rolling "Is This Racist?" thread

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It reminded me of a generic John Cougar Mellencamp video. Had they been white kids, it would've looked like 70% of the videos on CMT. (Pleasant Plains), Monday, 20 September 2010 19:26 (4 years ago) Permalink

Still waiting for an apology. (Pleasant Plains), Monday, 20 September 2010 19:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I guess exploitative and colonialist (is that the right word?) more than captial-R RACIST, but still like; who does a video treatment that;'s like "OK, you're hugging black kids for four minutes"

obv the answer is "the dude who directed the new Kings of Leon video, whose name somehow has not yet made it to the bits of the Internet you can hit within 5 minutes of using Google"

(that more than anything else is making me lol, like whoever this was basically went "I'll do this for you and it will be awesome! I don't want any credit tho" *waits for shitstorm*)

juggalo iglesias (HI DERE), Monday, 20 September 2010 19:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

carles is slippin -- passion pit already did the "hire a choir of underprivileged minority youths" thing

J0rdan S., Monday, 20 September 2010 19:28 (4 years ago) Permalink

he's not even listed on the mtv site, which is usually v good about putting directors up in there

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 20 September 2010 19:33 (4 years ago) Permalink

gonna lol if it was Hype Williams

juggalo iglesias (HI DERE), Monday, 20 September 2010 19:41 (4 years ago) Permalink

the video and song are both unmentionably terrible w/ stupid and retrograde notions about race but i don't think they are simply ~racist~

Chinedu "Edu" Obasi Ogbuke (nakhchivan), Monday, 20 September 2010 19:46 (4 years ago) Permalink

Sophie Muller directed it.

Kerm, Monday, 20 September 2010 19:56 (4 years ago) Permalink

more offensive for not being funny

bnw, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 01:54 (4 years ago) Permalink (Pleasant Plains), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 03:49 (4 years ago) Permalink

that was a fake

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 21 September 2010 03:51 (4 years ago) Permalink

but it was racist because someone realized that they could spell "nigger" by a video game and they set up a soccer video game and took a photo of it and sent it all over the internet

so yes, racist

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 21 September 2010 03:52 (4 years ago) Permalink

this isn't a thread for lol racism, fyi. keep that shit to "encyclopedia of racist products" or, like, 4chan

my friend flocka (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 03:55 (4 years ago) Permalink

strictly concern trolling in here.

Kerm, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 03:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

I figured it was some soccer thing. Wouldn't have been surprised if it had been real. (Pleasant Plains), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 03:58 (4 years ago) Permalink

take it to i love footy

p.m.s.b. (pre-mall smoke bomb) (zorn_bond.mp3), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 04:50 (4 years ago) Permalink

love the gawker update where they act like they understood the joke from the beginning

jeff, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:30 (4 years ago) Permalink


maybe LJ is right about ilx being the smartest message board

my friend flocka (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

p.m.s.b. (pre-mall smoke bomb) (zorn_bond.mp3), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

gawker isnt a message board

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

ilx is my favorite blog

markers, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:44 (4 years ago) Permalink



p.m.s.b. (pre-mall smoke bomb) (zorn_bond.mp3), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:45 (4 years ago) Permalink

is anti-semitism racist or not, because this guy at the bar I frequent is convinced that Birth Of A Nation was produced by Jews & that the Jews control the media etc etc

I know it sucks either way just wanted 2 know ur opinions

4 my muthafuckin mods (crüt), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 06:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

Of course anti-semitism is racism. It's just that racism against Jews has acquired a term of its own, probably because discriminating them has been so prominent historically.

Where it gets tricky is when anti-Israel or anti-Zionist statements are equated with anti-semitism; of course some anti-Israel/anti-Zionist people are also anti-semitists/racists, but many of them aren't. But your case is pretty obviously racist because the target is Jews as a whole, not Israeli politics or anything.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 06:56 (4 years ago) Permalink

are the finns a race?

mookieproof, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 06:59 (4 years ago) Permalink

Ca. 300 Finnish Jews fought in the War alongside the German Army[3][4]. The field synagogue operated by the Finnish army was probably a unique phenomenon in Europe.

