Skip

The Hip Hop Response to Katrina
September 17, 2005 11:22 PM   Subscribe

George Bush Doesn't Care about Black People: The Remix? Kanye West's anti-Bush ad lib on a telethon for the victims of Hurricane Katrina has already attracted considerable controversy, but now Legendary K.O. of the Houston rap group, the K-Otix, has decided to immortalize Kanye West's soundbite by incorporating it into a mash-up with Kanye's song Golddigger. The K-Otix rewrote Golddigger's lyrics to serve as an indictment of Bush and his sluggish response to Katrina, while simultaneously promoting Houston Hurricane Aid to help displaced residents of New Orleans. Other rappers including Mos Def have already recorded songs in response to the disaster, while other performers such as Jay-Z and Usher have rallied to Kanye West's defense.
posted by jonp72 (172 comments total)

 
this is a double post mostly. the last three links are new.
posted by pelican at 11:41 PM on September 17, 2005


Now in handy teeshirt form!
posted by ColdChef at 11:50 PM on September 17, 2005


Donate now and receive complimentary tote bag! Show your support to others!
posted by wakko at 11:56 PM on September 17, 2005


Even if it were possible for musicians' political views to be that important, Kanye West also believes that the U.S. government created AIDS to exterminate Africans (as he professed onstage at Live 8), which is why it was annoying to hear Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney go on on C-SPAN about how the biggest voice in the Hip-Hop community censored by NBC - he shouldn't be given a platform in the first place for his insane ranting.
posted by abcde at 12:37 AM on September 18, 2005


abcde: that wikipedia article is intresting, but I don't think that has much to do with "the US government" creating AIDS on purpose.
posted by delmoi at 1:18 AM on September 18, 2005


he shouldn't be given a platform

Everybody ate it up. I imagine rather some kind of iron fence around the free speech. To keep it in. No wait, to keep it out. Yeah. God gave some people a platform when he gave them brains and vocal chords. That policy was extended with the free press. Who knows.
posted by nervousfritz at 1:38 AM on September 18, 2005


his insane ranting

The truth isn't true. Patriotism is defending your country, not yesterday's ideologies. Your country is Jay Leno. Your country is AOL. And, your country is Halliburton and Dick Cheney. Be warned, the military is trained to recognize and fight foreign and domestic enemies. If Halliburton starts using slave labor, you need to be prepared to support and defend those policies.
posted by nervousfritz at 1:44 AM on September 18, 2005 [1 favorite]


he shouldn't be given a platform in the first place for his insane ranting.

His rant was the end product of intelligent design so shut the hell up.
posted by srboisvert at 2:40 AM on September 18, 2005


he shouldn't be given a platform in the first place for his insane ranting.

Unlike, say, Toby Keith?
posted by trondant at 2:50 AM on September 18, 2005


Kayne West's remark perfectly and so simply encapsulated the feeling right after Katrina. This is one allegation that really seems to have stuck to Bush, because it rings as truth for so many Americans. Amazing to see such growing into a real problem for Bush.
posted by piscatorius at 2:52 AM on September 18, 2005



I yam intrigued.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:00 AM on September 18, 2005


he shouldn't be given a platform in the first place for his insane ranting.

Or maybe we should be smart enough to discern what's worth listening to and what's not: A black man talking about black people, when hundreds and thousands of them are on the street, without food, water or shelter, and all the President seems concerned about is rebuilding Trent Lott's front porch (!?).

George Bush doesn't care about Black people... yeah... and Brown people too.
posted by MoralAnimal at 3:05 AM on September 18, 2005


On preview: what piscatorius said.
posted by MoralAnimal at 3:08 AM on September 18, 2005


I disagree on the double post - all these links are working at present.
posted by hypersloth at 3:59 AM on September 18, 2005


I disagree on the double post - all these links are working at present.

What?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:03 AM on September 18, 2005



The truth isn't true. Patriotism is defending your country, not yesterday's ideologies. Your country is Jay Leno. Your country is AOL. And, your country is Halliburton and Dick Cheney. Be warned, the military is trained to recognize and fight foreign and domestic enemies. If Halliburton starts using slave labor, you need to be prepared to support and defend those policies.
posted by nervousfritz at 1:38 AM PST on September 18 [!]


I look upon your words with despair. True words, excellent words, words that need repeating.

