Saturday, August 30, 2008

this week's white news and views

  • "May I Be Offended on Your Behalf?" (Tami of What Tami Said @ Racialicious)

    In discussions of sexism vs. racism, the Michelle Obama lynching illustration on Daily Kos and the scandalous New Yorker cover, a lot of progressives have been eager to explain to black people why they should or should not be offended about a thing. My most jaw-clinching encounters have been with white liberals who have done anti-racist work or academic work on a group of non-white people. (African studies, Asian studies, Native American studies, etc.) Sometimes I want to shake these folks--allies who generally mean well--and explain that studying a people, visiting message boards or really admiring a cultural group, isn't the same as being a member of that group.

    I guess what we all want is that allies will be sensitive and intolerant of race bias, but that they will keep their privilege in check and remember that the voices of the marginalized should be the loudest ones. The victims of an "ism" must take the lead.

  • "The End of Generation X" (Matthew J. Milliner @ millinerd)

    The big end-of-summer post here at millinerd has to start with a question: Is it time to stop discussing the absurdly popular blog Stuff White People Like? Not just yet. The book perfects and expands Christian Lander's satirical achievement considerably, justifying a closer look and providing an Indian Summer to Lander's success. The book's subtitle, "The definitive guide to the unique taste of millions," explains its power: Lander exposes how what many think is their unique, ineffable taste in artisan breads, Wes Anderson movies and Arcade Fire is not only instantly identifiable, but has the mass appeal of Nascar. Stuff White People Like, as Bobos in Paradise before it, has defined not a race but a demographic; and by defining it, has exposed one massive pretension: We white people thought we had escaped demographics.

  • "The Exotifying Gaze" (Johanna @ Vegans of Color, via Alas! A Blog)

    I am really uncomfortable with how a lot of vegan cooking is described as “exotic” (to whom?). It assumes so much about the audience racially & culturally, & as well is loaded with really creepy connotations — the exotic is there to be conquered, mastered; it’s there purely to titillate your (white/Western/etc.) self (which also implies that white people have no culture — a convenient excuse used by people participating in cultural appropriation, but not actually true). It’s a “safe” way to imagine you’re experiencing other cultures without, you know, having to do that pesky thing known as actually engaging with the people whose cultures you’re attempting to eat via their food.

  • " How to Avoid White Privilege & Going Permanently Colourblind"(Davita Cutita @ Pregnant Drug-dealing Prostitutes)

    I cannot go to a “White” salon because they do not do my hair. There are certificates all over the walls detailing their achievements and education but for whatever the reason, I guess it wasn’t important enough for them to learn to care for “Black hair”. They cannot do my hair and refer me to the closest “Black” salon whilst apologizing profusely and seeing me to the door. A White person can come to a Black salon because hey; if you haven’t noticed, once our hair is straight it’s pretty much like theirs.

    I have never been to a Black salon that didn’t carry at least three or more (many more!) books filled with White hairstyles you can choose from. I have been to Black salons where White customers are served amongst the Black ones, male and female; I’ve even brought my White friends to them to get their hair done.

  • "Silver Lining: Not All White Supremacists Oppose Black President" (Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok @ SPLC's Intelligence Report)

    Figures from the white supremacist establishment seem to agree with the crudely put sentiments of their followers. David Duke, the neo-Nazi and former Klan boss who is the closest thing the movement has to a real intellectual these days, sees clear advantages in an Obama victory in the fall.

    "Obama will be a signal, a clear signal for millions of our people," Duke wrote in an essay entitled "A Black Flag for White America" posted to his website this summer. "Obama is like that new big dark spot on your arm that finally sends you to the doctor for some real medicine. … Obama is the pain that let's [sic] your body know that something is dreadfully wrong. Obama will let the American people know that there is a real cancer eating away at the heart of our country and Republican aspirin will not only not cure it, but only masks the pain and makes you think you don't need radical surgery. … My bet is that whether Obama wins or loses in November, millions of European Americans will inevitably react with new awareness of their heritage and the need for them to defend and advance it."

    Rocky Suhayda, head of the American Nazi Party, agreed. "White people are faced with either a negro or a total nutter who happens to have a pale face. Personally, I'd prefer the negro. National Socialists are not mindless haters. Here, I see a white man, who is almost dead, who declares he wants to fight endless wars around the globe to make the world safe for Judeo-capitalist exploitation, who supports the invasion of America by illegals… . Then, we have a black man, who loves his own kind, belongs to a Black-Nationalist religion, is married to a black woman… . That's the kind of negro that I can respect," Suhayda told Esquire.

  • "Judd Apatow and the Art of White Masculinity" (Marisol LeBron of PostPomo Nuyorican Homo @ Racialicious)

    I don’t think Apatow’s films say anything about sexuality that is specifically homosexual or homophobic, but I do think his films rely on homosociality to demonstrate the ways in which white masculinity has been “wounded” by the feminist, gay, and civil rights movements. In Apatow’s movies we see an entire generation of white men who rely on each other for a sense of validation and understanding, a generation of men who in many ways by refusing to grow-up are able to avoid facing the reality of changing power structures in American society.

And finally, Eddie Murphy, embodying the, um, "darkest" fears of some white voters:


  1. That video pretty much explains the fears.

  2. Macon, thank you for posting so many fascinating articles. I'm always interested in your reading lists.

  3. Yes anonymiss, I guess Eddie M was ahead of his time in that one.

    You're welcome Ortho! I always appreciate yours too.


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