A controversial, resurfaced clip from Keeping Up With The Kardashians has resulted in a new backlash against Rob Kardashian for a racially insensitive joke he made to his sister Khloe. The famed siblings, both parents to biracial children, are being blasted on social media for joking about a “race war” while discussing the ethnicity of Rob’s then-unborn daughter. This is far from the first time a member of the Kardashian/Jenner family has been accused of racial insensitivity.
Old ‘KUWTK’ Clip Spells Trouble For Rob Kardashian
To truly understand this story, we’ll need to travel back in time to 2017, which is when the episode in question aired, though the events it depicted actually took place in 2016. Rob Kardashian was still dating Blac Chyna, who was heavily pregnant with the then-couple’s first child together. Khloe Kardashian had yet to meet her now ex-boyfriend and father of her daughter Tristan Thompson.
What Happened In The Clip?
In the Season 13 episode titled “Kim’s Last Ditch Effort,” Rob, Khloe, and Chyna sat together on a couch and discussed Rob’s feelings about the impending birth of his first child. After Khloe asked if her younger brother was nervous about being a father, he quickly answered in the negative, before adding, “I cannot wait to have an Armenian baby.”
Khloe responded, “And probably a little bit Black,” since the child’s mother, the very clearly Black Chyna, was sitting right next to her. Rob doubled down on his original stance, replying, “It’s gonna be an Armenian baby.” Khloe tried once again to get her brother to acknowledge his child’s dual ethnicity, saying, “It’s gonna be a little like Northie,” referring to older sister Kim’s biracial daughter.
In response to that very reasonable description, Rob laughingly said, “Let’s not make this a race war.” The scene then dissolves into a talking head-style interview with Rob, who explains that he wants to raise his child with the “Armenian values” that their father, Robert Kardashian Sr., instilled in them. There was some backlash at the time over the racially uncomfortable moment, but the Kardashian family’s antics and scandals soon drowned out the critics.
TikTok Behind Clip’s Resurface
So why is this clip making the rounds again? A TikToker who goes by the handle “kardashian_kolloquium” has dedicated their page to deep dives into how the Kardashian/Jenner family present themselves as well as the media reaction to them.
The user prefaced the clip by discussing the architectural history of California, explaining that the state used European Spanish architecture to embrace its Spanish roots, but failed to implement Mexican styles. This was despite the fact that California was part of Mexico for far longer than it was American.
What It All Means
Some users couldn’t understand the point the user was trying to make, though the comment section soon provided an explanation, with one writing, “He’s essentially attempting to erase his daughter’s black identity. He gets frustrated when it’s pointed out that his daughter will be black as well.”
Other users quickly chimed in with their own takes on the scene, with one commenting, “As a family, the Kardashians’ biggest question is, ‘How close to blackness can we get without being Black?’” Many agreed with that statement, and one commented, “they use blackness as an aesthetic.”Another pointed out, “the Kardashians are only half Armenian. his baby is more black than it is Armenian. smh”
Some Defend Rob Amid Backlash
Despite the overwhelmingly negative reactions to the clip, some defended Rob, with one person writing, “I think he was just excited about fatherhood and it reminded him of his dad and culture. I think Rob obviously knows the child is black/Armenian.” One person responded to the video that Rob’s comment was “likely a dig at Blac Chyna more than it was a racist moment.”
There’s one problem with that take: Chyna was literally in the room and the two were very much so still together at the time. Moreover, there’s a moralistic problem with that suggestion that another user soon pointed out. “That’s also problematic?? To racially dig at ur black partner who you’re having a baby w?? Who will also be…part black???”
A Loving Father
It’s clear that Rob Kardashian is a loving father to his daughter, Dream. His Instagram page, which was temporarily banned after he posted what was deemed “revenge porn” of Blac Chyna following their break up, is filled with photos of his daughter.
Regardless of whether the awkward moment took place because Rob was so excited to pass along “Armenian values” to his so far only child or because he wanted to “erase” his daughter’s Black identity, it’s obviously a moment that has caused some people discomfort. It’s especially awkward since the Kardashians have long been accused of culturally appropriating Black culture, with Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner facing the majority of those accusations.
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