The Supreme Court made an important ruling on the First Amendment Monday that could help the NFL’s Washington Redskins keep its controversial name. To better understand the case, “The Daily Show” sent senior correspondent Ronny Chieng to investigate the other group that fought ― and won ― the trademark battle to keep using its “racially insensitive” name: The Slants.
During Tuesday’s episode, Chieng sat down with the rock band, which is made up of four Asian-American musicians, to find out why they took their fight all the way to the Supreme Court after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied their trademark application.
“The court said that we’re too Asian to use the name,” Simon Tam, the band’s frontman, told Chieng.
It said that anyone can register “The Slants” as long as they’re not Asian,” Tam added.
Confused, Chieng asked, “You’re saying that if you were white, you could register ‘The Slants?’”
“Yes,” Tam replied. “They said our race provides the context for it being a racial slur.”
“So, by protecting you guys against racial discrimination, they’ve actually discriminated against you racially,” Chieng said. “How the hell does that make any sense?”
Chieng grilled The Slants further by asking why they didn’t just go with a band name that’s more offensive to Asian people.
“The Slants aren’t even that offensive a name,” Chieng complained. “If you want to make a statement, why don’t you go all the way?”
The senior correspondent then offered a few colorful suggestions, including “Ching and Chong Sing-A-Longs” and “Pork Bun and Roses.”
Watch Chieng’s full list of offensive band names in the segment above.