I, like Kidiocus, was pretty disturbed by the comments Jones made on Saturday Night Live. I frowned along with the majority of Black Twitter when Jones claimed that the root of black folk's problems lie with our sensitivity to jokes and comments like hers (not even going to touch that one).
Most perplexing to me was her assertion that had Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Yeezy or Hova commented on the same subject they would be embraced as geniuses! As with any bold claim, I did take a full minute to question whether or not she had a point-- would someone more famous, more male, more genuinely funny or clever been able to get away with the same joke?
No, I don't think so. What's been missing for me is Jones' understanding that it wasn't simply her choice of topic that made so many people upset. In comedy, I can appreciate that very few things are off the table-- slavery included. In fact, I think comedy is a great way to work through some truly difficult and painful subjects. Comedy can be liberating that way. Comedy is not liberating when it makes oppressed people with painful history the punchline of tasteless jokes. In Jones' set, black women were the joke. The rape of black women was the joke. The idea that modern black women who look like Jones aren't sexually desirable to the masses was the butt of the joke. Leslie Jones knows that racist structures, attitudes, and ideas about beauty have a serious impact on black women today-- and maybe that's what she was really trying to say. Using misogyny, racist ideas, and validating the horrific occurrences of rape and breeding of black women during slavery as a punchline is something completely inexcusable, and only manages to perpetuate those same ideas about black women and black women's bodies. Leslie tried to use the master's tools to dismantle the master's house, and predictably failed.