You may remember Colin Quinn from his stint on Saturday Night Live, where he became a regular with such character as “Lenny the Lion” and “Joe Blow.”  He even took over “The Weekend Update” for a time. After leaving SNL, Quinn became the host of the short-lived Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Today, he spends a lot of time on the road performing stand-up comedy.  Quinn recently joined the ranks of celebrities who really need to learn that Twitter is not the forum for them to express their bigoted pointed of view.

With this kind of logic, Jim Crow would still be the law of the land, and women would not be allowed to vote. The fact of the matter is that the law often runs behind the social push for change.  More importantly, societies that don’t progress and change become stagnant and die. Two sets of laws for citizens is not now, or ever will be equality.  As it is, the U.S. is already behind because Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden all allow same sex marriage.  The United Kingdom, Brazil, New Zealand, Uruguay, and France all allow civil unions between same sex couples.  It’s nice to know that Quinn is against the closet, but his position is hardly unbiased.

Saying I don’t believe in forcing people to hide and then finishing by advocating inequality in the law is homophobic. What Quinn does not realize is that one need not be spewing homophobic slurs, or participating in a gay bashing to be a homophobe.  All one need do is suggest that there are limits to equality to be understood as a homophobe.

One would think that after showing his inner bigot to the world that Quinn would step back from Twitter for awhile, but apparently, Quinn was only sorry that he didn’t take the time to put people of colour in their place.

The moment someone says, “I’m not a racist but,” even a slightly aware listener is cognizant that the next thing said will be racist — and Quinn, most certainly, does not disappoint.  He begins with the fear that the U.S. is becoming a minority-majority country (an oxymoron if I have ever heard one) and then escalates to infer that the U.S belongs to white men.  Gee, I wonder who all those indigenous people, who had functioning societies and were occupying land before the first European even stepped foot on the continent, thought they were?  I suppose they were just keeping the U.S. safe until white men could come along, commit genocide, colonize the people, and steal the land.  To think, white men didn’t even have to pay babysitting fees. This sounds like a good deal to me.

Then of course there is the little matter of slavery.  You know, the time period where African-Americans were considered on the same level of animals.  Yes, that magical time in history when the forced labour of African-Americans built the U.S. up from a backward ragtag group of rebels, to a country that had to be taken seriously.  Quite simply, the U.S. would not be where it is without the labour of African-Americans.

Quinn is not the first comedian to openly say something homophobic or racist; the difference in this case is that he didn’t attempt to couch it in comedy the way that so many comedians do.  Quinn wasn’t standing on a stage like Tracy Morgan joking about killing his son if he acts gay, or hunting for a new Black best friend like Chelsea Handler recently did, but he works in an industry that finds this kind of speech to be unproblematic.  To follow Lisa Lampanelli on Twitter for instance, is to get an education in how to be offensive and pass it off as comedy.  If Quinn had made these statements as part of a routine, there would be plenty of people lining up to suggest that African-Americans, and gays and lesbians are being too sensitive and cannot take a joke.

When we give a pass to bigotry by accepting the excuse that said statements are comedic, it is hardly shocking that a comedian pushes the envelope even further to make clearly problematic statements on Twitter.  It is naive to believe that when comedians claim to be joking as they spew their bigotry on stage that there isn’t an element of self belief in these statements.  They have to be aware that they are promoting the oppression and hatred of historically marginalized people. They simply don’t care.  I don’t agree with a single word Quinn tweeted, but I suppose he deserves some recognition for owning his bigotry and not attempting to suggest that his choice of career justifies his statements.

  • LemonNLime

    Colin Quinn is NON- effing- factor. His career has been washed up, at best, since he was kicked off of SNL. This all a sad, pathetic, aging man’s attempt to become relevant again and what better way to do it than post homophobic and racist messages on twitter and later defend by saying either 1) he was hacked or 2) hes joking because he’sa comedian or 3)free speech.

  • andryce76

    Colin whose checking for him? LOL
    But this isn’t new he’s always felt this way
    I knew him back in the day when he worked on that dumb MTV game show
    And he was always talking about his superior Irish roots
    He’s just trying to be controversial to get some publicity
    BecausehHe sure can’t get it by his standup

  • Anne

    This is why I love twitter. Keep on exposing bigots, yes!

