The theme of "White Comedy" centers around the inherent prejudices that are embedded within language.
The message is developed from a black perspective, noting how conventionally-used terminology, used by most whites without a second thought, has a degrading and dehumanizing effect on the black population when added cumulatively. Black Death. Black magic. Blackmail. A black spot. Over and over, we hear his message: black is associated in our language with negative thinking. Thus, to be black is to be inextricably linked to the connotations found within language.
This message is further amplified in the final line as the speaker says that he will take his complaints to the Black House, shifting the color to black for the first time in this poem, to reflect the color which represents the ultimate source of authority in our country. By switching the colors black and white throughout the poem, the author also hopes to shift the perspective of white readers, forcing them to consider the implications of race which they typically do not encounter in American phrasing.
The speaker employs colloquialism in phrasing such as "I waz" to reflect his natural dialect and to further emphasize the differences in languages that can present as barriers between ethnic groups.
The substitutions the speaker uses throughout the poem create an ironically bitter tone, urging the reader to self-examine his own use of language and how it reflects inherent prejudices.
Repetition of the word white is used throughout the poem and in numerous examples to illustrate just how commonly the word black is linked to negative imagery or feelings in our language.
Thus, the inherent symbolism of the ways white is used in our language to connote goodness, innocence, and authority is ultimately contrasted with the inherent symbolism of the word black, which connotes evil, death, and wrongdoing.
The contrasts between the inversion of the two colors shows how our language reflects deeper societal values and begs for a reexamination.