Huffpost UK Comedy uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Xavier Toby Headshot

Is a White Guy Even Allowed to Talk About Racism?

Posted: Updated:

My slight bogan part aside, I really am the classic middle class, well-educated white male. I mean, there's no point me playing the lottery. By being born in a first world country to white middle class parents, I've already won first division. Big time.

As a type, I'm very nearly the most employable person on the planet. The last time I went to the Job Centre, they made me apply for a job. Which was stupid, because I was only there because I didn't want one, and now I'm the CEO of News Limited.

They actually put me in charge of phone tapping, and I thought I had it nailed, because my Dad's a plumber. For some reason, they were not at all impressed with my phone that had both a hot and a cold tap. Water saving taps too. I'd even put in a half flush button.

So I got fired, which was fine with me, because in five years News Limited won't exist. In five years nobody will be asking, 'Have you read a paper today?'
They'll be asking, 'What's a paper? And have you checked MySpace today?'

Apparently MySpace is making a comeback. Yeah sure. Along with the Tasmanian Tiger, and the Dodo, and Nicholas Cage, and Nicole Kidman, and Atari, and encyclopedias, and New Kids on the Bloc, and books, and CDs and the Yahoo! search engine.

Out of all the possible jobs I could do I chose comedy, and in most of the venues where I perform, the only person who makes less for a night's work than I do, is that idiot who goes around trying to sell roses to strangers. Actually, compared to me, he does pretty well.

That's so middle class, isn't it? Choosing comedy as a career? To be free to choose to do whatever I want with your life, then be able to do it.

Comedy really is quite a challenge for me. As a white, male, middle class comedian, you're stuck with some pretty standard topics. There's your partner, or your lack of one, or your struggles to get one, and masturbation, and the differences between men and women, and your kids. All topics I want to try and avoid. Or if you've seen me live, all topics you know that I've comprehensively covered already.

The non-white, middle-class, straight male comedians sometimes start by talking about what makes them different. Their sexuality, their gender, or their race. I don't have any of that. Well I do, but there's nothing interesting to say.
'It's so unfair you know, being a straight male in this society. When are they finally going to allow me to get married?'
'There are female only gyms, and Mums and Bubs movies, and Ellen, and women even get their own change rooms. What about the fellas eh? Why aren't we allowed into the women's change rooms?'
I think you'll find that there aren't male equivalents of those things, because men have got the whole rest of the world.

Then there's race. Which is what my current show 'White Trash' is an attempt to talk about. Yeah, and make sure you check out my next show called 'Rainbow Warriors' all about skittles and gay rights. Following that I'm doing, 'Girl Power' a show about a feminism, the Spice Girls and using both as a new source of renewable energy. Or not.

Doing racial material usually only works if you're anything but white. Even me writing about race, does anyone feel a little uncomfortable? A little squirmy? Like you want to just go back to talking about footy and beer and how I can't find a girlfriend?

If there's anyone qualified to talk about racism, I'm pretty sure I'm the very definition of what it's not. Me talking about racism, is like Gina Rhineheart talking about welfare. Or Tony Abbott talking about feminism. Or Donald Duck talking about pants. What would the hell would he know about pants? He never wears any! And why is he always in a sailor suit? He's a duck. Why the hell would he need a boat?

Okay, so I am one sixteenth Turkish, but I'm one sixteenth of about sixteen different things. All slightly different shades of white. Also, I don't think that one sixteenth is enough to pick on the Turks. They're not even dark enough to be proper Arabs.

Now was that a bit racist? Maybe, and I reckon if onstage I say anything even slightly racist, the audience will be straight onto it. So while I can't talk about my experiences of racism and discrimination, I believe I'm a great person for trying to work out what's racist, and what's not.

As a comedian if I was any different background, I get to make jokes about that race, and white people, but because I'm white, I can't make racist jokes about anyone. I mean I could, but nobody would laugh. If they did, well they shouldn't. Also, I'm not really interested in chasing the white supremacist neo-Nazi audience. I'll leave that to Alan Jones, and the Liberal Party.

So if you're interested in laughing and thinking, and a show about bogans, hipsters, penguins and racism, then come and see 'White Trash'. Coming up at the Perth Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival. It's going to be a busy year.

If you haven't worked out what you're doing over Christmas and New Year, or would rather do something fun, come and see me at the greatest festival ever in the world ever. The Woodford Folk Festival: http://www.woodfordfolkfestival.com/