Toy Story 4 is premiering next week, which means the stars are doing interviews to promote it, which means the Internet is picking apart every syllable to find something to be angry about. Outrage mining is America’s #1 growth industry.
Here’s a snippet from what appears to be a harmless, lighthearted celebrity interview:
Tom Hanks is so cool I tested his knowledge of black culture. pic.twitter.com/aGrJdD1Qjh
— The All-Mighty Xilla Valentine (@BlogXilla) June 11, 2019
“You don’t know how to play Spades?”
“I’m gonna say I do, just ’cause I wanna move on.”
I thought this was kind of funny because I don’t know how to play Spades* either. I don’t like card games in general, and when people talk about them, it all just sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher to me. So Tim Allen cracked me up a little bit there.
But of course, that’s my white privilege talking. I need to check it, because it’s blinding me to what’s really going on:
Tim Allen is openly racist now and I love seeing him squirm here. https://t.co/yxeZXY0ozT
— jeremy bearimy (@crissles) June 11, 2019
— Joel Leon. (@JoelakaMaG) June 12, 2019
See, Tim Allen said something bad six years ago, so now everything he says is bad. Here’s what he said back in 2013, according to Eric Deggans at the Tampa Bay Times:
Tim Allen wants to talk about the n-word.
He doesn’t want to use that often-derided euphemism, either. He says the word itself with a directness that hearkens to his self-professed comedy heroes, Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce.
But it also comes close to sounding like a well-meaning white guy who may not understand how tenuous the ground he’s walking on could become. “(The phrase) ‘the n-word’ is worse to me than n—–,’ ” said Allen, who spoke to me on a day when the controversy ignited over Paula Deen’s admitted use of that slur in 1986.
I’m not sure I agree with that opinion, but it’s not racist to express it.
We’re not supposed to talk about Louis CK anymore because he’s cancelled, but he had a funny bit about “the n-word.” As in the phrase “the n-word” itself, not the bad word that people replace with the phrase “the n-word.” His point was that when you say “the n-word,” you’re making the listener say the bad word in his own head. You’re just passing the b… You’re just passing it along.
Tim Allen’s point was basically the same. He insisted that he should be able to say the bad word that starts with “n” because his intent isn’t racist, and forbidding people from using that word just gives it more power. But in the process of making that point, he used the actual word, which means he’s a racist. Now and forever. Once you’re #cancelled, you’re #cancelled for life.
Plus he’s a Trump supporter, and everybody knows all Trump supporters are racists. Including Kanye. Especially Kanye.
I realize I’m just another white male and therefore my opinion doesn’t matter, but it seems like a bad idea to cry wolf like this. There are actual racists out there, doing actual racist stuff, and yelling at Tim Allen of all people just makes you look silly. It numbs people to accusations of racism. If everything is racist, then nothing is.
You know what Tim Allen needs, though? Yoga. That’ll sweat the white supremacy right out of him.
*I’m allowed to use that word because I’m transblack. Google it.