South Park’s 20th season kicks off tomorrow and in the run-up to the debut, the show’s Twitter has posted a clip from the premiere.
The clip, embedded below, shows the townspeople of South Park at a football stadium, singing the National Anthem, but with new lyrics designed to mock San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has been the center of a nationwide debate since the start of the NFL preseason on Aug. 26, when he sat during the National Anthem to protest the violence experienced by people of color at the hands of police.
The lyrics to South Park’s National Anthem, naturally, make a mockery of the situation:
Colin Kaepernick is great.
Cops are pigs, cops are pigs.
Wait, someone just took my stuff, I need to call the cops.
Oh, no, I just said cops are pigs.
Who’s gonna help me get my stuff?
Why did I listen to Colin Kaepernick, he’s not even any good.
Oh, I just got all my stuff back.
Cops are pigs again, cops are pigs.
Colin Kaepernick’s a good backup.
This is only a short clip from the premiere, so there’s no knowing yet how the full episode will play out. Stan and Kyle are there, but not singing along with their parents, so maybe their inevitable speech about what they learned at the end of the episode will rebuke these anti-Kaepernick lyrics (though more likely, they’ll try to chastise both sides of the argument and claim that both are equally extreme). Either way, the clip posted free of context is sure to stoke controversy. A quick look at the responses on Twitter shows how a joke like this can stir up and validate divisive opinions.
South Park has always maintained the ethos that both sides of the political aisle are equally wrong, and that anybody with any genuine opinion or thought is somebody who needs to be mocked, no matter what that opinion is. But with the show increasingly slipping towards a conservative and reductive opinion on speech (the previous season was all about “PC culture”) it’s not much of a surprise that series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have decided to go after Kaepernick next.
You can watch the clip below. South Park season twenty premieres tomorrow night at 10 p.m. EST on Comedy Central so we won’t have long to wait to see what conclusion the infamous town comes to.