I think Colbert’s stunt itself was incredibly annoying especially as his satire is often based in a smug ironic whiteness–and yes, smug people, I get that it’s a character and that’s how it’s being presented. This doesn’t mean that as a person of color I have to like it or that I can’t feel that it’s problematic or alienating. Regarding the #cancelcolbert campaign I have felt that much of the Asian-American critique of the racism managed to completely ignore Native Americans and original context which was frustrating and disappointing.
It’s beginning to seem that with every major pride event in South Africa comes an accompanying discussion of the country’s underlying racial fault lines. In 2012, Johannesburg Pride infamously erupted in clashes between groups who wanted to use pride as a space to advocate for local LGBTI issues, particularly misogynist and homophobic violence directed at queer black women, and those who saw Pride as an apolitical space celebrating an ostensibly larger queer ‘unity.’
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, an African-American reporter based in South Africa, has penned a piece in this week’s New Yorker titled “Violated Hopes” (subscription required) that covers the contentious topic of sexual violence directed against black South African lesbians. Hunter-Gault frames the piece on the experiences of lesbian women in townships in Johannesburg and Cape Town, interviewing several women who have experienced sexual violence at the hands of men.