Movie Friday: Peter Chao

Sometimes ridicule is a powerful weapon. Peter Chao seems to recognize this:

While I am definitely not a fan of blackface, especially when it is divorced from its historical context, I actually laughed watching this video. Not because it’s funny to make light of black stereotypes, but because those same stereotypes are being held up to ridicule here. It also pokes fun at the “I’m not racist” meme, showing that merely saying it does not make it so.

Of course, not everyone gets the satirical element…

Of course, the meta-joke in all of this, is that “Peter Chao” is not the guy’s actual name. He is New Brunswick-born Davin Tong, speaks with unaccented (or Canadian-accented if you prefer) English, and plays this character on YouTube specifically to highlight the absurdity of racism. While his take on things isn’t exactly my own, I am glad to see that race is making its way into popular discussion.


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