Thank you.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:56 AM on September 18, 2005


Actually, I think there are enough reasons to criticise this administration without the retarded things you read on the inside of a ska-punk CD.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:02 AM on September 18, 2005


A number of white friends noted while watching the tv coverage of the dome and "refugees"--mostly black--that there were many many young black women with numerous very young children and no men accompanying them. These women are not able to work because they can not afford a daycare spot for their kids. They have but one income, mostly, and a woman head of household is some 20 thousand dollars behind a male head of household (with one working parent); and another 15 or so thousand dollars behind two working parents...The kids, then, will be raised to assume that this is ok...those on the Right suggest The Breakdown of the Family. Now take those kids and apply Malthus and what is the future?

Example: one woman moved to my area from New Orleans. She is 24. She had her first child at 19. She now has 4 children. No husband....

Blacks and whites would do well to explore how this came about--slavery. Slaves were sold off and "marriage" was simply a means for
begetting" products (slaves). Marriage was not a value but a means for creating more slaves...this has made an impact that (as Faulker noted) is still a curse upon the land.

Simply saying Bush doesn't like Black people get us nowhere. In fact, Bush doesn't like poor people would perhaps be closer to the truth (as reflected in our lack of prgrams for helping those in need).

Songs and slogans are cute but they not only mislead but take the focus off important realities.
posted by Postroad at 6:03 AM on September 18, 2005


Bush doesn't like Democrat Voters would be even closer to the truth.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:06 AM on September 18, 2005


I dunno, seems to me that "doesn't care about the poor" is closer to the truth than "doesn't care about Democratic voters", but it's a hard case to prove either way.
posted by Bugbread at 6:12 AM on September 18, 2005


Lots of the religious right are poor. Bush has done much to superficially please them, as they furrow their brows in a vain attempt to understand the situation.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:15 AM on September 18, 2005


I hate it how Golddigger rips off Brother Ray.
posted by wheelieman at 6:19 AM on September 18, 2005


Ah, good point.

Perhaps the breakdown falls into category by how he doesn't care.

Caring about people as voters:


Caring about people as people:

posted by Bugbread at 6:30 AM on September 18, 2005


he shouldn't be given a platform in the first place for his insane ranting.

So it would be better to deny him the freedom of expression and filter what the public can hear? Who then determines what is insane ranting? Do we need a government office to protect us from this speech?

I may not agree with what he says, but I will fight for his right to say it.

After all, this isn't an oppressive, authoritarian, closed government... oh wait...
posted by AspectRatio at 6:31 AM on September 18, 2005


George Bush Doesn't Care about Black People

Sigh... that may be true, but to restate the obvious larger truth, George Bush doesn't care about ANYONE that hasn't bought and paid for him.
posted by psmealey at 6:40 AM on September 18, 2005


The link regarding Mos Def has this interesting bit:

Also among Mos' targets is U2's Bono, who has spent considerable time rallying for causes like fighting poverty and erasing Third World debt. "It's enough to make you holler out/ Like where the f--- is Sir Bono and his famous friends now?/ Don't get it twisted, man, I dig U2/ But if you ain't about the ghetto, than f--- you too/ Who cares about rock and roll when babies can't eat food?"

So maybe it's a requirement to include some flimsy nonsequiter in hip hop songs now? Kanye thinks the government created AIDS, and Mos Def thinks Bono doesn't care as much as Mos Def because Mos Def's song (for which he did not have to compose any music) came out before U2 signed on to play at the benefit concert. There are plenty of things to fault Bono for (like the suckiness of the lyrics on the last U2 album, for instance) but you can't seriously fault a person for not helping out with every single problem or for not rushing to the cameras, hurricane song in hand, days after the tragedy.
Of course, if Mos Def had actually, you know, bothered to craft his lyrics instead of rushing to deliver this wack shit, then he might have had something intelligent to say.

Don't get it twisted man, I dig Mos Def, but if you ain't about the facts, then f--- you too. Who cares about hip hop when sucka emcees can't construct a nonfallacious argument?
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:46 AM on September 18, 2005


The hip hop community is suddenly sensitive to diaster when it's their own community—not "Chinks and little Chinamen"—affected.
posted by dhoyt at 6:51 AM on September 18, 2005


Blacks and whites would do well to explore how this came about--slavery. Slaves were sold off and "marriage" was simply a means for begetting" products (slaves).

