We are all Doug, we are all ‘Black Jeopardy’ contestants
It’s been a few years since we thought about the fabled “one percent” but “Saturday Night Live” brought it back to us in a — ahem — big league way the other night during their “Black Jeopardy” sketch.
Did you see it? It’s worth your six minutes. Normally, this recurring sketch plays out like this: Keenan Thompson is the “Black Jeopardy” host and there’s two black cast members and a clueless white person to round out the contestant pool. The “joke,” as it is, is that the white person is stymied by anything from racism to political correctness to stupidity when answering the questions.
This time, though, a big difference. Tom Hanks played “Doug.” Doug was marble-mouthed and wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat along with an American flag and eagle T-shirt. He was the caricature of “white working class Trump voter.”
Thompson, as host, was ready to dismiss Hanks, that is, until he starts answering the questions correctly. If you haven’t seen it, watch it, then come back here. I don’t want to spoil the jokes.
But after the laughs and the obviousness of the “hey wait a minute, caricatures of black people and caricatures of Trump voters have more in common than anyone ever assumed,” comes the bigger reveal, or at least the reveal I’m taking away from it: We’re all black, we’re all white working class Trump voters, and we’re all equally screwed. Happy Wednesday! Listen, Doug is right: The system is rigged, and they’ve got us. While the wealthy rule the government and the world, the rest of us fight each other for the scraps. It’s practically Gotham City down here.
Sure, there are cultural differences between black people and Trump voters, between middleclass Asian-Americans and working class Soviet bloc immigrants. Name any two groups, I can list 5,000 ways they’re different. We get that. We understand.
But virtually all of us want exactly the same things: Food on the table, a roof over our heads, enough money in the bank to keep the trains running, to love and to be loved.
But instead of recognizing we’re all the same, we seek to find differences. Instead of having a true democracy — one “of the people” — we keep sending the elites to govern us. Instead of doing something about all this, we keep complaining to deaf ears.
Some numbers: According to the Social Security Administration, the top 20 percent of earned income in America is made by the top one percent. And this is just earned income, the kind you get from working, not the kind you get in land deals, interest, etc. Start talking wealth, and it’s legit upsetting, as 76 percent of the wealth is owned by 10 percent of Americans, according to a New York University study. Put another way: About 90 percent of us wrestle over 24 percent of America’s wealth, and most of that wealth is located toward the top end.
And not only are the super-rich in control of the cash, they’re also in control of our daily lives.
The average Congressman is worth well over a million dollars.
Are you worth over a million dollars? Me neither. I have a hard time believing people who are super-wealthy have the best interests of the rest of us in mind. I wrote about this a few years ago, advocating we stop electing rich people. Seems intuitive.
Listen: While all see in each other are differences, the fact is we’re all alike to those at the top of the economic ladder. And until we figure this out and leave our tribes behind and unite for a common goal, we’re going to continue to get steamrolled by the man.
At least we can laugh about it.