No Blacks Killed: Boston Bombing Ok!
Paul Gladney, better known by the stage name Paul Mooney, is an American comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor. He is best known for his appearances on Chappelle’s Show and as a writer for the comedian Richard Pryor. Some describe him as brilliant and he possesses a comedy genius. As he has grown older, his comedy has become more political (and controversial) much like the last days of George Carlin’s (another genius) comedy sets.
A glimpse into Paul Mooney’s philosophy and how to redeem himself
What we are hearing now is the undercurrent of disgust and anger toward the degradation of the American Black community. At 71 years of age, Paul was directly impacted by having no civil rights, to watching the evolution of civil rights, all from the deplorable “Jim Crow Laws.” He witnessed the rape, murder, and theft of the Black man’s cultural identity. What we are seeing now is the last phase of his comedy career, I call “Black Comedy Rage.”
“White people in Boston deserved what they got and it was OK to lose a few limbs … and as long as no blacks got hurt, it was OK.”
Recently, while performing at the Levity Live Club in Nyack, New York, Mooney added the following bit to his act by saying, “White people in Boston deserved what they got and it was OK to lose a few limbs … and as long as no blacks got hurt, it was OK.” First, anyone hearing this who lost a limb or a loved one will immediately feel offended. So close to the tragedy, is not the best time to even attempt a joke like this — it was clearly to soon!
What we are really hearing, is anger at White America from Paul’s perspective because Black’s suffered through 400 years of atrocious slavery, with no reparations. Systematic racism which dismantled the Black family. The creation of an imbalance in the Black woman and the eradication of culture in the Black community. This is the foundation of Paul’s comedy anger and perhaps he needs to set up his jokes better? Ironically, the first man to die in the first Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770) was Crispus Attucks — a Black man!
Talking about race in any country is such a slippery slope because it is the pink elephant in the room, no one wants to discuss. I think the deeper question is — why would Paul think it was ok to even test this bit on stage? He sounds frustrated with himself, the people, and leadership. An eight year old boy lost his life amongst the dead and that is devastating no matter what color you are.
The only way Paul is going to clean this up is stating his mind set behind the joke. He makes many valid points during his previous acts, much like the twilight of George Carlin’s career. The irony, is White America is not Paul’s fan base, so many will not even know who he is! We will have to wait and see what the backlash will be but think about the disproportionate amount of racial profiling deaths in America which do not receive a fraction of the media attention. Or even analyzing the statistics of Black to White death-row data per State, you will see another skew toward Blacks.
In closing, this comedy bit was dropped in poor taste or because of poor setup? Paul is 71 years old and has seen more than the average person alive today. Especially since 80 years old is the “new dead.” He is a comedy journey-man who possesses a keen ability to tell the truth and build a set around it. For him to take aim at Boston which is notoriously one of the most racist areas in the US, is quite telling. It is sad he made the attempt at this joke because it is at the expense of great loss. In the end, as Ricky Ricardo would say to Lucy, “Luucccy, you got some splaining to do!”