So is this an explanation for the 24 year old with 4 kids? Just checking.
posted by foot at 6:52 AM on September 18, 2005


Lots of the religious right are poor

Yeah but do they not get their charity from their churches rather than looking to the government for it? That is, Bush hates all poor people, but the poor democrats/non-RR hurt more from it because they haven't got the safety net of the church. I'm really asking, not trying to be snarky.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 7:19 AM on September 18, 2005


Dear Foot: I suggest you look at a very fine book that has been a best seller for a long time. It is called The Color of Water. You will discover in that book that a white woman married a black man and had a numbezr of children. When he died, she married another and had more children. What she notes a number of times is that for blacks, there is an extended family--a result probably of slavery--in which any one, no matter the "morality" or whatever, is helped by others--brothers and sisters. In other words, the model for the one man; one woman =family model was not present for blacks in slaver and as a result, the habit of caring for all took hold...now I am not blaming all things here on slavery! There are many white who have babies, and have no husbands. In fact this past week a new study revealed that a larger percentage than formerly were now not only having babies out of wedlock but that increasingly the general public did not scorn this any longer. But my point remains: no husband, small income; many children, no job cause no money for daycare etc...
Among the poor it is common to want babies for love, affection, etc and fulfillment in an otherwise bleak existence. For a middle class white, get a nice pet dog, with papers, to accompany your two kids etc
Now add to this: little or no birth control education or materials made available, and then add to this that educated people KNOW not to have babies they can not afford because of college costs: babies without education will grow up to become peole having more babies to add to the pool.

I am not saying black have babies out of wedlock and white do not. I am saying that welfare for some time made it wise not to have a guy around if you wanted the check; that black guys were not income earners befcause of conditions in this country; that slavery plit men and women and sold off kids so this became not at all unusual.

I have experienced first hand how black take in and care for the extended family--witnessed a woman with her latest husband and the guy who was the father of one of her kids; and that guy's current girlfriend--and all at one party....not, I was told, exceptional at all.

If a cultrual explanation doesn't help explain, are you saying it is genetic?
posted by Postroad at 7:35 AM on September 18, 2005


Public Enemy -- Hell No, We Ain't All Right
(PE.com article)
posted by LinusMines at 7:45 AM on September 18, 2005


Dhoyt, that Hot 97 stunt was looked at with destain by everyone in the hip hop community. There were even responses from within.

Please don't forget the true roots of hip hop: Impoverished African Americans fighting for a voice that was denied them during Reagan's cold ambivalence toward the black community. It's funny to see whites get all antsy when hip hop stops talking about guns, bitches, and weed for a second and actually starts being the instrument of social change that it can be.

And can you really fault someone for sticking up for themselves? If they don't, who will?

Don't push me, cause I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head.
It's like a jungle sometimes,
It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.

posted by anomie at 7:53 AM on September 18, 2005


"Be warned, the military is trained to recognize and fight foreign and domestic enemies. If Halliburton starts using slave labor, you need to be prepared to support and defend those policies."

Be warned, stupidity abounds. Saying this country is like Jay Leno and AOL is like saying the UK is beer and Blair. The complexity of a nation and it's 250 million+ people is not summed up in a retarded Haliburton soundbite. I mean what the hell is your point? Perhaps you should worry about places where Slave Labor actually DOES exist.

"Blacks and whites would do well to explore how this came about--slavery."

Look at the leaders of the Black community and then try to blame slavery, it simply doesn't wash: Bangin' bitches, burning blunts, bustin' caps...this is the message far too often in popular black music and black culture. Videos and movies show much of the same. When the black community can get another MLK to stand up and truly lead, then hope will be restored, but until then, I think we are going to continue to see stuff like this.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:24 AM on September 18, 2005


j.p. Hung, one the one hand, you call for more complexity in looking at the country, and on the other, you offer a sterotyped, flat portrait of the "leaders" of the Black community. What gives?
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:27 AM on September 18, 2005


"Please don't forget the true roots of hip hop: Impoverished African Americans fighting for a voice that was denied them during Reagan's cold ambivalence toward the black community."

Holy hell, what are people drinking this morning? The evolution of Rap/Hip hop was a somewhat logical progression of funk, r&b, african roots music and a lot of exciting and happy accidents. This began as far back as '74 in the bronx and queens areas primarily. It's roots were well formed before Reagan ever took office. Reagan may have been largely ignorant to the black community but it had nothing to do with the evolution of hip hop.

I'm no fan of this administration but reading some of these posts explains why the left is on life support. In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes. Hip hop was a natural and exciting progression of black music.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2005


The hip hop community is suddenly sensitive to diaster when it's their own community—not "Chinks and little Chinamen"—affected.

And yet, when the latest drivel from Pat Robertson is used as if it's representative of the "Christian community", you'll no doubt be here bleating about how unfair that is.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2005


George Bush Doesn't Care about Black People

But I do, so it all evens out in the grand scheme of things.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:45 AM on September 18, 2005


fair enough eustacscrubb, I'll give you that. There are some wonderful examples of leadership in the black community but they are rarely given the platform the Sharpton's of this country are.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2005


Look at the leaders of the Black community and then try to blame slavery, it simply doesn't wash: Bangin' bitches, burning blunts, bustin' caps.

