The Problem With What George Lopez Did, Explained (In Less Than 300 Words Too!)

Mark Davis/Getty Images for TV Land
Mark Davis/Getty Images for TV Land

300 words? Really? You think you can do this?

Not if you keep asking stupid questions.

Touche. So, why is George Lopez in the news today?

During a recent show in Phoenix, Lopez joked "There’s still two rules in the fucking Latino family. Don’t marry somebody black, and don’t park in front of our house.” This prompted a Black woman near the stage to stand up and flip Lopez the rare double-fisted bird. Lopez responded by spending the next minute or so berating her, telling her to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up and eventually kicking her out.

Okay. So, was the joke the problem here?

No. It was a perfectly standard race-related joke from a comedian. Whether you personally find Lopez (and/or his joke) funny or offensive is inconsequential. Nothing about the joke itself was egregious. Telling a joke about racism doesn't make the joke (or the comedian) racist.


The issue here was his reaction. Admittedly, I imagine that a person giving me the finger while in front of me would be distracting, but I also imagine a stand-up veteran like Lopez has experienced much worse. It was a standard joke that received a standard heckle. If her reaction was a bit of an overreaction (it was), his reaction was a nuclear reaction to that overreaction.

Considering the abundance of context here — the numerous examples of Black women treated and regarded with a ferocity and violence that non-Black women probably wouldn't have received in those same circumstances — you also can't help but wonder if Lopez felt empowered to go extra hard on her because she was Black.

Ironically, he accused her of not being able to take a joke. But the only angry person here seems to be him.

Damn. You did it. Good job!


Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



Back on that DeVos tho

1) how does VSB feel about charter schools?

2) do you have school age children?