Comedian Jon Laster was performing at the Gotham Comedy Club in Chelsea, Manhattan just a week after the election when he reached “a boiling point” of personal frustration, Rolling Stone reports.
Laster recounted how at the end of the night’s sets, a white middle-aged individual approached him at the bar and said, “Man you were really funny, and you’re black!”
The man continued, “Since Trump won the election, there’s a lot America needs to reconsider. We need to put that ‘politically correct’ stuff to bed; now I should be able to call you ‘n-word.'”
Laster then recounted how he had to hold himself back from punching the man. After the incident, he wrote on his Facebook, “I’ve spent the entire weekend disgusted that we have to deal with this and disgusted that I didn’t break his jaw [and] it’s not an Alabama problem.”
Various communities across the country who were already fighting before Donald Trump’s victory are in an incredibly difficult place now.
Individuals are having to deal with and also work to create spaces beyond the violence perpetrated against them, whether that violence is in the form of language or actions.
Laster explained that the people who are acting violently in the wake of Trump’s win are not just any particular group of people, Southerners or the white middle class.
“These type[s] of Trump peeps are here in Manhattan, Williamsburg, in comedy clubs and on comedy stages,” he wrote in his post.
He further addressed the importance of finding ways to deal with violent interactions at this time, noting that “black men are going to have to figure out how to deal with such out-in-the-open expressions of racism.”
The comedian also opened up the conversation to others for suggestions on how to deal with these types of interactions because he doesn’t have “the energy or the desire to spend every weekend in jail,” and doesn’t “want to feel this mistrust of white comrades either.”
Laster said the incident prompted him to remove any political jokes from his sets. “It’s just not worth it,” he said. “I don’t want to throw barbs out there, pissing people off without really adding anything to the conversation.”