Defending Katt Williams
As The Comedian Is Lambasted For His Remarks In Arizona, Few Pause To Understand His Argument
Katt Williams in a booking photo.
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine
Sept. 7, 2011 — There are many things that are no longer accepted in America, but one of them that seemed to stand the test of time was patriotism.
Hell, after 9/11 it seemed like there was an American flag on every car, truck and motor bike on the road. But after the brouhaha that erupted over the past week regarding Katt Williams’ show in Phoenix, Ariz., it seems like even being a patriotic American can be drowned out by those who don’t hear or realize most of the story in a rush to defend a “minority group.”
But before praising Katt Williams, let us first bury him.
The guy has been in the news quite a bit lately, and not for good reasons. In late July, he was criticized by fans and promoters for a horrible show in Albuquerque, N.M. YouTube videos and statements from the promoters of the event claim that Williams was four hours late and that he did not do a comedy routine, but rather preened around the stage and even stopped to do some push-ups.
A month later, he had his “rant against Mexicans” at Celebrity Theater.
But then, a week later on Aug. 25, and before his rant went viral, Williams was back at Celebrity Theater, this time to see a Young Jeezy concert. At that show, and as Young Jeezy rapped, Williams was involved in a brawl in the VIP section. Eventually, he was escorted out.
His past actions make it easy to disregard him as a uneducated thug, as has been a common sentiment since the video went viral late last week. But to do so would be a big mistake because it goes to the core of the “Mexico problem.”
The “problem” is that there are a lot of people that look to escape the dead-end that is being a Mexican in Mexico. Thanks to the monopolistic economic system in Mexico, upward mobility is virtually unavailable to anyone except those that want to get involved in the drug trade. The problem is further complicated since Mexicans who want greater opportunity can get to the U.S. with cash and guts.
And, since they are here and their old home is not too far away, they maintain strong connections with their homeland — perhaps stronger than any group which has migrated here at any point in history. That loyalty to Mexico is at the heart of what Williams was saying, although the message was lost since he used language not commonly heard in middle America.
For you see, many U.S. citizens have a big problem with people who come to America — especially illegally — and say that places like Arizona is Mexico that was stolen. Anyone who wants to can blame Santa Ana for that, but that was a war that both sides did little to stop. And with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada became part of the U.S.
The U.S. took that area as payment for loans and costs that Mexico could not pay. They had, after all invaded and captured Mexico City in winning the war. In those days, if a country was able to do that to another country, it rarely gave it back. But, thanks to some in the U.S. Congress, Mexico got most of their country back.
At his show, Williams was merely starting in on racist humor than most people find very funny. He surely also told jokes about whites, blacks, yellows, blues, reds and greens.
“If you all had California, and you loved it, then why did you give that mother fucker up?” Williams said as the unidentified audience member began shouting back.
Surely, Williams probably has no idea what the Mexican-American War was, when it occurred or anything else about border relations for that matter, but his answer was an attempt to be funny. He was trying to defuse it and get on with it.
He kept trying to tell jokes, but the man then made a statement that really got everything heated.
He yelled out, “This is Mexico,” as is commonly heard by those who refuse to accept the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Few media outlets ever reported this.
To which Williams exclaimed, “No, this isn’t Mexico, it used to be Mexico. Now, its Phoenix,” to which the crowd erupted.
The first chants of U.S.A. followed.
He perhaps best summed up his intellectual argument thusly: “motherfuckers think they can live in this motherfuckin country and hold allegiance to another motherfuckin country. If you love another country more than you love America, then get to steppin!
“Do you remember when white people used to tell us to get back to Africa and we had to tell them we don’t want to? If you love Mexico, bitch, get the fuck over there.”
No one can dispute that it was an ugly moment, but lambasting Williams without listening to what he said and why he said it was wrong. He was not bashing Mexicans, he was bashing one Mexican-American who was ragging on America.
He might not have echoed those statements as eloquently as Will Rogers, Bob Hope, or Ronald Reagan, but the message was the same.
U-S-A … U-S-A … U-S-A.
John Guzzon is editor of Modern Times Magazine.