2.) Farai Chideya
3.) the black perspective.
Man, I only know maybe less than a dozen black people! I am so sheltered and sooooo Caucasian. I LOVE listening to NPR’s News & Notes and thinking “Man! I wouldn’t have even THOUGHT of that question! I am so oblivious to racial issues!” (Note to Lisa A: I’m not being sarcastic. I really do like these things.)
That’s why I was drawn to this Slate article by Gary Douphin, which is a critique of stuffwhitepeoplelike.com:
I’ll confess that part of my antipathy is just old-fashioned player hate. Nothing gets under my (colored, nearly-middle-aged) skin like the spectacle of a twentysomething white kid doing what twentysomething white kids do all the time, namely, play on some or another aspect of their race for smug fun and profit. Lander has already reportedly been offered a $350K-plus book deal from Random House. (Can a VH1 Special be very far behind?) People of color are constantly accused of playing various race cards, but “White boy makes good by being white” is hardly a man-bites-dog story.
Envy aside, though, SWPL also smells like a classic racial con-job. It goes without saying that the specific entries (Oscar parties?) don’t really apply to anyone. That makes Lander’s overall pose–and the uncritical response to it–the real action. You’d think from the approving hubbub that SWPL had discovered (white) America or something, but white comedians, academics, and artists have been thinking and cracking wise about “white” culture since before Lander was in, well, short pants (#86). Usually, even jokey talk about whiteness has a whiff of danger to it, but SWPL is likely the safest, most affable racial satire ever, a loving high-five between friends passing as critique.
Man! White people can even control the dial when it comes to their own racism in popular culture! Imagine if black people had been proprietors of, say, Birth of a Nation, or, like, Minstrels. Wait. This is loosely drawn. Neither are satire, but still. You get the idea. SWPL is mild. No credit for you! Imagine if things that really cut deep were listed, i.e. white people like (#110) Ignoring their own privilege, or (#112) asking black people about their hair, or (#118) saying that black people should be totally over slavery by now.
Speaking of, this might be the more hilarious site.
3.) I also love Benazir Bhutto.
This is only because of a few paragraphs I read of her book, and because of a comment her surrogate made on the Daily Show after her assassination.
This dude, her biographer, got really upset when Jon Stewart had Musharraf on the show last year and said he was “trivializing a dictator,” to which Bhutto responded, “Lighten up, it’s just a comedy show.”
This woman fought extremism, tried to show the West the peaceful nature of Islam, and yet was able to brush off the fact that the man who pretty much represents all she was fighting against was drinking tea on an late-night cable comedy show.
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