Comedian Ralphie May reschedules two shows following joke controversy

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Comedian Ralphie May has rescheduled two midwest shows that had been postponed in April due to protests over a joke about Native Americans.

The "White Trash Christmas Tour" will once again be performed in Fargo and Sioux Falls in December, according to his promoter.

The previously purchased tickets will be valid for the new dates on December 8 and 10.

The postponements in Fargo, Burnsville, and Sioux Falls were announced in a statement where May said the decision was "...out of respect for the Native American community and safety for all parties."

The show in Bemidji was cancelled.

The joke and the backlash

The protests started when an audio clip of May insulting American Indians surfaced on YouTube, where the comedian called American Indians “a bunch of alcoholics” who “never made it to the Bronze Age.”

The Bemidji community, where he was originally going to perform, quickly responded to the clip, calling his jokes mean and racist.

American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt called the 44-second clip of May that's on YouTube "one of the most racist things I've ever seen," Forum News Service reports.

May addressed the backlash on Twitter and Facebook saying the 44-second clip doesn't capture the entire joke and his words were taken out of context, and recorded and edited without his permission.

He says the joke was meant to "hurt hateful, spiteful people. Not loving people such as the Natives."

May added:

"A video that surfaced on YouTube hurt and offended many people and I am truly sorry. I thought I was a well-read, educated man. I know nothing. I’m a product of mass media and the US public school system. I have learned so much this week and I want to learn more. My eyes are open and I hope to be a conduit for things that we are not taught.”

He also spoke about it in a YouTube video, saying it was racially charged, but not racist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jcxLCaVWTU

The clip that's being called racist was posted online by Adrianne Chalepah, an American Indian comedian, Indian Country Today Media Network says. The publication spoke with Chalepah, who said she posted the clip because she say May was performing in Bemidji and "that is Indian Country."

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