I initially thought the clip was quite funny until Takei made reference to Hardaway's "smooth chocolaty head." And then I wondered. Is this still funny?
I wondered if, in this context, Takei's remark was racist. I wondered if the skit would have been just as effective had no reference been made to Hardaway's skin color. As well, I wondered if Takei was somehow confronting a homophobia specific to African American heterosexual men by employing a messy strategy of fighting one form of discrimination (homophobia) with another (racism).
Does Takei's comedic sketch touch upon an ugly societal truth that holds the notion that it is somehow less offensive for a gay person of color to make a racist remark than it is for a straight white person?
One thing I am sure about is that whenever I hear any reference to skin color, the complex question of what racism is emerges inevitably in my consciousness.