In a stern condemnation of violence against Blacks by police, Saturday Night Live this weekend featured a parody of a cop who, well, goes out of his way to beat up Black men.
The lead character of the sketch, Blazer, played by SNL cast member Taran Killam, punches every Black man he sees, including those who are not suspects, according to Arts.Mic, in a parody that underscores complaints against cops regarding police brutality in America.
It’s an important issue for Saturday Night Live to tackle, because its predominantly White demographic essentially believes that racism is over. Racism is not over, not even by a long shot, and hopefully such parodies will show Whites the covert and not-so-covert nature of racism today.
The Blazer sketch comes on the heels of last month’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong made some harsh jokes about the deaths of Black men in the United States and lapses in the Secret Service.
“Let’s give it up for the Secret Service,” she said. “I don’t want to be too hard on those guys. You know, because they’re the only law enforcement agency in the country that will get in trouble if a Black man gets shot.”
The jokes fell flat on the crowd packed with elected officials, journalists and celebrities, who represent establishments and occupations that help perpetuate racism in America—knowingly or unknowingly.
The jokes come amid ongoing protests in Baltimore over the brutal police killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died last month and whose funeral sparked rage in the streets. Six police officers were charged last week in Gray’s death, sparking celebratory marches and rallies in Baltimore and across the nation.
But do you think it’s too soon for Saturday Night Live to joke about police brutality in the nation? Or is it an important message to send to its White demographic no matter how it’s done?
Watch the “SNL” sketch above and sound off in the comments.