Summary: In this clip from his show "Chewed Up," comedian Louis C.K. examines white privilege (including his own white privilege). One of the benefits of whiteness he explores is his ability to travel to any time period in history and know that, regardless of the historical era, he would be advantaged. He also examines the potential disadvantages of future retribution. I like to use this clip to introduce the concept of white privilege to students through the use of comedy, a particularly useful approach given many students' initial resistance to the concept. Given the fact that whiteness has been so consistently privileged over such a long period of time, the clip can highlight for students the multi-generational privileges that accumulate over time from being white. While the clip may not explain present-day advantages of being white, students and instructors can critically approach Louis C.K.'s suggestion that "anything before 1980" would be a difficult time for non-white people. Does white privilege go away after 1980? Or might we see more covert, but no less destructive, racial oppression and privilege? These questions can segue into a conversation of color blindness, an ideology that, perhaps ironically, Louis C.K.'s claim about 1980 and racial oppression might inadvertently feed into. This clip contributes to The Sociological Cinema's growing collection of comedy clips that are useful for illustrating sociological concepts.
Submitted By: Kendra Barber