You do a great disservice to men like Barak Obama when you claim that 50 cent is the best the African American community has to offer.
posted by anomie at 8:48 AM on September 18, 2005


What I wish is that more white people-- rich, poor, educated, non-educated, Republican or Democrat-- would realize that being black in America is something that we (the non-blacks) will never fully comprehend, because too much of what is daily life to blacks (bias testing, history of slavery, lack of representation in government, ad in) is completely alien to whites.

Instead, We, The People of The United States, should be asking basic questions. How do we break the cycle of poverty? How do we improve the legal system to ensure equality for all? How do we improve the educational system to ensure equality for all?

Blacks in America are full citizens and it is time that the rest of us realized that.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:49 AM on September 18, 2005


What gives?

Don't blame the guy just because he's clearly never listened to a rap album in his life. Or a hip-hop album. Or a blues album.

As a matter of fact, anyone who would say something so thunderously stupid as bangin' bitches, burning blunts, bustin' caps...this is the message far too often in popular black music and black culture subsists on a steady diet of Phil Collins and Michael Bolton.

Saying "black culture" is represented by gangsta rap albums (incidentally, "gangsta rap" is the world's stupidest phrase) is like saying "white culture" is represented by Skrewdriver. Ugh.

J.P.: once you leave your little cave, may I suggest actually listening to some important, successful, and postive artists? Off the top of my head: Arrested Development, J-Live, De La Soul, KRS-One, and yes: Kanye West.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:51 AM on September 18, 2005


There are some wonderful examples of leadership in the white community but they are rarely given the platform the Phelpses of this country are.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:46 AM PST on September 18

posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:53 AM on September 18, 2005


Instead, We, The People of The United States, should be asking basic questions. How do we break the cycle of poverty? How do we improve the legal system to ensure equality for all? How do we improve the educational system to ensure equality for all?

Never voting for Republicans, for president, governor, mayor or even town dog-catcher, would be an excellent start. They stand for keeping the cycle of poverty strong and the wealth gap wide, for keeping the legal system biased far in favor of corporation interests, and for smashing public education down to mere recitation of religious platitudes and instilling obedience to authority. Lose the Republicans pulling hard against progress, and you may be able to pull towards progress.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:58 AM on September 18, 2005


Don't blame the guy just because he's clearly never listened to a rap album in his life. Or a hip-hop album. Or a blues album.

Well, most black people have never listened to a blues album either.
posted by justgary at 9:00 AM on September 18, 2005


Reagan may have been largely ignorant to the black community but it had nothing to do with the evolution of hip hop.

True, Reagan had nothing to do with the musical influences of hip hop. Who was claiming he did? It's the culture of hip hop that was defined in part by the helplessness and economic despair felt by African Americans during the 80's. This gave rise to socially concious groups such as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, Public Enemy, and Boogie Down Productions. To say this had nothing to do with the evolution of hip hop is just plain false. And laughable.
posted by anomie at 9:01 AM on September 18, 2005


j.p hung: "In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes."

I have to see some documentation of that. Can you cite your source?
posted by ?! at 9:02 AM on September 18, 2005


Don't worry y'all. It's "MJ" to the rescue!

In his first talk with a reporter since the end of his criminal trial, pop superstar Michael Jackson said Saturday he is "moving full speed ahead" on plans to record a song for the benefit of Hurricane Katrina victims and feels that his creative juices are flowing again.

Yup, there's nothing like a national tragedy to get that inspirational spark you've been waiting for. And when you're wining and dining with the Prince of Bahrain... well... that just makes things a tad bit easier.

Postroad: I can't find the article where I'd read it, but according to statistics, 1/3rd of African American men are behind bars right now--might explain why there weren't many around at the Astrodome.
posted by MoralAnimal at 9:04 AM on September 18, 2005


When people rope themselves off on either side by skin color it is bad for America.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:06 AM on September 18, 2005


"You do a great disservice to men like Barak Obama"

No, I don't at all. The sad truth is, most black youth never heard of the guy. Who's fault is that?

Optimus, save it. I'm quite familiar with the history and evolution of rap as well as the myriad of artists. You show me a handful of righteous groups and I say fine, I like many of them too but I can show you endless 'gangsta' rappers and mysoginists that make up the majority of modern hip hop.
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:06 AM on September 18, 2005


Secret Life of Gravy writes "Blacks in America are full citizens and it is time that the rest of us realized that."

I hope when you say "realize" you mean "make real", not "understand". If so, then yeah. If not, and you're saying that us whites don't know that blacks are full citizens, then you're being seriously silly.

Optimus Chyme writes "Don't blame the guy just because he's clearly never listened to a rap album in his life. Or a hip-hop album. Or a blues album."

