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June 14 2018

Kathy Griffin Shaming Kevin Hart For Not Being Political is What's Wrong with Hollywood Elitism

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

All black men think the same. 

No one would agree with that statement, but that is the underlying assumption to Kathy Griffin's latest tirade. Griffin is coming after black comedian Kevin Hart for not speaking out against President Trump because he's a black man. 

Griffin, who is still trying to redeem her career following her despicable stunt of holding a decapitated head of President Trump, is kicking off a comedy tour

As an outspoken firebrand for leftist politics, there's no hiding that this tour will be about bashing the president and his family, but it's what she said about Hart that leaves us scratching our heads.

Here's what she said according to USA Today:

"I do feel like this is such an anxiety-ridden time for everyone that there is a thirst for all kinds of comedy," Griffin says. "And look, if you want to not hear about Trump at all, go see Kevin Hart. He doesn't even mention Trump. I personally think that's a (expletive) move because he's a black man. But I guess he's selling more tickets than I ever will."

Griffin is certainly exercising free speech, but that's not a free pass to be insulting to black men.

Social media didn't take this jab to kindly as Fox News reports:

“[What] does Kevin Hart being black have to do with this?” asked another user. “Some of the dumbest hot takes on race and politics come from white liberals.”

Griffin's comment demonstrates an elitism on the left that assumes every person of color must (a) hold the same political and social views that are (b) in line with liberal dogma. It's the idea that you think like everyone in the checkbox you fall into (i.e., black, female, or immigrant).

Even worse, those who choose not to be vocal (whether out of disagreement or simply because they choose not to wear their political views on their sleeve) are shamed into making public statements of agreement at the risk of a nasty public relations battle or losing supporters.

Not all (black) people think the same and just because Kevin Hart is a black man, it doesn't mean that he automatically hates President Trump. It's condescending to ignore his freedom of thought or to tell him what he should do with his comedy and fame. 

Now, Hart doesn't hide his disagreements with politics. He explained in Variety interview last year,

“When you jump into that political realm you’re alienating some of your audience,” he said. “The world today, it’s really not a laughing matter. It’s serious. I don’t want to draw attention to things I don’t have nice things to say about.”

However, Hart makes it clear that it's okay for people to think differently and his job is not to exploit division but to provide customers a comedy experience that is free from politics:

“When I used the word ‘alienate,’ here’s why,” Hart says now. “The way that I see it, my job as a comedian is to spread positivity. To make people laugh. And I don’t want to draw attention to what’s already pissing us as a people off.”

“Everybody’s not going to see things the way I want to see them. And they shouldn’t,” he says. “That’s what makes us individuals. In that particular realm, I keep my opinions to myself. And like I said, if I don’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say it at all. I’m not in the business of trashing people.”

There is no shortage of politics in comedy today. Comedy is in a sad state when what passes as funny is bashing the President and anyone connected to him.

Hart is steering clear of that and perhaps that’s why he topped Forbes' list of highest paid comedians in 2016 and is in the top six for 2017. 

Griffin and others could take a page from Kevin Hart's book, and perhaps learn how to respect people with differing opinions.

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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