Transcript (after the jump):
Hari Kondabolu: People always say I’m obsessed with race. “You’re obsessed with race! You’re obsessed with racism!” You can’t be obsessed with race in America. This is stuff that happens all the time. Saying that I’m obsessed with race and racism in America is like saying I’m obsessed with swimming when I’m drowning, you know what I mean? It’s absurd. I’m not the one who’s obsessed; this country is obsessed with race.
I hear about the year 2042 all the time on the news. For those of you who don’t know, 2042, according to census figures, is the year that white people will be the minority in this country. White people will be 49% in 2042, and I don’t know if there are people in this audience that are upset by this, but don’t worry, white people. You were the minority when you came to this country; things seem to have worked out for you. Right?
But here’s the bigger point, here’s the more important point: 49% doesn’t make you the minority, right? That’s not how math works, right? 49% only makes you the minority if you think the other 51% are exactly the same. That only works if you think it’s 49% white people and 51%…you people. That’s the only way.
‘Cause that 51%, my friends, is not a united front. Just ask a black guy and a Korean guy what happens when the black guy walks into the Korean guy’s store, ok? I bet you that interaction isn’t pleasant. I bet you that interaction isn’t like:
“How’s it going, teammate?”
“Pretty good, am I right?”
That’s not what’s happening. It’s not a united front; there is some historic tension there. And some of you might be thinking, you know that 51% isn’t exactly the same, but you’re assuming that all white people are the same. Yes. No, no. I’m joking, I’m obviously joking. Why am I joking? Because white isn’t a thing. Race isn’t a thing; it’s all made up. It’s a social construct, it’s a way to separate and destroy us, ok? It’s not real.
White isn’t a thing, and we know this. There used to be signs in New York that said “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs.” The Irish weren’t white. the Polish weren’t white, the Italians weren’t white, the Jews weren’t white. It’s made up. It’s a way to separate us and you know, for people of colour in this room, you ask your white friend what their cultural heritage is, they never just say “white”. No, they give you a math equation: “I’m a third German, a fourth Irish and one-sixteenth Welsh…” It’s like, “Damn, Steve. All these years I thought you were just white. My bad. I should’ve been more sensitive.”