The Vortex Of Coonery Strikes Again: Black Women & Rape Jokes Are Not Funny



For months there was a bit of a public shaming attempt at getting SNL creator Lorne Michaels to hire a black woman comic. It had been a number of years since the cast reflected the diversity of the country and one of the black male comics didn’t want to perform female characters in drag anymore. SMH. I was very wary about SNL hiring a random black comedienne with no parameters. Not to mention that SNL was never that diverse, especially compared to other sketch comedy shows like Mad TV (see Deborah Wilson for the level of quality SNL “could not find”). I tuned the show out years ago given I was NOT represented – and if we’re going to give an honest evaluation – when were black women really represented well there?

With much fanfare, SNL announced they were adding a new black woman writer AND performer. A two-fer!! Call me unimpressed, as their recent additions weren’t going to compel me to automatically start watching. Behind the scenes talk had indicated SNL had auditioned numerous funny ladies for several years but would ignore them when it came to making a hiring decision. There was even some intentional deflection and insulting speculation (by the performing dummy in drag) that black women were somehow not qualified! Given that sense of disdain and the poor quality of the black male talent they have on the show, I’m not sure they want¬†stellar talent since the attention could serve as a launching pad to an enterprising performer.

I’m writing about this now because I saw a LOT of complaining on various social media feeds this weekend about the insulting skit by Leslie Jones where she referenced being a slave and rape of black women in a dismissive, joking manner. Perpetual baby momma, mistress, dysfunctional, pretty on the outside but a train wreck morally is not entertaining to me. When you don’t control the venue you’re just The Help. When you don’t use common sense, produce work that encourages self-pride the only thing left is a farce. Hiring some random black people doesn’t mean it won’t be racio-misogynistic or pro-black.

I wish I could say I was disappointed, but I’m not

Call it “black woman gets a tv gig and it’s all about some mess” fatigue, but I can’t celebrate hollow victories that are often Trojan Horses in disguise. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for the more sinister purpose for this recent hire to reveal itself. It’s as if Lorne Michaels said, “You want a black woman on SNL. Well, here ya go! Meet Aunt Jemima!!”

Had a black male comedian or a white comedian of any gender done this, people would have been howling in protest.

Given the #Bring Back Our Girls rallies this weekend and the media campaign drawing attention to the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped and sold into sex trafficking (as “brides”) by terrorists, making jokes about black females and rape is especially heinous.


I’ve noted since I began editing this yesterday that NBC has pulled the link due to the negative press as this story is picked up, but here it is on Hulu.

THIS is the plan. If they show us, it’s going to be in the MOST derogatory light or have us completely marginalized.


We don’t work together, we support garbage and we’re silent when we need to be vocal. Or we protest the wrong things.

The asexual Mammy persona in full effect.


It seems as if the only discussion was in having SNL hire a black woman, not in vetting one for quality. Or any of the blacks employed on the show. And if the so-called “black elite” gets blamed for this or someone complains about “respectability politics” they need to be tarred and feathered!!


So you know what to do: TUNE OUT.

It was offensive enough that many non-blacks were ALSO disgusted. Which was the point. Make people regret the hire, so no one complains about the subsequent permanent erasure of black women.


Here’s an example of a more appropriate skit.

8 Replies to “The Vortex Of Coonery Strikes Again: Black Women & Rape Jokes Are Not Funny”

  1. My brother finally convinced me to sit down and watch this appalling piece of excrement. This is quite demonstrative of a person and indeed a people who refuse to seek out any accounts of the true nature of what slavery entailed in the Americas. The torture, disfigurement, rape, murders, medical experimentation, purposely tearing children from their parents, terrorism, lynchings, live burnings, and the widespread brutality does not lend itself to jokes of any kind. There are enough slave narratives in the public domain available for FREE that would remove all doubt as to how " funny " slavery was in this country. If one is too lazy to read " gasp " there are also audio recordings of slaves available through the Library of Congress to remove all romanticized notions that it was a merely a "peculiar institution ". I am very grateful that more bw and bm called out this disrespectful, shameful display for exactly what it was. No one respects people who do not respect themselves. Many people mentioned Sarah Silverman in defense of this idiot referencing her edginess, but never in a million years would she joke about the Holocaust because her career would come to a SCREECHING halt. . .and she KNOWS it. Just like every other ethnic group in this country who wants a seat at the table of power. As with other conversations occurring in the social media sphere more people are drawing lines in the sand and not backing down. Thank God!

