Posts Tagged: The Difficult Subject of Race

Is This The NPR-est Headline Ever?

"Why Aren't There More People Of Color In Craft Brewing?"


How Race Is Lived In America

"Blacks and whites, on many measures, see the world in quite different ways. And this has direct implications on how we advertise."


White People And Rap

"Well-meaning white people who like violent rap music will argue against the notion that it inspires real-life violence among those who listen to it. I will argue this. But what are we to say when a black person says, 'Someone sees Waka and then kills Treyvon.' And we know that she sees Trayvon’s face on the TV news and can’t not see her own face in his, and thus see her own face in Chief Keef’s, because she believes, she knows, that much of her country sees, still sees, all black faces as the same. We want it to be different, us well-meaning white people. Maybe that’s even part [...]


The Definitive List Of White Music Stolen By Black People

Last week, Onion A.V. Club writer Noel Murray complained about the trend of people rejecting things—food, films, music—as being “for white people.” “The ‘white people are square and bland’ gag is an old one, and for the most part, it’s both harmless and healthy,” Murray wrote. “But increasingly, people aren’t sniping about ‘whiteness’ to be funny, or even defiant—at least not entirely. They’re using the term as a form of criticism, meant to be dismissive. … ‘That sounds like music for white people,’ is another way of saying, ‘That can’t be any good.’ And I do have a problem with that.”

To some degree, we trio of black people agrees [...]


When Black Women Had To Play Maids To Win Oscars

On this day in 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award, for her role as a housemaid in Gone with the Wind. It's amazing when you think about how far we've come since then.


Vagina Sassy

"Even black vaginas are sassy."


Your Racist Grandma Explained

"Some may say it as a joke, others might find it offensive, but it turns out there’s some truth to the idea that people of other races 'all look alike.' A new study demonstrates that people have more trouble recognizing faces of people of other races."


Kanye West And His "Thirty White Bitches"

"Yeezus," the new and almost pathologically anticipated Kanye West album, was leaked online two weeks ago and then, probably out of custom, released legally last week. Upon first listen it reminded me of Nine Inch Nails, Death Grips, and my dad—but not because West now has a two-week-old child with girlfriend Kim Kardashian.

When my father was in undergrad at a small HBCU in the Midwest, he joined the storied black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi. Fraternity chapters, despite their ethnic and regional differences, will nevertheless always share some DNA, and so it shouldn't surprise you that my dad's frat was big on giving people nicknames. Some brothers were called things [...]


'Crash': The Most Loathsome Best Picture Of Them All

Mallory: Has Crash suffered enough? Sure, it won homecoming queen at the Oscars, but then no one would let Crash sit with them at lunch for the next eight years. Ta-Nehisi Coates named it the worst movie of the decade; Natasha Vargas-Cooper referred to it as a "white guilt manipulation-a-thon." Even Slate wouldn't throw it a contrarian bone. It's The Most Popular Girl That Nobody Liked.

Anne Helen: No, it has not. This movie needs to keep suffering, because it will not stop hurting us. When it came up on Twitter the other night, someone suggested it's a PowerPoint presentation posturing as insight—and that feels true. [...]


The Desire For Bling

"A desire for expensive products is related to feelings of social status, which may help explain why minorities are attracted to 'bling,' a new study suggests."


White People Also Killing Each Other

When are we going to do something about the scourge of white-on-white crime?


Racist Idiots Somehow Capable Of Working Twitter

Oh, white people. [Via]


'Huckleberry Finn' And "The N-Word"

"Those who wish to ban the use of ethnic slurs in American literature don’t have the manpower to accomplish such a deed. The fact that Mark Twain has been singled out means those who are crusading against the author haven’t read much of American literature. And where would such an enterprise end? Do we censor music lyrics next? Musicals like 'Showboat?' Hip hop as we know it would end. Every other song depends upon words that the word patrollers wish to ban." —Writer Ishamel Reed opines on the recent announcement that "a coming edition of Mark Twain’s 'Huckleberry Finn' will omit racially-sensitive language, like the n-word…" In related [...]


Am I Gullible, Or Are These People Actually Racists?

I am rarely accused of excessive optimism, so when such an occasion transpires I like to step back and take a look at the situation to make sure that I am not, in fact, being unduly positive. The current insinuation of credulousness on my part concerns this op-ed from the Wall Street Journal , which posits that President Obama is dividing the country on racial lines and has been ever since he suggested that the arrest of a black man for trying to enter his own home might not have been a good idea, and this interview with Jeffrey Lord, who has complained that Shirley Sherrod and [...]


Cereal Commercial Gives People New Thing To Show Ignorance About

Comments sections are "some of the darkest places online," says a guy from 'Today,' and social media is "the new Ku Klux Klan white hood," a lady agrees, and you know what, when you realize how upset some people appeared to get over a Cheerios ad, you can sort of see their point.


Dear Sanj

I'm sorry for reporting you to campus security.

This was September 1989, at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. In the Marshall Dormitory at the north end of campus, where I shared a much-too-small space with two roommates, Sean and Jeremy. (Sean is now the communications director for the Republican National Committee—he had to shave his head on live television last fall after losing a bet he'd made that Mitt Romney would be president. Did you know that? Crazy, right?)

You and I didn't know each other at the time. I didn't know anybody, really. Classes had just started that week. I had come to recognize most of the [...]


Free To Be… Straight White Males

Here is a tweet that Gawker writer Max Read retweeted a few days ago.

RT @DavidWinkies: @max_read actually if you call a lawyer and say you're white a dude and str8, they say you have no case #truestory

— max read (@max_read) May 23, 2012

So, sort of a backstory, to begin. Last week brought us two Internet rumpuses regarding and/or demonstrating an especially privileged kind of blindness/obliviousness/ridiculousness. One was TED curator Chris Anderson's flabbergasting decision to withdraw a TED speech about wealth inequality on the grounds that it was "too political." The other, John Scalzi's head-patting essays on Kotaku, comparing [...]


The New And Improved Thomas Jefferson, Enlightened Slave Owner

When the Smithsonian exhibit “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty” opened this past January it was greeted with a great deal of praise. A review in The New York Times called the exhibit “subtle and illuminating.” The Washington Post described it as “groundbreaking.” The hype surrounding the exhibit was understandable. This opening marked the first time that a museum on the National Mall has prominently acknowledged the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned 600 people in his lifetime.

The exhibit will be open through October, and on a recent weekend visit, it presented a picturesque scene of civic engagement, the horseshoe-shaped hall crowded with visitors, most [...]


Muppets Black

Who are the blackest Muppets? The etc. may surprise you!


Dear Davida

Dear Davida,

Sorry for squeezing your hand so tightly at the Gravediggaz concert.

This would have been fall 1997. I was working at Vibe magazine. You had looked me up and given me a call after reading something I wrote—and I was flattered. We hadn’t spoken in a couple years, I don’t think. Not since we’d graduated college. We hadn’t spoken in any substantial way, really, since you’d broken up with me at the end of junior year. Which was okay. We’d only been together for a few months. A nice, easy-going relationship; never very emotional, never a huge big deal. But I was freshly single again when [...]