Guess they didn't have Google then either. (Pleasant Plains), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 14:00 (4 years ago) Permalink

take it to i love footy

― p.m.s.b. (pre-mall smoke bomb) (zorn_bond.mp3),

jesus way to zing an entire bord of innocents wtf

i dont love everything, i love football (darraghmac), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 14:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

Subtle "Americans don't like soocer and aren't racist" undertones there

Tom A. (Tom B.) (Tom C.) (Tom D.), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 14:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah really i'm getting some prety bad vibes offa this zorn character. bet he's norwegian/icelandic thor worshipper

i dont love everything, i love football (darraghmac), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 14:05 (4 years ago) Permalink

zorn smash

p.m.s.b. (pre-mall smoke bomb) (zorn_bond.mp3), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 15:55 (4 years ago) Permalink

is this chorus racist?

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 21 September 2010 18:57 (4 years ago) Permalink


my friend flocka (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

am0n, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

idk singing about sippin syrup like three 6 and getting "slizzered"

it's a bit 3oh3 minstrel

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

i can def see that

my friend flocka (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

Man, if it's wrong to make fun of people who drink cough syrup to get high, I don't wanna get high.

doobieborther, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:07 (4 years ago) Permalink

How does all the lol ghetto retard stuff on fit into this thread? Not sure if I'd rather it be real or fake.

zomg_bong.mp3 (Kerm), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:09 (4 years ago) Permalink

i think a bunch of well-off white people looking at it on their MacBook Pros and laughing at it through a mouthful of Whole Foods salad bar is pretty racist

my friend flocka (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

glad I'm broke, on a dell, and had chili for lunch then.

zomg_bong.mp3 (Kerm), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:18 (4 years ago) Permalink

black people eat Whole Foods salad bar, too

sarahel, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

so like, on a pitchfork scale of 0.0 to 10.0, where 10.0 is a lynching, and 0.0 is Martin Luther King Jr. enjoying a cup of coffee while making breakfast, in his pajamas, humming a soft song to himself, where would the MacBook Pro thing fall? where does this comment fall?

I think this thread, while started with the noblest of intentions, has been a failure. And the reason I believe it has failed is that we (as a society) are so resigned to simply declaring something racist or not, as if it's binary, instead of attempting to quantify exactly how racist something really is, using numerical scales.

del griffith, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

that scene from Louie where the school bus breaks down in Harlem and he reassigns the black kids the window seats: greater than 1.2?

*folds hands, rests elbows on desk, places chin on fingertips, looks up and slightly to the left, thinks*

del griffith, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

i think you've anticipated an exciting new direction for Pitchfork Reviews Reviews

sarahel, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:28 (4 years ago) Permalink

God, this fucking thread. Is this racist? Is it? Well? I need something to be outraged about, fuckin' tell me!!! Ugh.

SourPatchCorpse, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

i dont think anyone is really all that outraged tbh

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

Was Dr. King's morning coffee fair trade or unregulated? (Pleasant Plains), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:38 (4 years ago) Permalink

Exactly, this thread isn't about being outraged at these things, it's about discussing them, and learning from them, and analyzing peoples motivations, gaining valuable insight into contemporary race relations, and proposing solutions for a more equitable society. Which is why it is essentially ineffectual, and why we should focus on merely assigning submitted material a score.

del griffith, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

we can't be sure, can we, so let's kick it up to 0.8

('_') (omar little), Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

xp that is not for me, as a MacBook Pro owner, to say

del griffith, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 19:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

I would like to see "whiteness" and "general blandness" divorced as concepts.

Blandness is the absence of flavour. It is the concept of whiteness as not-a-thing - when it is not not-a-thing, it is itself a carefully constructed pose represented as a default.

That positioning "whiteness" as "Mayo" or "Vanilla" is a more helpful way of looking at it.

