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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  • Bob Munoz

    Let's not miss the point, Katt has a responsibility to his audience and to his profession. He crossed the line and he is having a difficult time in admitting to it. This has nothing to do with anyone else except a cheap comedian that showed his true color: yellow by slurring all Latinos. Could you have said something that parallels what he said about African Americans and gotten away with it. His feeble attempts at what he calls an apology is more of a denial position that he did anything wrong at all. My boycott, hope it is your too!

  • guest

    Well said richard. So many negroes refuse to be BLACK FIRST. Looks like they're going to get their Halle Berry wake up call sooner than expected. And this is good. www the black channel dot net

  • bessie

    I am a Mexican American and I dont think he has to apologies for anything! Why dont we get mad when George Lopez refers to us as landscapers or says we are cheap labor…pay us with a 12 pack. People need to get off there high horses and pull the cob out of their butts.

  • LXG

    Hatred helps no one it only adds to the fire. I agree that the man in the front row might have used some derogatory words but don’t go and attack a group of people for it, attack that man. Remember people, we all have our history and we all come from different parts of the world only Native Americans can truly say this was there land but where are they now. Some of us came here for a better life (white, black, brown or what ever other color) some were and are still being forced here. Our country was built on hard working immigrants because that what we ALL are! Just look at our country today and ask yourself is it really those that have nothing that are affecting it or those that have everything but don’t want you to get any.
    I’m and AMERICAN representing for people all GOOD PEOPLE!

  • Cain

    You know it’s the media that fuels these controversies. They take one small subject and make it larger than it really is. And every one feeds on it. If you believe in freedom of speech then you have to take the good with the bad. You won’t agree to everything people say but that’s life

  • justina777

    The high unemployment rate of african americans is making da black peeples so mad!

  • Ohplease

    Wh ites and As ians push each other forward. Bla cks and Lat inos hold each other back. I am Lat ino and see it happening every day.

  • Ohplease

    This is why Black and latinos will never get ahead. Whites and Asian people push each other forward. Latinos and Blacks hate on each other. I am Latino and see it everyday.

  • sparty1216

    All blacks do not have the same views as which was quoted above. I think we all have a valuable contribution for society. Makes me sick this type of stuff is still going on in 2011! Peace

  • Guest

    Legal American citizens are losing their livelihood, jobs, and homs because of being replaced by illegals who will work dirt cheap. America needs to wake up! I do not care if one wants to come to the USA for a better life for their families but do it LEGALLY! Obtain citizenship the right way. Any legal american break the law and get sent to jail. Because we have laws here and they should be inforced! The illegals are breaking the law!

  • Guest

    Hardened mexican criminals have crossed the borders bringing drugs and weapons and have formed gangs throughout the USA causing conflit with other gangs. There will be an uprise of violence, bloodshed, and death. These illegals will be the minority in the USA in years to come.

  • Guest

    Everyday thousands cross the border and come to the USA illegally. The women come here pregnant or get pregnant and have their babies that become American citizens and makes it hard to deport them. Companies hire them at slave wages mainly under the table and most of them live off the system. This is causing a strain on our economy. They break the law by entering the USA illegally and then demand to be treated fairly and be given free education, and any other benefits that a legal USA citizen have. Our borders are not protected. Many of them do not speak or understand our language at all.

    • Michael

      What a joke of a comment. Illegal Immigrant labor is the reason why your food you buy is still cheap and the reason why you can enjoy the luxuries of buying fruit from the market without picking it your damn self. Get some knowledge and stop being a victim to ignorance.

  • ComeUnity

    His rant didn't 'help' to shed light on black/brown tensions, it INCREASED them tenfold. Get it tight!

  • Alusina

    Katt Williams didn’t bash them for being loyal to their heritage, but their nationality – the nation. There are plenty of people in America, from all over the world, who are loyal to their heritage, but not the nation from where this heritage originates.

    There’s a difference.

  • Tina

    Please Save that MLK speech for people in Mexico who cares- aww. I forgot they are trying to get our money & opportunities. So just stay here with your mouth close or LEAVE & make money opportunities in Mexico. O NOT GONE HAPPEN. Lol mexicans kill me like they were forced here U.S. Who y’all need to get made is y’all GOVERNMENT not ours! We don’t have time babysit!!!
    Kat.W. Is a REALIST

  • Tiffany

    You don't know what you are talking about. I am black woman married to an Asian man. When his family met me for the first time they thought I was Hispanic because I am fair skinned with naturally curly hair. When my, then fiance, told them I was black they looked me square in the eye and replied in English with a smile "It's better you marry a Black woman instead of a dirty Hispanic". People are so stereotypical which, to me, is very ignorant. You cannot make one remark about a race and apply it to every single person in that race, I know Hispanics who hate White people but welcome Black with all sincerity. My point is, skin color and all that stuff don't matter because America was stolen from Brown people (Native Americans) and now make up for all races in the world. However, this is and has always been an English Speaking Nation, so Immigrants that move here should make it a priority to respect our culture and learn our language.

