Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
Never Get In a Shouting Match with a Deaf Guy

Margie gives her version: "Jen bashed into him from behind, reached over him, grabbed him." The sisters don't see it that way. Phil is starting to look like he's wishing he could be somewhere else, to say nothing of poor Tammy and Victor, stuck being the silent buffer between the arguing teams. Not talking so much now, are they? Jen tells the story of what happened at the Road Block clue box, and we don't hear her say anything that isn't borne out in that replay, let alone anything that points the finger at Luke, but Luke throws up his hands and storms off furiously. "Bitch!" he signs from a distance. How original. Phil calls Luke back to tell his own side. Luke angrily tells the sisters, "It's my turn to talk now." Kisha lets out a little laugh, and Margie goes off. "Don't laugh at my son when he's signing," she orders, and continues to get angrier even as Kisha says they didn't mean anything by it. "That's what we do, we smile," Kisha says. Which is true; I've seen Kisha smiling through situations that would make some other Racers stroke out. But Margie isn't about to let it go. "He's signing and they're laughing at him!" she appeals to Phil, who's actively trying to defuse this now. "I don't think that's what they meant," he tries. Careful, Margie. The last time Phil was wrong was when he said, "Jonathan, I think you should probably go and talk to Victoria." But Margie will not be stopped. "He's lived with this his whole life, and he doesn't need it from people like you!" Oh, no she didn't. Kisha's smile was already gone, but when Margie busts out with "people like you," whatever that means, she spread her hands helplessly to Phil, like, what the hell was that? Margie rants on, "You should understand oppression because you're black and you've lived with it. He has lived with just as much!" Oh, shit. Bringing up race is like the Godwin's Law of reality shows, and Margie just did it. Bad, bad move. This is why I hate arguments: people get worked up, and they do or say something stupid, like Margie just did, and then the argument becomes about that, and you're never walking it back. Better to just not escalate things that should have been minor incidents to begin with. I'm not taking a side here; I don't think either team has acquitted itself well. But on the other hand, only one of those teams is freaking out right now.

Luke gets into it himself, signing, "My whole life, hearing people put deaf people down." "Yeah," Margie agrees instead of translating, because in her self-righteous rage she's forgotten that they can't follow his signing or read the subtitles on the screen. Luke's nearly in tears as Kisha tries to explain herself that she smiles and laughs, "especially in tense situations. I apologize if there was a misunderstanding thinking we were laughing at you." Normally I hate that kind of non-apology apology, but it's clearly the only one we're going to hear in this situation. And of course Luke doesn't hear it at all, because he's not finished being mad. "All hearing people put deaf people down. They think we're stupid," Luke says through Margie. All hearing people? Shit, I've been missing out! The sisters aren't having that, and in a post-leg interview, they say that laughing and smiling at people is their strategy, to piss them off more. Looks like it worked, better than intended. In her own post-leg interview Margie says something about how Kisha and Jen were laughing like they got away with something, which is the first we've heard of that kind of accusation. "It's just been a bad day and I just want it to be over," she says. I'm not picking a winner in this blow-out, just because everyone behaved so poorly. Let's wait and see who regrets their actions the most in the coming days. Then we'll have a winner.

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Amazing Race




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