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Recap / South Park S 11 E 1 With Apologies To Jesse Jackson

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Randy uses the n-word on Wheel of Fortune, leading to widespread public outrage. Stan and Token argue over the word and Randy's use. Meanwhile, a dwarf has a hard time trying to teach Cartman to be sensitive.

  • Bait-and-Switch: The puzzle category was "People Who Annoy You" and N_GGERS was filled out. The answer was "naggers".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The episode largely consists of Randy being treated like an African American living in the southern US before the Civil Rights Movement took off, complete with having to flee from roving bands of rednecks who "don't take kindly" to people who aren't tolerant of other races.
  • Double Standard: The episode hypothesizes that, while the use and implications of the word "nigger" is a hot topic of debate, a similar word to describe white people would immediately be made illegal.
    • Cartman continually mocks a short person who came to speak at his school, laughing raucously throughout, but when this person gets Cartman's classmates to call him 'fatso', he immediately flies off the handle in a rage.
  • Face Palm: Sharon and Stan do this in the car a few minutes after Randy said the N-Word on national TV.
  • Innocently Insensitive: How Stan comes off to Token throughout the episode. Stan was trying too hard to get Token's apology, then switched gears to telling him that what Randy did was "no big deal" and that Token should "forget about it" when Token seemingly underreacted to Randy's comment.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Cartman refers to Dr. Nelson as "it" several times.
    Cartman: *laughing uncontrollably* Alright, who is the freaking genius who dressed it up in little suspenders?!
  • Never Live It Down: An in-universe example. Randy never lives down his reputation as the guy who said the n-word on national television.
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  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The comedian at the club was clearly based on Chris Rock.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Jesse Jackson has completely round eyes instead of the usual oval shaped ones.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Accident or not, blurting out racial slurs will have you subjected to gossip, humiliation, and ostracizing, despite you constantly showing remorse for doing such a thing.
    • In Cartman's subplot with Dr. David Nelson, there's a scene when the latter attempts to talk to Mr. Garrison and Principal Victoria about Cartman's jerkass behavior towards him. They both tell Nelson that the idea of having a conversation with Eric Cartman isn't wise, and that the former should just let it go. The duo are proven right when they call Eric Cartman down to the office, and the latter only makes fun of Nelson when Nelson tries to be nice to Cartman. Point is, simply attempting to reason with bigots with words won't change their views (nor make them want to change).
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  • Spoof Aesop: Although there is some wisdom to it, Stan's subplot is a lesson that as a white person in a predominantly white part of the world, he can never fully understand how black people feel about the word 'nigger'.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The episode's themes of racial slurs came from Michael Richards' infamous on-stage meltdown where he screamed racist obscenities at two black audience members during a stand up show. Token's line about Jesse Jackson not being "the emperor of black people" was actually Trey Parker's reaction to Richards' looking to Jackson for a seal of approval for his public apology.
  • Take That!: When Stan tells Token that Randy apologized to Jesse Jackson, so everything is all right, Token angrily tells him that "Jesse Jackson is not the emperor of black people!"
    Stan: ...He told my dad he was.
  • Trivial Title: Randy's apology to Jesse Jackson was merely one of his many attempts to repair his reputation early in the episode, resolves basically nothing, and is forgotten about afterwards.

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