On his Wednesday podcast, comedian Adam Carolla dissected the reactions to last Saturday’s “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Some of the media reaction that followed suggested the justice system had failed Trayvon Martin, the black 19-year-old shot by Zimmerman in February 2012.
Carolla, author of “Not Taco Bell Material,” reacted to those remarks, saying that in some ways skin color and other physical attributes are something that will have to be overcome.
“I’m willing to admit there’s a certain amount of racism,” Carolla said. “It’s not nearly — it’s not nearly what the news builds it up to be. But let’s just say there is, and it is. It seems to be here to stay so about the only thing we can do is bust our ass, keep our families intact, study hard and work a little harder than the next guy. And as I’ve said to Dr. Drew [Pinsky], no one is born on an even playing field. Sometimes it’s your race, sometimes your gender — you’re not as strong, you’re vulnerable, you could be beaten up by just about half the population … you’re fat, disadvantaged, you have a hooked nose, it’s a disadvantage. You’re bald, it’s a disadvantage. Look, short males — if you’re a male and you’re under 5’8″, that’s bad news. And it’s statistically bad.”
He went on to add that some of these disadvantages are nature-imposed and some are society-imposed, with the goal of ending the society-imposed disadvantages. But he took strong issue with a comment from MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, who was filling in for Alex Witt on her “Weekends” program on Sunday.
“Sending the message that we’re broke — we have a broken moral compass and we have to have a dialogue about it to fix it is an insane and dangerous message to send, and you can listen to this pussy ass-wipe on MSNBC explaining to his co-host — it’s a weekend show. He’s filling in for the host. Hear him explain what kind of society we’ve crafted in 2013.”
He played the clip of Roberts saying, “There’s this ‘otherness’ factor going on. He was an ‘other’ and he was suspicious and he’s walking while black and he’s an other. And meanwhile, if you’re an other out there, be worried. And this means not just black. If you’re LGBT, if you’re Hispanic, if you’re different, it’s an otherness factor. And there’s a privilege that goes into a certain mindset in this country, and if you’re different, then you’re bad.”
Carolla said when these types of statements are made, Asians and Jews are left out, despite having been two of the most persecuted people throughout history.
“The most discriminated people worldwide never make the cut for ‘other,'” he said. “Asian and Jews that have historically had their ass kicked around quite a bit not only nationally but internationally never make the cut. Wonder why that is?”
Carolla suggested young black men have to make a few lifestyle adjustments and overcome stereotypes.
“Stay away from people who are in gangs, focus on education, possibly don’t wear a hoodie,” he said. “It’s going to be rough but if you’re going to be lumped in with the guys who are wearing hoodies — well, if you’re a woman you don’t have to worry about it. Why don’t we talk about young black males who perpetrate a disproportionate amount of violent crime? So they create a vastly disproportionate amount of crime if you’re in this age and you’re of this gender. It’s not walking while black. It’s walking while black male, young black male. That’s the group that commits the crimes, not all but a disproportionate amount of crime, which then scares other folks into thinking that guy may be the other guy. And then people go, ‘Well you don’t know that guy.’ That’s the problem. We don’t know that guy. We know he’s the black male — a young black male who’s in a group that commits a disproportionate amount of crime and that has freaked everyone out. That’s where it comes from.”