Margaret Cho: “No One Really Cared About Race Until White People Got Involved”
Last night on “Late Night With Stephen Colbert,” Margaret Cho sat down to talk with the host about her new live show, “There’s No ‘I’ In Team, But There’s A ‘Cho’ in Psycho” and, tangentially, racism and political correctness in America.
Colbert offered up some dodgy, careful rhetoric about the role that racism plays in his life, saying:
“It might be better if everybody started with a baseline of, ‘I’m going to assume I’m racist’ when I’m talking about a race that isn’t mine because I don’t know what that experience is like and I have presuppositions about what it’s like to be someone of another race or the behavior of the race if I think of a person as part of a race and not as an individual.”
Does that make sense to you? I mean, I guess that makes sense to me, but it feels very careful, which is what you do if you’re a talk show host on cable television with an audience full of white people who have very recently become attuned to the fact that their supremacy as white people has become a huge part of the national conversation.
Cho, to her credit, understood this, and made a point to illuminate the very obvious: “What’s really annoying is that nobody really cared about race until white people got involved and now all we do is talk about race. All that white fragility is so annoying — you’ve got to walk on eggshells around white people.”
These “eggshells” – the psychic and emotional burden of having to talk ceaselessly about race at every turn and in places you least expect it – are exhausting. Walking around the world and never knowing if your conversation with a friend of a friend at a bar on a Friday night is going to turn into a college level seminar on race and power in America is exhausting. These eggshells are, sorry to say it, problematic.