Aamer Rahman is your new comedy crush

Comedian Aamer Rahman has been getting a little bit of American internet love in the last few days; his bit about what reverse  racism actually means has been circulating quite a lot since it was posted at The Huffington Post. Hate to break this to you, America, but you’re late to the Rahman party. In Australia, we’ve been fans of Rahman and his partner in crime and Nazeem Hussain for quite some time. The two make up the duo Fear of a Brown Planet and together, they’re doing what is arguably the funniest and most incisive political comedy in the country right now.

Here’s one of my favourite Rahman bits for your viewing pleasure.

Transcript below the jump.

I like to help people, I really do. You guys have heard of Habitat for Humanity? I actually run an adult outreach program called Workshops for Whitey. It’s a serious of specially designed workshops to help improve quality of life for white people here now, actually, for white people. Here’s one. The title of this first workshop is, “Don’t Compliment Me on My English.” Everyone who’s not white knows exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll be talking to a white person, and half way through your first sentence, they’ll feel the need to cut you off and say something like, “Oh, your English is fantastic.” They’re amazed that you can speak English. They’re watching The Discovery Channel, they’re amazed the gorillas and chimps can speak sign language. I know my English is fantastic, I don’t need white people to come and tell me that. When you say this to white people, sometimes they get very upset, because in their heads they’re going, “Well, relax, Malcolm X. It’s a compliment.” It’s not a compliment, man, you would never see white people complimenting other white people on their English. It’s very patronising. If you’re white and you tell someone who’s not white that their English is fantastic, you’re just admitting that you thought they were dumb. Or uneducated. And I am educated, and my parents are very educated. But when white people say to me, “Oh, your English is fantastic,” I just flip out. I try to overcompensate. I try to make a point by making these random references to my parents’ education in the conversation, I just throw it in there like, “Oh my dad, he’s so funny. With his PhD in electrical engineering. He’s so funny my Dad. Does your dad have a PhD? What, in anything? How come? Oh, because we invented science and maths and numbers, and you guys invented Weetbix and Apartheid. But it’s cool, man, it’s not a competition.”

I have another workshop, it’s for white women only. This is a workshop for white women, it’s called “Why Do You Clutch Your Handbag When You See Me?” We can see you doing it, by the way. Once I walked into a cafe, and a woman in the back corner of the cafe saw me and instinctively started clutching her purse. You know, because I was gonna steal it with my ten metre bionic arm. Go go gadget bag snatcher. It’s true, white women are conditioned to be so terrified, so terrified of young black and brown men my age, that we actually have to speak differently to white women. If I’m at the bank or any kind of job interview or in any kind of professional setting, I actually have to speak differently to a white woman, so she doesn’t get scared. I have to smile more, I have to appear less threatening, not pull out a knife or a gun suddenly. I have to make my voice higher. This is not even my real voice, this is my white voice. Isn’t that sad that I can’t even use my real voice with white people? My real voice is like, “JOIN ME AND TOGETHER WE CAN RULE THE GALAXY.”

I have one last workshop for white people. The title of this last one is “Just Because I’m At the Petrol Station, Doesn’t Mean I Work Here.” White people, pay special attention to this one. If you are at a petrol station and there is no one behind the counter, don’t keep looking at me sideways.  Like it’s my job to jump over and start serving you.

I know I scare white people, I see you throughout the whole show. Because I understand how white people  think, and I see you whispering to each other all the time, like, “How does he know all this stuff? I only admit those things when they’re not around.” I’ll explain to you how I understand the psychology of white people so perfectly. I was actually selected as a candidate in an elite training program that teaches you exactly how to think and act just like a white person. I went to private school. White people always smile when I say that because in their heads they’re going, “That’s why his English is so good.”
Avatar ImageChloe Angyal came out of the womb opinionated.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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