People are stupid.
We’ve known this since the beginning of recorded history. Whether it’s stepping into tar pits to see what would happen or driving in two-ton steel death traps at 70 miles an hour every day, we have a track record for being dumb.
Luckily for bored bloggers and hack journalists fishing for stories, we’ve carried this stupidity with us into the digital age. Enter Twitter, hashtag activism and Stephen Colbert.
After Stephen Colbert made a joke on his show last Wednesday mocking Dan Snyder (the owner of the Washington Redskins), butthurt Twitter users and privilege-checking pundits went crazy. These are the people that love to make sure you know that they’re offended.
Colbert introduced his latest tongue-in-cheek rightwing nutjob idea – “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” – poking fun at Snyder’s paltry efforts to make amends to the Native American community and Rush Limbaugh’s racist outburst against former Chinese President Hu Jintao.
“The Colbert Report’s” social media team tweeted out the joke without its context, and soon after the weaponized hashtag “#CancelColbert” started to pick up steam. Funnily enough, it wasn’t the content or motivation behind this hashtag that made it trend – it was more so that people were confused…Cancel Colbert for what? Doing his job? Being a political satirist?
Those who used this hashtag were making kneejerk reactions to a joke they didn’t even bother to put in context. In context, the joke is actually making a point most of these users would wholeheartedly agree with: Dan Snyder’s $100,000 efforts are negligible in comparison to the Redskin’s worth of over a billion dollars.
But no, people love to be offended. People love to rally behind a cause they don’t fully understand. Mainly, people love to whine.
We’re talking about a station that airs “Half Baked” as a primetime special on weekends.
Stop being stupid and enjoy the comedy for the sake of my blood pressure.
Haidar is a junior majoring in journalism.