Mayonnaise has a flavour! It has a creamy, oily, slightly eggy flavour that you learn not to notice when you have been eating sandwiches soaked in mayonnaise your entire life. Vanilla also has a flavour! That one has learned to eat vanilla ice cream, and thinking of it as "not a flavour" without noticing that ice cream itself has the physical sensations of sweet, fatty, cold, and vanilla itself has a flavour which is actually distinct from eating plain cream. One only thinks of vanilla ice cream as "not having a flavour" in comparison with rocky road or mint chocolate chip. But compared to a glass of water, milk has a very definite flavour. It's a flavour we've been trained through familiarity not to notice. (And milk is an even more apt comparison, because Northern Europeans are pretty unique among humans through having a weird mutation which allows us to digest milk as adults!)

Equating "whiteness" and "blandness" is dangerous because it ignores all this. Equating "whiteness" and "default" is more to the point, because one can relearn viewing "default" as "one position among many available positions" as opposed to the "total lack of positionality" that "blandness" implies.

Jacques Lacan let me rock u; let me rock u, Jacques Lacan (Branwell with an N), Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:45 (1 week ago) Permalink

Your food examples are great, raising points about those flavors of food that get cast as bland. Mayo, the devil's condiment, has a flavor (I am told) that is easy not to notice; same with milk. Are they cast as bland because they're familiar to "white folk" as the tastes of "their" culture? I don't know. My father comes from Latin America and finds much "white person" North American food inedible because, he says, it's bland. He'll load that food up with salsa and then it's ok. I think that putting chilis on food doesn't code as bland to my father on account of its being "his" culture's taste. Instead, he'll say it burns his mouth, and that's not bland. So there's something about food blandness, it seems, that exceeds mere cultural familiarity.

But if that's right, then is there an analog to whiteness there?

droit au butt (Euler), Saturday, 18 October 2014 12:41 (1 week ago) Permalink

No, because I think that that is where the metaphor falls down.

Because there is an actual quality of 'blandness' in real food - as when drinking water, pure distilled water has no taste. But there is no race equivalent of 'water'! Even when talking about "whiteness" as default, we see this when comparing American whiteness to e.g. British whiteness. There are very distinct and noticeable differences which show that there is a thing, there is a quality, a presence there, it's just a presence that has become invisible through sheer familiarity. (I would compare American Whiteness not to blandness, but to... sweetness. Or a specific sugary taste. Like, when I visit the States, I am struck by how sweet all of the food is, even savoury food. Yoghurt, bread, sauces, cereal, tinned beans - everything tasted so highly sugared that I ended up having to go to special 'natural' shops to get unsweetened versions of things, for a taste I was more familiar with!)

When thinking about whiteness in this way, I think it's more helpful to think about it in terms of accent. Everyone - even native speakers - speaks English (or Spanish, or Arabic, or other multi-nation languages) with an accent. Your own accent is almost never noticeable to you, until confronted with an accent that is different from yours. Accent is always perceived in relation to someone else. There have been various attempts to standardise accents e.g. the whole idea of Received Pronunciation in British English - no one in British actually natively speaks with that accent! But the closer one's accent is to that accent, the less "accented" one's English is supposed to sound. (Even though R.P. is itself an accent, and a forced, unnatural one at that!)

Whiteness is like that; it's conforming to an artificially decided "standard" of an accent which works to make you appear accentless, when really, there is no such thing as speech without accent. There is no such thing as "blandness" in accent. There is just closer or further away from familiarity, or from an artificial standard. Whiteness functions as a cultural standard in the same way.

Jacques Lacan let me rock u; let me rock u, Jacques Lacan (Branwell with an N), Saturday, 18 October 2014 13:52 (1 week ago) Permalink

Yes, that all sounds right to me.

Then I wonder: what is the quality, or presence, of American Whiteness?

I realize that many of you will be laughing at me at this point, and I deserve it. But it's where I was raised, and where I feel culturally alien, and where I keep trying to run away from because it doesn't interest me, and I want to know: what is it that doesn't interest me? It's not that it's bland, it has a presence, a flavor, that's it's own; but what is this flavor?

droit au butt (Euler), Saturday, 18 October 2014 14:13 (1 week ago) Permalink

I hope we don't find out. Unless we are talking about the relative pallor of someone's skin, we are talking about an illusion.