  • Jai

    This is disturbing but unfortunately I’m sure a lot of white people feel the same way.

  • apple

    this is OUR country? IN WHICH YOUR ANCESTORS STOLE? b*tch is was never YOUR country.

  • Ms. Information


  • Nadell

    And this country was no ones but the Native Americans

  • luverly

    Many comedians are offensive. And a lot of times that’s what we find amusing about them. I don’t think its right for him to go around spewing hatred for certain groups but it is his first amendment right to speak freely so…he’s exercising that right.

  • Duke


  • Jessica Simien

    I agree with you on your points.

  • simplyme

    why am I more concerned about his ridiculous 90s slight head tilt black and white glamour shot?

  • Val

    Are you all sure that this wasn’t tongue in cheek? I don’t watch SNL so I only vaguely know who he is therefore I don’t know his style of humor so it’s hard for me to discern if he’s making a point against those positions by showing how stupid they sound or if he’s serious?

  • Chloe

    I have no idea who this guy is. He must be joking since he is a comedian. All I know is that this article is just giving him what he wants and that is just an opportunity for exposure. This article is doing just that and should be taken down. Please stop the foolishness, if you don’t report on people like this then they will cease to exist.

  • African Mami

    He said something VERY interesting, and POWERFUL!

    believes strongly in white power! HA.

    If we believed in black power, we would not even be flinching at any of his comments.

    Instead of focusing on his bigotry, why don’t we focus on what powers we have. Oh well, I’m a dreamer.

  • shimmyya

    While not that funny, these are definitely tongue in cheek.

  • Talulah Belle

    Colin Quinn is kidding, people. Geez, lighten up Clutch readers. Have a laugh or two, it will help you to not scare off the other half of the human population.

  • Insight

    Have no idea who Colin Quinn is….dont care either

  • tisme

    don’t know what goes down in Africa but black people already said no to black power in America and yes to integration instead.I think some people have to come to the realization that some black people,many actually,value their ability to live amongst others,spend their money with others,and value others rather than build or do any of those things with other black people.And in my opinion that’s okay as long as black women are also making moves to leave the abandoned black community as well.
    No sense in hanging on to something that doesn’t exist

  • hearyoume

    yeah in this PC, watch what you say or your career will be ruined era we live in, i’d guess that he’s JOKING.

  • binks

    But the jokes wasn’t funny :/

  • Pam Pam

    He’s getting the attention that he seeked when he posted these comments. The guy is trying to revive his career.

  • TypicalBlackWoman…

    I thank God for Twitter.
    Keep foaming at the mouth, fool.

  • CurlySue

    I’ve wondered that too. Seems almost too by-the-book racist. Almost as though he’s making a point.

  • susie

    Get a grip, this is his schtick, its apparently too cerebral for this blogger, but his tweets are jokes. If you look at the phrasing you can clearly see the wordplay.

  • TypicalBlackWoman…

    Okay, I’m hearing from more than a couple people that his tweets are meant to be taken sarcastically. But praytell – how is it all sarcastic or even remotely funny?

  • susie

    he plays up irony all the time, he did it on SNL which is why he was so terrible on the news segment because that’s not the point of that sketch. his delivery is awkward and bumbled. I’m not sure he’s at all funny. he’s just a shock comic, something that doesn’t really fly anymore (think Andrew Dice Clay) but he’s not worth analyzing his tweets to be more than what they are, absurd statements intended as dark comedy.

  • friday jones

    So Colin Quinn is for equal rights, but is opposed to that changing of the laws that prohibited people from posting “No Irish” signs in their business windows? Just wondering how this “equal rights for everybody without changing the laws” thing is supposed to work. I think it’s broken.

  • Lattelicious

    Face it, if there was no twitter, who would he talk to????!!!!! And for Handler and Lampenelli, neither of those broads are funny, just racist. Perhaps if more people stop watching their shows, they will fade into obscurity!!!!!!! Just saying…

  • Andrea

    My thoughts as well.

  • Andrew

    Seriously? You really think that last line wasn’t tongue-in-cheek and played for laughs? C’mon, you are smarter than that – aren’t you?

  • Joseph McColl Esq.

    Unfortunately Twitter is the place for anyone to express any views thats do not encourage violence. Why are the left always trying to quash free speech when it is by the right? *couch* hypocrisy *cough*

  • giantslor


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