rolling "Is This Racist?" thread

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the awl sux

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm not really grasping the point but no, i don't think so

JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

a shame how the staple singers stole 'slippery people' from the talking heads, never forget

zubaz fupa (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

its a tongue in cheek response to a silly onion av club article

max, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

never heard this cougar/me'shell cover of wild night, pretty dreadful

JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

i LOVE that cover of wild night!

wraparound shades from pharmacy (Matt P), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

wish it were more.. tongue-behind-cheek

wraparound shades from pharmacy (Matt P), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

well rest easy knowing that i would not be so hard on it if i hadn't watched the video. mellencamp goes down a lot smoother when i don't have to look at him. also wild night is one of those songs where i can't really understand how a cover would ever be necessary.

JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

this list would have been funnier had they just matched up random songs with similar titles that sounded nothing alike, or if every pair had been the wrong way around as opposed yo just a couple

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

It took three tongues in three cheeks to write that article.

pplains, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's sexy

dayo, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

yo just a couple

wraparound shades from pharmacy (Matt P), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

many times I have cursed the proximity of 't' and 'y' on the keyboard but never louder than today

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

no no! thank you so much.

yo just a couple (Matt P), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

is it racist to satirize rap if, by all indications, you've never actually heard rap?

del griffith, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol you guys got trolled by the awl

♆ (gr8080), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

need frogbs' input on this one

♆ (gr8080), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

RE AWL: cute response to a serious-face article from butthurt white boy

butt hurt >>> http://www.avclub.com/articles/our-white-people-problems-problem-why-its-time-to,72974/

a la bouquet marmoset (Austerity Ponies), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

is this das racist?

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

that Onion article seemed legit to me

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

the problem with the original article is that the real reason to stop using "white" as pejorative is because it doesn't work

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

certainly hasn't stopped people from trying

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

The whole point in saying "white people" pejoratively is to treat white people as reductively as white people treat other races.

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Like how does dude walk away from the Roots/Mad Men comparison being like "Wow, that doesn't get white people at all" instead of being like "It's really unfair to peg watching one of the most highly viewed TV events of all time as something indicative of the black experience in america"

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

...

Neil Young’s social media channels (some dude), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

because that wasn't the point of the article, maybe

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

i really feel bad for white ppl. their lives are so safe, so bland and boring :(

Mordy, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

The whole point in saying "white people" pejoratively is to treat white people as reductively as white people treat other races.

― suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten)

the only people i know who bemoan "white people" are white people.

zubaz fupa (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh man, those "white people" are the worst kind of white people. there's two kinds of white people. there's white people, and then there's "white people" who are ruining it for all the white people.

Mordy, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i agree with the onion guy that using "white" as a pejorative is stupid and unthinking but not really for the reasons that he lists, which are weird and personal

max, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha mordy

Neil Young’s social media channels (some dude), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

this is a much better, more persuasive and more succinct argument for ending "white" as an insult

http://agrammar.tumblr.com/post/207970845/white

max, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's so bougie

dayo, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

ugh, blogs.

Mordy, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

Can't tumblr at work, max. What's the gist?

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's so bougie

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

endless bougie

suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

teach me how to bougie

♆ (gr8080), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

see, that was smart

a la bouquet marmoset (Austerity Ponies), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I agree with nabisco but we've already established that everybody in America is middle class except for Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett

dayo, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

God I hate the Anglo use of 'bougie'...

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I guess that makes me insufferably bourgeois

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

just c/p the whole thing here:

Ezra Koenig is not incorrect about this. I might even replace “infrequently mentioned” with “infrequently even noticed.” For me, this was a constant surprise in reactions to Vampire Weekend’s debut: how often and how casually the band was described—or derided—as being white, or consisting of WASPs. Given how much it bothered me as a third party, I can only imagine how irritating it’d be to have white people criticize you for being “white” when you’re Persian; to have Protestants write you off as a WASP when you’re Jewish; maybe even to have people call you a WASP when your name is Baio.

This isn’t just pedantry about the meanings of words, though. Most of what people are trying to shorthand when they call indie acts “white” is set of ideas about social manner and social class: what they’re doing is fundamentally just a modern-American youth-culture spin on calling people bourgeois. (Obviously the last thing you’ll risk when calling out an indie band for being bourgeois is actually using an upscale word like “bourgeois.”) As always, much of it is a game of small differences: middle-class youth reprimanding one another for being whatever they’re most embarrassed to be. Koenig and Batmanglij can be those things, too—of course they can.

I don’t even object to the inevitable use of shorthand for those things. (The English have an interesting term: “student types.”) What surprises me, though, is how many white speakers—including people who are relatively savvy about race and culture—seem completely unbothered by the very obvious problems involved in using a racial shorthand for them. Some will quite casually use “white” as code for a certain set of qualities—safety, cleverness, politeness, education, middle-class manner, “literary” pretensions, alleged blandness—without, so far as I can tell, much noticing the shadow of opposites that casts on everyone else. (Danger? Vulgarity? Ignorance? Poverty? Savagery?) Some will argue, in earnest, that they’re actually taking the side of some vibrant other thing over bland, upscale whiteness—all without noticing how very old and familiar that line is. (Haven’t white audiences traditionally admired black artists as a source of transgression, of danger, of dirt, of “authenticity,” of “soul,” of “primitive” thrills?)

But even more than those obvious issues, I’m surprised by how this mode of thinking can lead people to actually misapprehend what’s right in front of their eyes—straight down to the ability to look at four guys in a band, one of them a Persian guy with the surname Batmanglij, and say, without missing a beat, that you’re looking at four white guys. The ability to look at a crowd at an indie show and claim that everyone’s white, even when you’re surrounded by two dozen east Asians. The ability to use “white” to mean “middle-class” to such an overwhelming extent that you actually start to misidentify people—all so that race itself, not class or background or culture or manner, can still remain the difference, the Other. There’s an odd habit here.

max, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think pointing out 'white ppl problems' or 'white ppl show' or whatever, other issues aside, does challenge the ongoing notion that white culture is normative culture.

Mordy, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

(the missing quote is an oblique reference to how ppl constantly call Vampire Weekend, a band whose primary songwriters are Jewish and Persian, a WASP band)

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

what if someone says that a basketball team sucks because they have too many white players

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh sorry didnt realize i cut off the quote

max, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

what if someone says that a basketball team sucks because they have too many white players

― That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Tuesday, May 1, 2012 4:41 PM (51 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

what if

max, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

frogbs raises a great point

I mean, what if

xp: damn u

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

*strokes chin*

max, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:42 (2 years ago) Permalink


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