Have we not learned that using accents and making jokes related to those accents is racism in the most micro-aggressive form?
On CNBC’s Squawk Box, host Joe Kernen decided it would be a good idea to adopt an Indian accent while talking about rupees versus American dollars.
But he took it a step further, even after noticing that his co-hosts were clearly uncomfortable (because they know better than that). He asked to make a joke about rupees. This is what happened next:
Kernen: “No, I can’t do it. I was going to say something.”
Becky Quick, sitting next to him, quickly begs: “Please don’t.”
Kernen: “I really can’t?”
Quick: “No, you can’t.”
Kernen: “Are they good at 7-Eleven?”
Really dude? Are you kidding me?
He got a good laugh out of it and then defended himself by saying that people “say it all the time.”
Then Kernen realizes that his mistake was saying a tasteless joke at such a critical time in race relations in America:
“Yeah that’s right, because of Miss America, there was all kind of flack for the tweets…but in the post they were making that same thing…”
You know, because she’s Indian and all. But his biggest mistake isn’t saying the joke a week after America reared its racist head after the Miss America pageant. It’s thinking that it would be OK to say even if that didn’t happen AND justifying it by saying everyone else makes 7-Eleven jokes.
Because that makes sense. We just…we cannot.