Ellen DeGeneres is catching flack for a meme that she posted on social media. The picture featured DeGeneres on Usain Bolt’s back with the caption, “This is how I’m running errands from now on.” The joke attempt served as an unfunny reminder of the history of Black servitude. The notion that a Black man should carry a White person on their backs can be viewed as demeaning on many levels.
Although comedians should push the envelope when discussing race and other touchy issues, DeGeneres’ joke was tasteless and proved that she didn’t take the time to understand how it could be offensive.
It’s the second joke that featured Blacks that caused a stir. Shortly after it was revealed that Nicki Minaj signed a deal for a sitcom about her life, DeGeneres created a skit that poked fun of Minaj’s body. The skit featured a Black family who all had oversized butts and were limited in life because of it. The joke was a form of body shaming which has remained an issue that Black women have endured for centuries.
DeGeneres later responded to her meme that featured Bolt by tweeting, “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.”
DeGeneres doesn’t exhibit the characteristics of a racist. However, her response also reveals how some people won’t view themselves as racist while exhibiting racist behavior. Even if a White person would never call a Black person the N-word, there are ways that racism can still be displayed through careless actions. DeGeneres simply should have thought twice before posting the meme.
Here is how social media reacted to DeGeneres’ meme:
Today for example: Ellen DeGeneres tweeting that offensive photoshopped picture and Usain Bolt even RT’d it because he don’t know any better
— Addy (@LethalHuxtable) August 16, 2016
— Dave Jordan (@DJNYC1) August 16, 2016
— Aiikay El Zee (@aiizybaba) August 16, 2016
Ellen Degeneres is not racist. Y’all gotta chill.
— AllLivesMatterisB.S. (@PJ4MJJ) August 16, 2016