I dunno that that is such a "clear" observation.

Optimus Chyme writes "As a matter of fact, anyone who would say something so thunderously stupid as bangin' bitches, burning blunts, bustin' caps...this is the message far too often in popular black music and black culture subsists on a steady diet of Phil Collins and Michael Bolton."

And I'm seriously doubting that this is true. I hate the whole treaclepop/easylistening genre, but even I think that the message is far too frequent. I don't think it's by all means the majority. It may be 1%. But in my opinion it's too often the message. "Too often" ≠ "most often".

I'm not agreeing with jp hung here on most points, and I probably agree with you far more than he, but it just seems you're countering him with misaimed arguments.
posted by Bugbread at 9:07 AM on September 18, 2005


"I need someone of my own race to represent me" is racist.

"People with different skin color than mine can't understand me, my life, or my needs" is racist.

Is racism ok, or is it not ok? Is it ok for some races, and not others? That's racist.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:07 AM on September 18, 2005


"People with different skin color than mine can't understand me, my life, or my needs" is racist.

What? I don't think I can really know what it's like to be black in America. By the same token, I doubt most black people really know what it is like to grow up white. We're still hella segregated.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:10 AM on September 18, 2005


"I have to see some documentation of that. Can you cite your source?"

sorry should have done that.
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:12 AM on September 18, 2005


anomie writes "To say this had nothing to do with the evolution of hip hop is just plain false. And laughable."

Yeah, but you didn't say "evolution", you said "roots".

Schoenberg had a lot to do with the evolution of classical music.
However, if someone said he had a lot to do with the roots of classical music, and I called him on it, my call would be neither plain false nor laughable.
posted by Bugbread at 9:13 AM on September 18, 2005


j.p. Hung "sorry should have done that."

Uh, link is busted.
posted by Bugbread at 9:15 AM on September 18, 2005


posty, jesus christ, what are you talking about? please...
posted by matteo at 9:17 AM on September 18, 2005


Perhaps you should worry about places where Slave Labor actually DOES exist.

My point is that I'm excited to be prepared to defend the new facet of the legal body of this country (due to my patriotism, that is), that facet of law that the minimum wage doesn't matter for these rebuilding projects.

I haven't come up with anything yet, except that it's definitely a great idea. If I wasn't so stupid I'd have some good supporting points by now.
posted by nervousfritz at 9:20 AM on September 18, 2005


"You do a great disservice to men like Barak Obama"

No, I don't at all. The sad truth is, most black youth never heard of the guy. Who's fault is that?


Yours, and everyone else's who tries to say that shitty rappers are the leaders of the black community. Are Britney Spears and Kenney Chesney leaders of the white community? True, many leaders need to step up and make their voices heard, but people also need to stop throwing gangsta references all the time, as if that's all black culture is. There is an alternative, and I think Kanye is a step in the right direction, as looney as he may be.


Yeah, but you didn't say "evolution", you said "roots".

-----------
Reagan may have been largely ignorant to the black community but it had nothing to do with the evolution of hip hop.

Posted by j.p. Hung at 8:44 AM PST on September 18
----------


True, but he said evolution.
posted by anomie at 9:25 AM on September 18, 2005


Funny thing. A lot of black people really do believe that the US Govt. created AIDs. Maybe we needed a market for anti-AIDs drugs?
posted by j-urb at 9:28 AM on September 18, 2005


abcde: "Even if it were possible for musicians' political views to be that important, Kanye West also believes that the U.S. government created AIDS to exterminate Africans (as he professed onstage at Live 8)"

Well, George Bush believes he's on a direct mission from God and that the Second Coming is gonna happen any day now.
posted by 31d1 at 9:28 AM on September 18, 2005


anomie writes "True, but he said evolution."

Ah, good call. So I'll declare a foul on jp for saying evolution, and a foul on myself for not noticing, which means we all have one foul each, and they cancel eachother out.
posted by Bugbread at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2005


Funny thing. A lot of black people really do believe that the US Govt. created AIDs. Maybe we needed a market for anti-AIDs drugs?

I'll take racist generalizations for 1000, Alex.
posted by anomie at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2005


Er...is that a racist generalization about blacks ("they're all conspiracy theorists"), or about whites ("just like a white man to kill off blacks in order to make more money")?
posted by Bugbread at 9:34 AM on September 18, 2005


Optimus, save it. I'm quite familiar with the history and evolution of rap as well as the myriad of artists. You show me a handful of righteous groups and I say fine, I like many of them too but I can show you endless 'gangsta' rappers and mysoginists that make up the majority of modern hip hop.
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:06 AM PST on September 18


Well, I guess you better tell the white kids to stop buying those albums and making those assholes rich instead of blaming "black culture."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:36 AM on September 18, 2005


A lot of white people really do believe that the US Govt. created AIDs.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:36 AM on September 18, 2005


Er...is that a racist generalization about blacks ("they're all conspiracy theorists"), or about whites ("just like a white man to kill off blacks in order to make more money")?