  2. We really must come together as Black women, for the sake of our daughters. Our Black mothers walked those protest lines and went to jail so that their Black daughters could prosper. Why are we being quiet as the White lady and her half black off springs steal everything? What about our daughters?

    I must say, however, I've noticed that Black women are becoming aware that something just isn't right. Awareness leads to action.

  3. You could not be more on point. SNL hasn't been funny since the Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo days. The minute I heard a black woman was hired I knew it would NOT turn out well. What really irritates me is how easily aa are placated by obvious hollow acts and then are clutching their pearls when said parties show their true colors. SMH.

  4. Once black people for their own sakes and for their own children's sakes start creating the different streams of media be it on the internet, on the radio, on TV, in a magazine, newspaper or a book reflecting the stories and images they want to see being portrayed of black people of varying cultural backgrounds, socio-economic levels, educational backgrounds, family backgrounds, skin tones, shapes and sizes, and personalities and tastes reflecting the different complexities and nuances between many different black people the better they will feel and more satisfied with their images and portrayals they will be.

    If black people continue to sit around and wait on or rely on Hollywood, BBC, Vogue, Cosmo, Elle, Glamour, etc. as well as rely on the few blacks in Hollywood who have made it and some of their minstrel-y Disney's 'Song of the South' type of fare they are producing or if they want to bother relying on BET then they will continue to see half-azzed jobs or offensive jobs portraying ghetto-rrificness monoliths straight out of Hell itself.

    Black people should have created their own Vogue, Cosmo, Glamour, Elle, Bazaar, Marie-Claire, W, etc. from decades ago now and it's a lovely gesture on Vogue Italia's part to come out with a 'black model' issue with four different models on their covers and an on-going 'black Vogue' page on the Vogue Italia website and all but really in this day and age black women shouldn't be relying on that alone. I look on YouTube (a wonderful place to feed one's nostalgic feelings and thoughts at times!) a lot and I see video clips of the world's best couturiers/ready to wear fashion houses from 25 to 40 years ago and I'm shocked at how many black models PLURAL were walking on the catwalks for these people African Americans, Caribbeans AND Africans at that. I'm even more shocked to see that not only was Ebony magazine's Fashion Fair fashion show doing well but also black designers like Stephen Burrows, Willi Smith and Patrick Kelly were doing so well back in the 70s and 80s that it's too bad that the latter two died so early in their careers so long ago.

    A white Canadian blogger named Sarah Sheehan has a website about sew pattern collecting and sewing clothes called Pattern Vault and she recently made a post about Patrick Kelly and his designs as he had patterns for sale for his clothes too that the black model from the 80s Gail O'Neill modelled for.

    But YSL is dead now and he was an old man when he died as Eunice Johnson was an old woman when she died and black people cannot rely on everybody else to keep things going for them forever without they themselves taking their own lead! Christian Dior was in his 50s when he died but at least a plan was put in place for YSL to take over from him even if a YSL was quite young at the time but how come no one took over a Willi Smith or Patrick Kelly's houses? But black people need to move on from the relying on others altogether anyway…

    On another note makeup colors from the 70s and 80s shock me as well as I saw from vintage makeup ads as I thought only Fashion Fair created very pigmented makeup colors for eyeshadow, blush and lipstick but lo and behold so did the Dior and YSL makeup lines actually it's just that they didn't make dark or deep foundations and powders that's all. And Biba's makeup line from the 70s from the UK clothing line made pigmented and strong colors of makeup also. Revlon on the drugstore level has been making quite pigmented makeup colors for decades now too. In the Dior and a YSL fashion shows of the 70s and 80s black models like Mounia, Iman and Pat Cleveland are all wearing the same makeup colors as the white models either the strong red blush and red lipstick everywhere!

  5. I blame the disrespect the media has.. especially the BLACK MEDIA has on itS women, IF WE don't respect women especially black women, what makes you think other groups will respect us! These are the mothers sisters, aunts, cousins of these black men!
    I hated GANSTA RAP etc. from the git go! for this reason, and i also stopped watching modern tv since the 90s unless i KNOW its from a MORAL BASE

  6. oh helll naawwww!!
    RAPE JOKES? are you KIDDING ME!? i also believe, they wouldn't have got by with this, IF THE GANSTA RAP became popular--as they *** all over their women.
    Whatever happened to MOTOWN? its a 3rd world city now. Detroit is DONE.

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