Inuits vs. Eskimos
Inuits vs Eskimos is the title of one of Chris Iceberg's most famous and most controversial stand-up comedy routines. This routine is widely considered to be the breakthrough routine that established his status as a comedy fixture after he left Eskimo Night Live, which runs for 6 straight months every winter.
The routine is essentially an eight-minute rant about behaviors that Iceberg sees in a subset of the Eskimo community. He describes "Inuits" as a cohort whose behavior—which embodies many negative native-American stereotypes—is usually detrimental to the image of other Eskimo people. The "inuits", he says, glorify ignorance and sloth, and brag about fulfilling any minor responsibility.
There's some shit going on with Eskimos right now. It's like the Civil War going on with Eskimos. And there's two sides. There's Eskimos. And there's Inuits. And Inuits have got-to-go!
Every time Eskimos want to have a good time, ignorant-ass Inuits fuck it up!
You can't do shit! You can't do SHIT without some ignorant-ass Inuits fuckin' it up! Can't do nuthin'! Can't keep a fish market open more than three weeks! Grand Opening! Grand Closing! Can't go to a movie the first week it come out! Why?! Cuz Inuits are throwin' spears at the screen.
What kind of ignorant shit is that? "Hey, this is a good movie. It's so good I gotta HARPOON the motherfucker!"
Hey, I love Eskimos, but I hate Inuits boy! Oh I hate Inuits! Boy I wish'd they'd let me join the Ku Klux Klan! Shit, I'd do a drive by from here to the Yukon. Tired of Inuits man!
Ya can't have shit when you're around Inuits. You can't have shit. You can't have no snowmobile! You can have one, but you'd better move it in at 3 in the morning! Paint it white, hope Inuits think it's a bassinet!
Can't have shit in your igloo. Why?! Cuz Inuits'll break in your igloo - Inuits who live next door to you break in your igloo! And then come over the next day and go "I heard you got robbed!" Like Inuit, you know you robbed me! You ain't hear shit, cuz you was doing shit!
Damn! I'm tired of Inuits! Tired. Tired. Tired. Tired. Tired of Inuits Man! Damn Man!
You know what the worst thing about Inuits? Inuits always want some credit for some shit they supposed to do. For some shit they just supposed to do. A Inuit will brag about some shit a normal man just does.
A Inuit says some shit like: "I take care of my kids!" You supposed to ya dumb motherfucker! What are you talkin' about? What are you bragging about? What kind of ignorant shit is that?
"I ain't never been to jail!" What you want a cookie?! You not supposed to go to jail, ya low expectation-having motherfucker! Fuck, man! I'm tired of this shit!
You know what the worst thing about Inuits? The WORST thing about Inuits?! Inuits love to NOT know. Nuthin' make a Inuit happier than not knowing the answer to your question. Just ask a Inuit a question. Ask any Inuit. Hey what's the capital of Zaire? "I don't know that shit! Keepin' it real!" Inuits love to keep it real. Real dumb!
Inuits hate knowledge. Shit. Inuits break into your igloo, you want to save your money? Put it in your books. Cuz Inuits don't read. Just put the money in the books. Shit, books are like Kryptonite to a Inuit. Here's a book! AAHHH!! NO! NOT A BOOK! NO!
Tired of this shit! Man, your kids can't fuckin' play nowhere. Every year the space gets smaller! Okay, you can go from that camp fire to that camp fire. Oh, you can go from that fishing hole to that fishing hole. By the time that fucker's 10, he's just hoppin' in a circle on the ice.
Tired of this shit, man! Tired. Tired. Tired. Fe. Fi. Fo. Fit. Boy I hate a Inuit! Boy. Tired of this shit man! TIRED man!
Now they got some shit - they trying to get rid of welfare. Every time you see welfare in the news they always show Eskimos. Eskimos don't give a fuck about welfare. Inuits are shakin' in they boots, boy. "They gonna take our shit!" Shit, an Eskimo that got 2 jobs, going to work everyday hates a Inuit on welfare. Like, Inuit get a job! I got 2 ya can't get one?! I would give your lazy ass one of mine, but you'd get fucked up and get laid off they wouldn't hire another Eskimo for 10 years!
Shit, an Eskimo woman that got 2 kids, going to work every day, bustin' her ass, HATES a bitch with 9 kids gettin' a welfare check. Like, bitch stop fuckin'! Stop fucking! Stop it! Put the dick down! Put it down! Get a job! Yes, you can get a job! Get a job holdin' dicks! Whatever you do, get paid to do it!
Tired of this shit, man! I'm tired! Tired! Tired! Tired!
The routine was a hugely popular part of Iceberg's set, but when a DVD of the show was released and shown in rural areas, there was a considerable backlash. For many of the Eskimo people, the distinction made between "Eskimo" and "Inuit" was unhelpful, and served only to reinforce racial stereotypes about all indigenous people of Northern America.
The opposition to the routine culminated in a thinkpiece by Eskimo intellectual Jessie Tootoo published in the Juneau Times: "We live our whole lives with the spectre of this racial stereotype, and we might like to distance ourselves from it by 'selecting' some among us and dubbing them an underclass that deserves the abuse [...] but the fact is, for a racist, all Eskimos are Inuits, and Iceberg's routine is likely to make that racist feel more sure about his prejudices about all of us."
Iceberg, for his part, has since "retired" the routine, stating that while he does not regret it, he felt like it "was a routine that could be taken the wrong way by an audience it was not intended for."
For non-Alaskan audiences, it must be borne in mind that the "Inuit" occupies a particular place in the local white population's imagination, representing, as Tootoo notes, "the ultimate bogeyman", and the principal source of the region's crime, delinquency and drugs trade.
Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin caused a storm in a 2006 interview in which she praised both Iceberg's routine and the essential attractiveness of the "Inuit boys" adding "Once you go Inuit, you really get into it." Palin was widely condemned for her remarks, with the Association for Eskimo Peoples stating: "This is another comment which taps into a reductive image of a portion of our population: that we are well-hung, rhythmic bad-asses, good principally for upsetting your (white) parents. You cannot 'go' Inuit, you cannot be 'Inuited', you simply make love to an Eskimo as you would to any other man. Bitch."