The former, IMO. A lot of white people believe this too, and the one thing they have in common is that they're nuts.
posted by anomie at 9:37 AM on September 18, 2005


Optimus Chyme:

Just some neutral questions here, and purely out of curiosity (I'm not trying to make a statement, I'm just trying to see what you think):
-Do you believe that there can be anything bad in black culture?
   -If so, is it always the fault of non-blacks?
-Do you believe that there can be anything bad in white culture?
   -If so, is it always the fault of non-whites?
posted by Bugbread at 9:39 AM on September 18, 2005


Well, George Bush believes he's on a direct mission from God and that the Second Coming is gonna happen any day now.

They say you can rap-about-anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes
But if I talk about God my record won't get played, Huh?
Well if this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
and i hope it take away from my sins
and bring the day that I dream about
Next time I'm in the club everybody screamin out
Jesus Walks
posted by techgnollogic at 9:40 AM on September 18, 2005


anomie writes "The former, IMO."

Thanks. My own stereotype is that conspiracy theorists are all white males, generally in their 30s and 40s, so I didn't quite pick up what you were referring to at first. I guess I've become increasingly out of touch with contemporary racial stereotypes.
posted by Bugbread at 9:42 AM on September 18, 2005


-Do you believe that there can be anything bad in black culture?
-If so, is it always the fault of non-blacks?
-Do you believe that there can be anything bad in white culture?
-If so, is it always the fault of non-whites?


I don't believe that there is such a thing as "white culture" or "black culture." So.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:46 AM on September 18, 2005


Ok, fair answer, and casts your response j.p. Hung in a different light than I'd originally interpreted it.
posted by Bugbread at 9:50 AM on September 18, 2005


I hope when you say "realize" you mean "make real", not "understand". If so, then yeah. If not, and you're saying that us whites don't know that blacks are full citizens, then you're being seriously silly.
posted by bugbread at 12:07 PM EST on September 18 [!]

There is "realize" as in understand with the intellect and easily dismiss as other people's problems and "realize" as in understand with your heart and mind and decide something should be done about it.

Lots of people knew that there was poverty in America but the television coverage of Katrina made them understand poverty in America a bit better. I am hopeful that many young people who were watching will be touched on a fundamental level and choose to dedicate their lives to eradicating the vast chasm between rich and poor in this country.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:09 AM on September 18, 2005


Secret Life of Gravy writes "There is 'realize' as in understand with the intellect and easily dismiss as other people's problems and 'realize' as in understand with your heart and mind and decide something should be done about it."

I see. I'm with you up to "decide something should be done about it" (though "something should be done" often means "dismiss as other people's problems", I suspect you mean "decide you should do something about it"), but I don't consider that to be part of the word "realize".
posted by Bugbread at 10:20 AM on September 18, 2005


"I need someone of my own race to represent me" is racist.
posted by techgnollogic at 12:07 PM EST

What you hope for in representation in government is to be represented by someone who most clearly understands your concerns and your experiences and your needs.

Was it sexist for women to want the right to vote so that their needs and wants could be represented? Am I sexist today to think I would be better off having more women on the Supreme Court since so many of their rulings effect me?

And as an atheist is it so wrong for me to wish it were easier to elect atheists to the government so that my religious views were better represented?

Why is it racist to ask if American Indians have different needs from the US Government than white male millionaires?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:29 AM on September 18, 2005


Correct: we have not American Indians but Native Americans. We do have Indian summer rather than native American summer
posted by Postroad at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2005


Why is it racist to ask if American Indians have different needs from the US Government than white male millionaires?

Because racism is the process of discriminating and/or being prejudice with regards to race. The only question is when is it ok to discriminating, because we do it all the time when it comes to other facets of evaluation. Discrimination is not always a bad thing, for example discriminating based on the skills someone has for a job. If we say that all racism is bad, then we can never, without being contridictory, make our decisions based on race, because that is racism.
posted by litghost at 11:06 AM on September 18, 2005




litghost writes "If we say that all racism is bad, then we can never, without being contridictory, make our decisions based on race, because that is racism."

Depends on what definition you're using. Some people define racism as basing something on race, some define it as viewing race as an indicator of superiority or inferiority. This duality of usage is what both allowed and resulted in the overturning of the "separate but equal" position, and is the same duality that allows Hispanic scholarships and the like.
posted by Bugbread at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2005


What you hope for in representation in government is to be represented by someone who most clearly understands your concerns and your experiences and your needs.