I'm old enough that I can't get past it as a concept defended and enforced by segregationists.

Was surprised to see Jews included, and some of them don't even look white. The people saying the most racist things probably would not have accepted Jews back in the day. I don't like the fact that these racist whites are being told that these Jews are "white like them".

Threat Assessment Division (I M Losted), Saturday, 18 October 2014 14:22 (1 week ago) Permalink

I didn't mean bland as in opposed to flavor, just perceived as to have no inherent distinguishable qualities.

lacking strong features or characteristics and therefore uninteresting.

There have been various attempts to standardise accents

In the US, this is the "general american" accent, also known as the broadcaster's accent. A large portion of americans speak generally within its bounds, although there's only a small swath in the midwest where it's the "native" accent:

The idea of "whiteness" in the US is completely wrapped up in entrenched monied/patriarchal/political power structures. If you don't sound or look particularly different from a perceived "white" norm then you can fall into it. It is not an inclusionary definition, it is exclusionary. If you can't be defined as "not white" then you're white.

⌘-B (mh), Saturday, 18 October 2014 15:34 (1 week ago) Permalink

I guess I should note that "general american" is not an attempt to standardize accent, it's just adoption of a particularly unextravagant accent as a norm for purposes of broadcast news.

⌘-B (mh), Saturday, 18 October 2014 15:36 (1 week ago) Permalink

Accent is a good example of whiteness norms - you're expected to assimilate to some "standard" if you want to move up in the world.

A shame this whiteness thing brings up stuff like, "why do black people talk about slavery"? I'm having a major conflict on my Facebook h.s. group over something more subtle - how even allegedly "sensitive" white people prefer to move away from the "inner ring" burbs. The less white these burbs get, the less desirable they are. As in, "I don't want to live near a fried fish joint, my home value will decline." To the point that people I thought were my friends have referred to my neighborhood as "ghetto". If that isn't white...

Threat Assessment Division (I M Losted), Saturday, 18 October 2014 17:56 (1 week ago) Permalink

So there's this:

cardamon, Saturday, 18 October 2014 21:45 (1 week ago) Permalink

Eh, this guy talks the talk, but I get the feeling he can't walk the walk. If he's all that's standing between me and the land of the long weekend, I think we're homefree.

how's life, Saturday, 18 October 2014 22:26 (1 week ago) Permalink

pplains, Sunday, 19 October 2014 04:09 (6 days ago) Permalink

hasnt been updated in 2 days, seems like a record, nice work america

deej loaf (D-40), Monday, 20 October 2014 06:31 (5 days ago) Permalink

ok, here's a new one... 🎺 let's play Is This Racist!:

popular denver burrito chain with several locations plans expansion to nearby ft collins, whereupon residents protest its name, "Illegal Pete's"...

protestors claim that using the word 'illegal' in reference to a person in any manner evokes the term 'illegals', a pejorative often used targeting immigrants

the owner claims that the word 'illegal' was chosen for its connotations to cool underground activities or whatever and has nothing to do with immigration or anything of the sort

you heard what each side has to say, now it's up to YOU to decide... IS!.. THIS!.... RACIST!?!

sleepingbag, Friday, 24 October 2014 01:39 (Yesterday) Permalink

You don't really have a stellar track record on these things so I'll go ahead and call it for you: it's racist

, Friday, 24 October 2014 02:19 (Yesterday) Permalink

who knows what the "intent" originally was, but I say when a business name is at least equally open to racist and non-racist interpretations, probably best change the name

my jaw left (Hurting 2), Friday, 24 October 2014 02:38 (Yesterday) Permalink

Especially if you're a capitalist.

pplains, Friday, 24 October 2014 03:44 (Yesterday) Permalink

Ha ha hahaha...anyone remember Sambo's?

