Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Decade of Dark HumorHow Comedy, Irony, and Satire Shaped Post-9/11 America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ted Gournelos and Viveca Greene

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030062

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030062.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 20 October 2017

“The Arab is the New Nigger”

“The Arab is the New Nigger”

African American Comics Confront the Irony & Tragedy of 9/111

Chapter:
(p.47) Chapter Three “The Arab is the New Nigger”
Source:
A Decade of Dark Humor
Author(s):

Lanita Jacobs

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617030062.003.0003

This chapter examines how, even in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many African American stand-up comedians displayed an ambivalent patriotism—indeed, a pervasive Du Boisian “double consciousness” still felt by many African Americans. It shows that these comedians were sympathetic to the victims of 9/11, but whipped up jokes that called into question the clarity of the “us vs. them” distinction that white America largely embraced after the attacks. It discusses the issue of race and racial difference in 9/11-related jokes and considers the Arab or Middle Easterner as the “new nigger” theme in many urban comedy clubs. It also looks at audience reactions to 9/11 humor, noting how not all jokes managed to elicit laughter. Finally, it considers 9/11 jokes as a form of political commentary that offer cautionary perspectives about America’s war on terrorism and its sociopolitical ramifications.

Keywords:   race, 9/11, stand-up comedians, patriotism, African Americans, jokes, racial difference, humor, political commentary, terrorism

University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.