And thinking that you need them to share your skin color to do so is racist.

Was it sexist for women to want the right to vote so that their needs and wants could be represented?

Uh, no. wtf?

Am I sexist today to think I would be better off having more women on the Supreme Court since so many of their rulings effect me?

Do you think women are superior to men at interpreting laws?

And as an atheist is it so wrong for me to wish it were easier to elect atheists to the government so that my religious views were better represented?

You mean your non-religious views? How can you relate someone's views on matters of religion to someone's race? Do you not see a difference between preferring someone who agrees with you on various issues versus preferring someone who shares the color of your skin? It's a matter of relevance.

Why is it racist to ask if American Indians have different needs from the US Government than white male millionaires?

Who said that's racist? Do American Indian millionaires have different needs than other millionaires?
posted by techgnollogic at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2005


Pretty_Generic "Kanye West: 'George Bush doesn't care about those people indicated in these matrices'"

If I were a millionaire, I'd pay Kanye West to make a song with that title, and credit myself as a coauthor.
posted by Bugbread at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2005


Ok so what we need then is a word meaning "racist" but without the bad aftertaste.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:20 AM on September 18, 2005


It's called Affirmative Action.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:24 AM on September 18, 2005


delmoi: It may be an even more radicalized version interpretation of that hypothesis, but it's definitely an extant belief.
posted by abcde at 11:31 AM on September 18, 2005


nervousfritz: I didn't mean he should be censored; just that it actually discredits the (marginally concievable) hypothesis that Bush is racist to give airtime to someone who's clearly an ideologue of racial paranoia.
posted by abcde at 11:40 AM on September 18, 2005


Do you think women are superior to men at interpreting laws?

Not superior but starting from a different point of view in the same way that I think a black representative to congress is going to have a different point of view as will an atheist.

It is simply imposible to divorce all your opinions and actions from your previous life experiences and all I am trying to convey to you that people with different races and sexes have different life experiences.

Can you not admit that a black man age 45 who drives a Mercedes, has a home in Beverly Hills, graduated from UCLA, has a thriving dental practice, plays violin, blah, blah, blah, is nonetheless going to have different experiences than another man who is his exact double in every way except skin color? For example, would a white man get stopped for driving a Mercedes in his own neighborhood? Don't you think that this would therefore color the black person's opinions about laws, police, taxes, and government?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:41 AM on September 18, 2005


It's called Affirmative Action.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:24 PM EST
Oh didn't you get the memo? Affirmative Action now officially leaves a bad aftertaste.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:44 AM on September 18, 2005


Do American Indian millionaires have different needs than other millionaires?
posted by techgnollogic at 2:18 PM EST on September

Here are a few off the top of my head:
Native American grew up on the reservation and has more insight as to what needs to be done to improve life for other Native Americans.

Native American has more concern for preservation of his culture and desires more money to preserve art, language, oral history, etc.

Native American is still angry over past relations with "Indian-Giving" American government and pushes for reperations.

Native American concerned that the history studied by American children is too Anglo-Saxon oriented. Pushes for legislation making it mandatory for school books include chapter on "Trail of Tears" or more chapters devoted to era before invasion by whites.

I could do this all day, but I hope I have made my point.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:57 AM on September 18, 2005


please pardon the quick derail so as to say that the mashup in question, in my opinoin, kicks ass, and is much better than the original.

carry on...
posted by tsarfan at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2005


Your point appears to be that it's ok to make assumptions about a person's political views based on their race.
posted by techgnollogic at 12:46 PM on September 18, 2005


it actually discredits the (marginally concievable) hypothesis that Bush is racist to give airtime to someone who's clearly an ideologue of racial paranoia.

And mine is that due to the fact that people responded to his remarks by generating such a buzz, seems to indicate that, if there had been some central policy makers deciding who gets airtime and who doesn't, that they would have been doing a disservice to the general desire to hear it.

Unless, 1) people should be prevented from hearing what they want to hear or 2) people should have been educated on all of the weaknesses of character of Kanye West prior to his tv spot, so they knew right away that they wouldn't listen to whatever he was going to say--or at that point perhaps demand would ostensibly have been reduced, another questionable point.

What they need is some kind of a SmearTV channel, where they get research against all manner of people and play it 24 hours a day. Sort of MTV:1984::SmearTV:2005. That way the media insiders, knowing Kanye West was going to get airtime, could have put some sort of smear loop on him into heavy rotation ahead of time. With an outlet like that, the majority could get all the info they need to maintain their oppression.

