercation at one of his comedy shows in Phoenix, Arizona. Williams – fueled by the Latino heckler’s response, quickly launched into a tirade, where he not only attacked the heckler for his Mexican pride but also the man’s insinuation that Phoenix was “Mexico”.The rant, which lasted over 7 minutes had the pint-sized funny man going on the warpath stating, “if y’all had California and you loved it, then you shouldn’t have given that mothaFawka up. You should have fought for California, goddamnit, since you love it…” He later referred to Mexicans as “landscapers” and bashed those that stayed loyal to their heritage, while continuing to live in the United States.

Williams’ rant has drawn major criticism from Latino advocacy groups, not to mention several members of the Hispanic community, who have taken to YouTube to express their disgust in Williams’ actions.

With this being the newest addition to Williams’ long list of offenses, which happen to include physical fights, arrests and incoherent comedy shows – the fact that the comedian is in trouble again isn’t the biggest issue.

Admittedly, most comedians have a controversial tone about them, with a lot of comedy being based on harsh truth. In other words, comedians have the task of discussing things that many people may often think but due to political correctness, never have the courage to say. Therein lies the bigger issue with Williams’ comedic faux pas. Yes, what Williams said was ugly but how many people would actually agree with his statements?

Over at the Huffington Post blogger, Luis J. Rodriguez’s recent post, “Why we need a greater dialogue on black-and-brown relations”, briefly uses historical facts in a way to discount Williams’ statements. In the post, he discusses slavery, joblessness and why because of that, Mexicans had no choice but come into the United States. Although, Rodriguez’s post made some valid points, what made the post interesting are the opinions being slung around in the comments section.

One commenter stated:

“Taking away or being believed to have a hand in folks not being employed also bills up resentment . Lastly it is the sense of Mexicans and others living in America, benefiting and reaping the rewards of living in America but whose allegiance lies with their country of origin. Like Katt Williams (who I do not care for at all) I and millions of Americans believe if your loyalties lies with the country you escaped from, then why don’t you return there. That is not racist, but being patriotic and show a love of America.”

Even more interesting, was to find that a Latino-American blogger actually sides with Williams and believes what he said was right. While he doesn’t condone how Williams made his point, he does agree with the sentiments behind the statements. In fact, the author reveals that he recently had a similar type of discussion with his two of his friends who happen to be Mexican immigrants (the author admits to being a first-generation Latino-American).

“I asked them how they could talk so poorly of a country that their parents had sacrificed so much in bringing them to. I asked them how they could badmouth America while planning to receive their educations and earn their livings here. That seems like dissing your own girlfriend…

As a citizen or not, a person in the United States has the right to wave whichever flag they please, but it takes real chutzpah to claim a love for any foreign land and its flag over this boundless nation and its Star-Spangled Banner.”

With racial relationships already tense, along with the anti-immigration bills being pushed for in various states – when it comes to both communities coexisting peacefully; how can we move past this and see the bigger picture? Instead, it seems it’s easier for us to separate ourselves and justify why that’s the case – instead of uniting to focus on bettering the lives for minorities in the United States.

Cynthia Wright is an avid lover of all things geeky. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found on her blog BGA Life and on Twitter at @cynisright.

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