Jess, There's Nothing Hilarious About Bigotry

Jessica ‘Jess Hilarious’ Moore attends the 2018 Pre-Emmy Party hosted by Entertainment Weekly and L’Oreal Paris on September 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Neilson Barnard (Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)

Jess Hilarious is a perfect example of an insecure bag.

Y’all know the saying—“secure the bag.” Well, Jess keeps actively trying to squander the bag.

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On Saturday, a video surfaced of the Rel co-star documenting four men in turbans boarding a plane, via her Instagram stories. In the video, you could hear the comedian-actress’ panicked voice saying, “Where are they going? Where are they going?!”

“If I’m scared, I’m scared,” Jess doubled-down, following criticism. “Fuck y’all. Fuck how y’all feel. Y’all mad at me because I don’t side with every other black person. Because I don’t side with every other race—fuck y’all. I feel how I feel, I felt threatened, and that was it. And I’m not flying there. We were evacuated, bitch! Why? Why, with no reason explained at all, no technical difficulties or nothing. Y’all gon’ listen to Jess with the mess one day, because my news is real.”

What’s “real” is the clear xenophobia displayed by a fellow person of color who would be profiled at the same place should the government feel extra racist that day. Imagine. Whew chillay.

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At one point, everyone on the flight had to deplane. Once reboarded, Jess took to IG once again.

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“So, how ironic is it that we boarded the same plane and I don’t see those people,” Jess asked, referring to the group of Sikh men. “Yeah, we’re fully boarded. Eat my ass.”

Girl.

A few things:

1. The men weren’t even Muslim—they were Sikh. This shouldn’t matter since her bigotry still wouldn’t be okay if they were Muslim, but what does matter is correctly identifying people. Bet? Bet.

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2. This incident happened just one day after the immensely tragic New Zealand terrorist attack targeting two mosques, where a gunman killed dozens of worshippers. We’ve already touched upon how dangerous white supremacist ideologies such as Islamophobia are.

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3. We have a whole-ass TSA to be the judge of whether or not we should feel “threatened,” no? I mean, there’s already a problematic screening process amongst the professionals—what do you think will happen amongst patrons? Imagine everyone having the power to kick someone off the plane just because they feel uncomfy. Yeah, that wouldn’t be abused at alllllll.

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4. She “apologized” by taking a card from the “Wheel of Not Actual Apologies” by saying she’s “not racist” since she “has Muslims in [her] family.” Girl, the white man jumped out! She also claimed to be “unaware of the different types of Muslims,” pretty much diving into the deep end of the wrong pool.

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5. There’s a trend here, and it’s not the good kind of trending topic. Not too long ago, Jess came under fire for going straight to homophobic slurs after receiving mild shade (it was, by shade standards) in an Instagram section for The Shade Room, no less.

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It hasn’t been confirmed whether or not her concerns were the impetus for the Sikhs’ evacuation, but the overarching issue remains. Critiques of her actual “comedy” aside, ain’t shit funny about profiling. Profiling has ended in the deaths of too many black and brown folks for this same display of cognitive dissonance, just because you may not practice the same religion or aren’t ingrained in the same culture of another.

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Free advice going forward: Listen more, talk less. Hilarious concept, right?

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.