Moss Fights Racism With Laughs
By KJ Adler
From the racist homeless to angry Jamaican Muslims to hearing impaired muggers, there was no subject too taboo for Muslim comedian Preacher Moss to touch on during his standup performance on January 18.
Students spilled out of the 300 seats and into the back of the Great Hall in order to hear Preacher Moss’ routine, which focused around the misunderstanding and stereotypes many cultures have for one another.
Moss, brought to campus by Giant Productions and the Islamic Student Association, wielded an unlikely mixture of comedy and messages of equality. They are products of his participation in both entertainment and activism.
Along with performing stand up comedy routines, Preacher Moss has written for Damon Wayans, SNL’s Darrell Hammon, Nickelodeon and the George Lopez Show.
Moss also toured in a critically acclaimed “End of Racism” Comedy and Lecture Tour in 2005 and founded the official Muslim Comedy Tour known as “Allah Made Me Funny.”
“I used to work in a lot of night clubs but it was an empty pursuit. It was hard to affect change. I want to talk to people who will carry the future.” Moss said when asked about his decision to undergo his current college tour.
“What’s up school off of I-95?” He exclaimed before launching into a series of jokes about his experiences performing at a jail and his favorite hate group, the KKK.
After warming up, Moss took a moment to “get real” with the students, warning them that his jokes were centrally based on tensions created around race, religion, and politics.
“No holding hands, no kumbaya and none of that P.C. stuff. I’m gonna be honest with all of you.” Moss said.
And with an applause of approval from the audience, Moss continued to dig deeper into a number of issues that many people would find uncomfortable subjects.
He poked fun of how aggressive he finds different races to be and how the show “Cops” never gives Asians the chance at being criminals, adding in an afterthought that racism does affect everyone.
“I know. I’ve been black a long time.” Moss said before pointing out his observations that no black people are in tanning commercials and white people don’t get their own culture month.
With each blatant joke on subjects many would attempt to tread lightly around, Moss was supported with roars of laughter and nods of agreement from the audience.
“I can’t believe some of the things he said,” says junior Stephanie Sparrow. “Initially I found myself tensing up as he made fun of things I was told to never joke about. But after a while I guess I just got over it and found myself laughing with everyone else about things that were entirely un-P.C. and hilarious.”
Moss’s jokes were not all on issues of diversity. He regaled the students with his experience with a hearing impaired mugger who could not properly tell Moss to hand over his money.
Moss also spoke about his experience as a broke college student, calling his unsympathetic father for more money.
“I really liked the show,” says Muslim freshman student Sarah Almahdali. “He was very open and spoke the truth. I liked that because I believe that is what makes people closer.”
As the show wound down, Moss reluctantly decided to say something really deep and profound to the audience.
Encouraging them all to stand up and hold a hand in the air, he spoke about the importance of certain words and how they are each spelled with five letters: Black, White, Latin, Truth, Power, Unity, and Funky.
Finally taking away three of the fingers, Moss offered the audience a sign of peace, another five letter word.
“Comedy humor is language I speak in. I convey different messages when I perform,” Moss says.
“I hope I have a positive influence on the students. I enjoy entertaining them but it’s important what they take away after the jokes. I want to get people to become critical thinkers.”