Posts Tagged 'Race'

Turf Wars: Black Feminists v. Black Masculists

black-man-frustrated

Welcome to the first installment of what I hope will be a regular series where I dissect the various ‘battles’ I see being waged between two (ironically) intrinsically linked factions, as in: Their constant fight is what defines their respective identities.

Continue reading ‘Turf Wars: Black Feminists v. Black Masculists’

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For tha love of country

jay-zkayne

For as long as I can remember it has never been ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ to be patriotic. Such a thing is typically associated with Second Amendment dick-riding, Fox News-watching, pickup truck driving, big-ass flag waving middle-aged white men, aka the DEFINITION of uncool. But here’s the thing: Hip hop (the current EPITOME of cool) is incredibly patriotic…in-its-own-unique-way. On damn near every hip hop album you’ll find lyrics gushing about the American cities from which the artists hail. They even have endearing nicknames for ’em: The Boogie Down, The Chi, The ATL, The Town, The Sucka Free, the list goes on an’ on; and these towns don’t exist anywhere else in the world, but thanks to hip hop, the neighborhoods—and sometimes single streets or intersections—within these quintessentially American cities are now internationally known. Tell me that shit ain’t patriotic as fuck.

Blacker Face

blackface

Confession: During junior high (some of you call it ‘middle school’) and my first couple years of high school I pretended to be Black™. It reached its zenith during 8th grade when a fellow suburban race perpetrator and I shoplifted red bandannas from a local K-Mart so we could more effectively ‘claim a set.’ I wasn’t too good at the faux-Black™ thing though. I could never quite master the noun/verb disagreement, disregard for the possessive and superfluous pluralization (example: “We goin’ over Tim mama house to play some Maddens.”) or that damn Swag™. I had my moments though, but I was far too inconsistent. Oddly enough, there were a few white dudes I knew who were WAY BETTER at this than I. I was in awe of them actually. Took notes an’ everything.
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Some timely shit…

Jasper_Johns's_'Map',_1961

    Jasper Johns, Map (1961)

In lieu of writing a piece that touches on all the crazy shit that’s been goin’ on, I thought I’d just aggregate some old shit that was pertinent. So just click that link for a few bits (of varying length) about the zeitgeist and our condition an’ shit. If you don’t have the time and/or patience to slog through all that just peep this.

Light Ones : Dark Ones

I wonder if the damn near global deification of ‘light’ skin has less to do with the self-aggrandizing PR that the West has spread around the world and more to do with a ‘simple,’ primal relationship with literal light and dark. Primarily our prehistoric understanding of light’s capacity to illuminate dark scary places (this dynamic likely influenced the arrogance and entitlement that led to the wag-the-dog PR). Just think about it: We’ve only been ‘light creators‘ for a relatively short period of time. Before that we were hyper dependent on the sun to ‘save’ us from the darkness (hence our pedantically precise measurements of light and dark; see: solstices, equinoxes).

We coveted the light and feared the dark; and since we’ve never really overcame this fear the fact that we consider the peoples who look ‘like’ the light ‘good/right’ and those who mirror the darkness ‘bad/wrong’ kinda makes evolutionary sense. But here’s the ironic—possible existential crisis—causing rub: The peoples who evolved under the sun’s most intense wrath developed a defense from it; a ‘dark’ defense. I wonder if our ancestors who decided to leave the equatorial region to settle in more temperate climates where they ‘lightened’ up—prior to leaving—thought this was an ‘offense’ (a curse; one they were ‘born into’) and the subsequent transformation they experienced; as well as their ‘discovery’ of ‘new’ seasons; only confirmed this. Oh, and enduring shit like this probably corroborated their king-of-the-hill self perception; solidified their chosen-one status.

A Fag, a Nigger and a Spic walk into a trap…

An ‘offensive‘ joke that references race, religion, sexuality or any other ‘sensitive’ is like a fragrant, impossible-to-resist hunk of cheese that attracts identity fetishists; brings them out into the light and then SMACK!!! traps ’em. Now we can all gawk at ’em; see just who among us is ADDICTED to their superficial identities; see who is fighting tooth-an’-nail to keep their heads above the surface; the ones afraid to dip below to that unifying regardless-of-‘who’-you-THINK-you-are-love-is-love-and-fear-is-fear place. That ‘bloody truth’ that comedians trade in.

The great thing about a (good) ‘offensive’ joke (not talkin’ about that hacky “look at me saying ‘nigger’ without any context just for a cheap unfunny thrill” shit) is how it exposes the diversity of our fakeness. I think some comics avoid mining this territory because they fear people who—simply because the comic doesn’t look like them—may feel ‘obligated’ to protest, which (given the vociferousness/notoriety/level of ‘victimhood’ of the protester) could result in the comic getting labeled (read: ceremoniously ‘branded’) a Racist™, Sexist™, Homophobe™, etc.

But you know what?

Continue reading ‘A Fag, a Nigger and a Spic walk into a trap…’

The fight to be.

Crying-Woman

“Damn, all my cliches are bouncing off this argument, but no matter what, I’m gonna keep chucking ’em at it. I’ll be damned if I give up now. I’ve been buying this school-of-thought my whole damn life, it’s even intrinsically linked to my persona. If I lose it then I’m nothing and I’ve worked so hard to be something.”

Continue reading ‘The fight to be.’