Sometimes you mean to blog about something that's bothering, but you don't quite have it analyzed. So I'm sorry I'm late on this Times stories in which a gaggle of comedians sit around wondering why Barack Obama won't write their jokes for them. My sense is that if your job is to make fun of Barack Obama, and you can't, then that's your problem. Blaming it on racism is about as weak as me saying I'd be at the New Yorker or the New York Times if it weren't for racism. Do your job. I get that it's easier for David Alan Grier to make jokes than Jimmy Kimmel. Got it. But that's the job. If your main line about John McCain is that he's old, you aren't a very good comedian. Likewise if your only line on Barack is that he's black, you're not much better. I'm willing to bet money that Sarah Silverman will have material on Barack inside of a year. Meanwhile, here's one of my favorite--if crude--examples of white guy making jokes at the expense of black people. It's pretty good.
UPDATE: Commenter Doctor Jay basically nails it when he says, "I got the feeling watching that clip that Ross has spent a fair amount of time around black people, whether in barbershops, in clubs, or churches, I can't say. I think that's where it starts."
In other words if you've spent some time around black people, you likely get the sensibility, and thus are able to make the jokes. Or maybe you've spent no time and you have an extraordinary gift for insight. Either way, it's the same deal--If you want to know why you can't make jokes around black people, it's because your black people jokes aren't very funny. If you want them to be funny go do the work of being a comedian. There is no ban on making fun of Barack Obama, or black people at large. It just takes a comic who knows their material.
For what it's worth, Jeff Ross is also Jewish. Damn. We need to just get it over with and intermarry. This is crazy.