  • guest

    They keep trying to make this Mexico, This is the United States of America. If they love there country so much then they should fight for their rights over there. stop taking all the kid jobs at Mc Donalds and Jack in the box.
    Learn some english and stop thinking we should all know spanish. We dont need to take on another countries problems.

    • Tiffany

      I so agree with this statement. I live in Atlanta and there are so many towns like, for instance, Doraville. All of the billboards and signs are in Spanish. Why the hell do they move here and create a replica of what they left behind in Mexico. I really hate that. I have no hate in my heart for them as a culture; I respect their worth ethics and hustle but America should never have to adjust to fit their living standards when they are the minority…or almost a minority. I'm tired of it.

      • trek

        Tiffany you must be white. It is amusing to me that every white person complains about other culture invading their land. But it has been my experience they are the ones fascinated with other cutlers. They are the ones replicating or stealing what we had. Do you think Taco Bell came from Mexico? No it’s a cheap replica and so is Chevys. And it’s not just Mexican food how about Panda Express. You also see it in department stores with clothing. Face it the world is beautiful and America is beautiful because you can find people from all over and we can express our self’s any way we want. I love the fact that in my town I can go from Latin America to little Italy to Chinatown all in about 20 minutes. And Guess what with all the races in this country white is the minority.

  • m. kamkura

    People make racist remarks everyday, dont make it right but people do, especially white people. They call it freedom of speech.

  • Realist

    Go pick some cotton and plank katt

  • justsaying

    Mexicans vote republican! They hid during the civil rights movement! They say ignorant stuff in the workplace and make racist remarks with white people. I had to fire two females white females setup). They want president Obama to break the law, get himself impeached in support of generations of people that they have no respect for the country, its laws. They knowingly illegally enter, created and brought illegal documents, they are fugitives from justice, paid others large sums of money to help them break the law.

    Regarding Matt Williams his insults are foul. However, comedians talk all kinds of trash and make careers out insults….Jay Leno! Dude pick your battles. All you black folks review any and the civil rights footage you can find……WHERE WERE THE MEXICAN AMERICANS….THE HISTORICALLY VOTE REPUBLICAN??? Are not interested in being included, they want separation, special treatment and their language forced on everyone. When you hire one alleges that they are bilingual ….you find out they can’t read or write it

  • tanya

    Katt Williams was telling it like it is…the truth hurts.

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  • JacqueTecun

    Katt Williams you're a idiot pinhead and an embarassment for your people. While many in the Black community strive to lift the name of their people and their relevance in the world, you perpetuate all of the stereotypical things that circulate public discourse. Another example of the cultural pollution contaminating our minds and hearts. But the sad thing is that Americans love this and this is why ignorant and tasteless performers make $$ off the backs of idiot consumers. Katt Williams you are the pinhead of the week and a persona non-grata of the Hispanic-American community. You add nothing beneficial to anybody

    • guest

      How about the former President of Mexico Vincent Fox defending the caricature of "Memin Pinguin"? Seems to me that you are all persona non-grata of the Black Community. And you are a member of the Hispanic community, since you hate America. Actually, don't care about this country or its border jumpers. Whites/Hispanics are outsiders to me anyways. So stop whining, and accept America as it is, or take over it. But stop whining.

  • sumgrlinny

    What's the big deal? Not everyone who's an American citizen is patriotic. I thought that's the "beauty" of America — you have the "freedom of speech" to love or hate the principles of this country. What now, 'cause some Mexican immigrant dislikes certain aspects of the US this is somehow acceptable for William to make racist remarks?

    • Firestarter

      What was racist about his remarks? Kat W. just stated what majority of American citizens feel. If you are in a country that you are not a citizen of and you don't like its principles, then why not leave? You have no room to complain about a country that is providing freedom, liberty, and taxpayers funded programs to you for free. Yet, majority of them refuse to learn and speak the language and disobey many laws of this country. Stating truths regardless of how much you might not want to admit is the truth doesn't make it racist. Many people who scream racism abused the term by using it to deflect blame.