Threat Assessment Division (I M Losted), Friday, 24 October 2014 12:35 (Yesterday) Permalink

Sambo may refer to:

Sambo (racial term), a term for a person with African heritage that is now considered offensive
Sambo (martial art), developed in the USSR
Sambo, the main character in the 1899 book The Story of Little Black Sambo
Sambo's, a restaurant chain
Sambo's Grave, grave of a slave (died 1736) at Sunderland Point in Lancashire, England
TG Sambo, a Korean computer manufacturer
Sambomaster, a Japanese rock band
Sammanboende (or samboende), a Swedish term for people in cohabitation
Sambo, the name in Ecuador for cucurbita ficifolia, a type of gourd
Sambo, a romanized term for the three ancestral treasures of Chinese culture
Sambo, Irish and Australian slang term for sandwich

yis ruin everything rly

local eire man (darraghmac), Friday, 24 October 2014 12:44 (Yesterday) Permalink

we say 'sanga' instead now

mit iodine (electricsound), Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:03 (23 hours ago) Permalink

ttytt we favour sangidge ourselves

local eire man (darraghmac), Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:11 (23 hours ago) Permalink

Brown hand shaking white hand to illustrate low crime rate (not sure if link will work). Pasadena's tech website (Innovate Pasadena).

nickn, Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:22 (23 hours ago) Permalink

Open in new tab and click for full size.

nickn, Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:23 (23 hours ago) Permalink

wrapper turnt sanga

k3vin k., Saturday, 25 October 2014 02:10 (21 hours ago) Permalink

^ made this same pun in my head

, Saturday, 25 October 2014 02:39 (20 hours ago) Permalink

so, annie lennox, huh. can tell the media that beyoncé is not a real feminist, OR you can cover "strange fruit" on your new album, but doing both in quick succession seems like a terrible idea.

you little affront to god (reddening), Saturday, 25 October 2014 04:05 (19 hours ago) Permalink

whoa wtf

⌘-B (mh), Saturday, 25 October 2014 12:56 (10 hours ago) Permalink

I just found this in a box of pictures and letters. From Pendelton, Oregon, c. 1979.

Je55e, Saturday, 25 October 2014 17:45 (5 hours ago) Permalink

I've never been to Pendleton but I live sort of near it, and I swear I've heard stories about it having a big kkk presence that went on much longer than you might have expected.

joygoat, Saturday, 25 October 2014 18:14 (5 hours ago) Permalink

Weird. We lived near Pilot Rock. Do you know it?

Je55e, Saturday, 25 October 2014 18:35 (4 hours ago) Permalink

I used to eat at sambos when I was a kid. Very scared of the dude in the tiger costume, according to my mom. I guess they all got turned into Denny's and coco's. From wikipedia:

Sambo's is a restaurant, formerly an American restaurant chain, started in 1957 by Sam Battistone, Sr. and Newell Bohnett. Though the name was taken from portions of the names of its founders, the chain soon found itself associated with The Story of Little Black Sambo. Battistone, Sr. and Bohnett capitalized on the coincidence by decorating the walls of the restaurants with scenes from the book, including a dark-skinned boy, tigers, and a pale, magical unicycle-riding man called "The Treefriend".

the late great, Saturday, 25 October 2014 19:11 (4 hours ago) Permalink

apparently the original sambo's (in Santa Barbara) is still open

the late great, Saturday, 25 October 2014 19:14 (4 hours ago) Permalink

oh whoops I didn't see the daily beast article

the late great, Saturday, 25 October 2014 19:15 (4 hours ago) Permalink

That's funny, I remember the controversy. We grew up in such a liberal, PC area that it was waaay bad to eat at Sambo's. I had to eat there once and was mortified, afraid my super liberal church would get wind of it, my civil rights cred tarnished. It was like a Denny's. then Denny's got reamed for discrimination. With the Aunt Jemima suit and all, maybe pancakes are hopelessly racist.

Threat Assessment Division (I M Losted), Saturday, 25 October 2014 21:57 (1 hour ago) Permalink

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