Can't Elect Jew, Muslim, or Indian in USA, Says Comedian Lewis Black

By Nicholas Ballasy | November 13, 2008 | 7:27 PM EST

( - President-elect Barack Obama’s election victory is a “wonderful step forward” but the United States still could not elect a “Jew,” a “Muslim” or a “full-blooded Indian,” said Grammy Award-winning comedian Lewis Black in an interview with He also criticized the Democratic Party for doing nothing during the last eight years and said he will not make fun of Obama any less than Bush.

Black spoke with at his hotel before he attended the  Mark Twain Awards in honor of the late-comedian George Carlin at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

When it comes to politics today, the American people are not confusing Obama’s election as the first black president with his message of change, said Black. But he added that race should never have been an issue in the campaign. As a result, he said Obama’s victory does not give him hope.
“That doesn’t give me hope because it shouldn’t have been a problem during my life. You know? I mean seriously,” said Black. “They pass the voting rights act and it takes them like, you know, years and years to get it done. But you still couldn’t elect a Jew. You still couldn’t elect a Muslim. You know? A full-blooded Indian? What are you kidding me?”
“I mean, it’s great, it’s tremendous, it’s a wonderful step forward,” said Black. “But I think if that’s all that occurs over the next four years. If we just did that, we’re lucky.”
Black said Obama’s message of “hope” is his most lampooning characteristic.
“When you’re my age, I’m 60 -- hope, really? What are you going to appeal to me with hope?” said Black. “When your 60, hope has passed you by. Okay? Hope was great when you were a kid.”
When asked if he will make fun of Obama as much as Bush, Black said he “made fun of him (Obama) when he was the nominee.”
“What’s the degree of difficulty here? Seriously,” said Black. “You know? You can talk about whatever you want. He’s a policeman. Give me a break. I think they’ll be like a grace period and then, good luck! He’s a Democrat. That’s all you gotta say.”
If Obama ran as an Independent, Black said it might have been a different story.
“If he ran as an Independent, it might be different but he didn’t,” said Black. “And so all of a sudden I’m supposed to believe the Democratic Party, which has done nothing in the last eight years, is all of a sudden supposed to be doing stuff?”
Black dismissed those who say political comedy is about the commander-in-chief.
“If stupidity were oil, we’d be the richest country on earth. Political comedy is not just about who’s in charge,” he said. “The big difference is – hopefully we won’t have to make fun of anymore – is the fact that President Obama will actually know how to read a resume. We’ve spent eight years with a guy – he’d read a resume and it was like resumes didn’t even matter. Never has a group of people been hired who didn’t know how to do their job.”
Black also said that while the press has not been biased toward Obama this election season, journalists did not ask the right questions.
“I don’t really know what they’re talking about. They’ve gone after both of them,” said Black.  “Because the jack (expletive) nominates Palin? I mean, seriously, if you are going to do that, you’re probably going to get – there’s going to be a bit more coming around at you whether you’re a comic or a politician. I really didn’t see it as such. If anything, I don’t think they, as they usually do, they didn’t really ask the right questions.”
Black currently hosts Comedy Central's  “The Root of All Evil” and regularly appears on “The Daily Show” during his “Back in Black” segment. He regularly tours the country performing his signature stand-up routines about religion, politics, history, culture and other newsworthy topics. He has appeared in the movies “Accepted” and “Man of the Year,” among others. He won a Grammy Award in 2007 for his comedy album, “The Carnegie Hall Performance.”