Known for his racially-charged humor, stand-up comic Ralphie May, a Comedy Central regular who has appeared on The Tonight Show, Last Comic Standing and Celebrity Fit club, calls out Indians in a video posted on YouTube, with one “highlight” being the phrase “F--k a bunch of Indians.”
Update: EXCLUSIVE: Ralphie May Talks About Indian Rant: “I Never Meant to Hurt Anyone”
The extracted audio clip of May’s comedy routine is from a CD entitled "Stealing the Sun Back." from the hip hop group Savage Family. In the video/audio clip, posted on YouTube, May goes into a rant about Indians.
“F--k a bunch of Indians. I am sick of hearing about it. Are we supposed to boo hoo over goddamn Indians that sh-t that was 120 years ago? F--kin’ get over it. Nobody 150 years ago was making you drink now. Dry up’ you buncha alcoholics and go get a real f--kin’ job.”
Since the video was posted, May has said on Twitter that the entire issue has been taken out of context. "Someone stole my material and edited it. They used it in a hip hop song. The entire portion of the joke that makes it make sense is missing," tweeted May.
The rant goes on in similarly profane manner for just under a minute.
A short time after the video was posted Tuesday night, May received a plethora of fiery comments accusing him of racism. May responded on Twitter that he would not be apologizing for his remarks.
“Afraid, I will not be. Shamed, I will not be. Apologize, I will not. I am a man that stands on his own,” May tweeted.
May further explained on Twitter that the comedic rant was extracted out of context and that the rant was based on the fact he was angry that Dances with Wolves beat Goodfellas for the best picture Oscar in 1992.
Twitter Screen Capture
He further went on to respond to Twitter followers with the following:
“What's your responsibility to your own people … [Y]ou still have the burden to bare, alcoholism still runs rampant as does crystal meth. Am I the one that cause[d] that?”
The video / audio clip was posted by Adrianne Chalepah, (Kiowa/Apache) a comedian, who says she posted the video to ask people if they thought it was funny.
“I posted the video because I saw that Ralphie May was performing in Bemidji soon and that is Indian Country,” Chalepah wrote to ICTMN in an email. ”I wanted him to understand that incorporating hate and stereotypes into his jokes about us can have real harm, especially in border towns where racism is felt every day. It's bad enough that some border towns view our people as lazy drunks who do nothing but feel sorry for ourselves. We see this every day with our high police brutality rates, our high suicide rates, and our high rape rates. We don't need anyone with a national platform somehow implying we need to ‘get over it.’
“I took offense because we Natives don't have a huge voice in mainstream media or pop culture. How can we counter these attacks on our image? We can continue to push the world to accept us as 21st century indigenous people, and challenge them to leave the stereotypes behind. It's not that we can't take a joke. I joke about my ‘drunk auntie’ all the time. I joke about casinos being the only place where you need a ‘hickey policy.’ But the difference is that these are our stories, our voice, our image, and we have the right to tell our stories without mainstream pop culture countering it with one-dimensional stereotypes.”
At the time of the posting of this article, May has responded to ICTMN’s request for comment and says he is traveling and would like to offer comments when he is available.
Follow ICTMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wow’s and Sports Editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling