'South Park' takes on Columbus Day controversy and modern victimization culture

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

South Park took on the hot-button topic of Columbus Day. Disdain for the long-standing national holiday has grown as historians have pointed out the atrocities indigenous people suffered as a result of Christopher Columbus “discovering” the Americas.

Randy Marsh was at the forefront of the fight against Christopher Columbus. He tore down Columbus statues, made a call to harass people who live in Columbus, Ohio, and even had the school holiday canceled.

When Randy’s son asked why his father was going to such extremes, Randy replied, “You have to overdo it in today’s society, Stan. You can’t be nuanced and subtle anymore, or else critics go, ‘Wow, what was the point of that?’”

The show also took on the growth of victimization culture and how people actively search for ways to be victims. The show cited DNA testing as one way that people — particularly white people — can prove they are disadvantaged.

In a commercial for the testing company named DNA and Me, customers start by announcing various percentages of their ethnicity, like, “I’m 2.1% black!” Soon, however, the commercial devolved to customers just saying, “I’m 21% victim” and “I’m 13% victim.”

South Park has a history of stirring the social and political pot, and this episode was no exception. And while it is a sensitive subject, Eric Cartman said in a poem,  “In 1492, Columbus got us all a day off school. With just three ships, he sailed over so we could have some ‘me time’ in October. And, yes, millions were slaughtered and throats were cut. But if we don’t get that day off school, then for what?”

South Park airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.

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