Then, and this is sort of the status quo really, any group seeking change would have to wait around for an ethically pure human being, someone with a blemish free record--this includes whooping and hollering, like Dean, or being in favor of national health care like Hillary Clinton. Anyway. Ideas sort of have their own, uh, existence apart from the people who voice them.

Like, if Charles Manson wrote an essay on the Logic of Geometry, would it discredit the elements of mathematical proof? This is an absurd example, but the crazy desire to purify our society, and to hold any speakers to impossible standards--these are methods for censorship, ultimately, and are themselves somewhat absurd.
posted by nervousfritz at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2005


Video.
posted by moonbird at 1:27 PM on September 18, 2005


In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.

Don't be an ass. The Democratic Party of 1955 is not the Democratic Party of 2005; back then, Strom Thurmond was a Democrat. When LBJ signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he supposedly said, "I'm handing over the South to the Republicans for a generation." (Actually, it's been more like two generations, and no end in sight.) Nixon's Southern Strategy invited Thurmond and the Strom Troopers to come on over to the GOP, where their racist, segregationist beliefs would be tolerated, even embraced.

At this year's NAACP convention, Ken Mehlman issued a formal non-apology apology for the Southern Strategy. Part of a sincere outreach effort? Possible but unlikely; for one thing, Bush himself refuses to meet with or speak to NAACP leadership.
posted by vetiver at 1:31 PM on September 18, 2005


i don't think technollogic, j.p. Hung, and some others have any fucking idea what racism is, and have probably never spent more than 3 or 4 minutes at a stretch in the company of actual black people. forgive me if i'm wrong, but the cluelessness of some statements in this thread is almost painful.

and to whomever it was that said that kanye wrongfully appropriated "brother ray" in the song "gold digger": you do know that it's jamie foxx (someone with a vested interest in preserving the legacy of ray charles) singing ray-style in that chorus, don't you?
posted by Hat Maui at 1:48 PM on September 18, 2005


nervousfritz: You'd be surprised: Ted Kaczynski's Ph.D. thesis was on an obscure aspect of geometric function theory and is considered a valid contribution to the field.

Anyway, again I'm not implying that West should be muzzled, but to make him the best known voice of this hypothesis is, again, probably less than ideal. He wasn't the first to think of it and he's the worst person to say it, as his idea is not based on thought but preemptive fanaticism.
posted by abcde at 1:49 PM on September 18, 2005


thank you for pointing that out, vetiver. good riddance to the dixiecrats.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:50 PM on September 18, 2005


nervousfritz: What they need is some kind of a SmearTV channel...

Oh hell, no... I can't believe you just put that idea out there. I really hope none of the studio wanks I know out here read Metafilter.

(I agree with your entire statement, BTW. Newsletter info?)
posted by Kloryne at 2:06 PM on September 18, 2005


Incidentally, I'm not smearing West because I dislike his opinion; I think Bush may be the worst president ever (measuring in damage, not character) and am a raging Democrat, just like the check box in the Mefi signup requires you to be.

Of course no one can be a moral ideal but West has specifically proven himself to be committed against reason to the idea that government hates black people.
posted by abcde at 2:20 PM on September 18, 2005


i don't think technollogic...[has] any fucking idea what racism is

Ouch.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:24 PM on September 18, 2005


You show me a handful of righteous groups and I say fine, I like many of them too but I can show you endless 'gangsta' rappers and mysoginists that make up the majority of modern hip hop.

One should distinguish between hip hop, and commercialized hip hop. Just as Ashlee Simpson is not at all representative of quality rock, a lot of the craptastic rap/hip hop is just shit shoveled out to stupify our idiot children.

I don't believe that there is such a thing as "white culture" or "black culture." So.

You have got to be kidding. There's a "east" culture and a "west" culture within the USA itself. Sure as hell you're going to find a "black" and "white" culture.

For starters, if there weren't cultural differences, you'd see a homogenous culture. That's patently not what you see, ergo...
posted by five fresh fish at 2:46 PM on September 18, 2005


nervousfritz: I didn't mean he should be censored; just that it actually discredits the (marginally concievable) hypothesis that Bush is racist to give airtime to someone who's clearly an ideologue of racial paranoia.

Who said George Bush was Racist? Get your comprehension up. The denotation of Kanye's statement is that the welfare of black people is not a concern for GW. It makes no statements as to his personal attitudes and opinions.
posted by Rubbstone at 3:48 PM on September 18, 2005


Rubbstone writes "Who said George Bush was Racist? Get your comprehension up. The denotation of Kanye's statement is that the welfare of black people is not a concern for GW. It makes no statements as to his personal attitudes and opinions."

How is "not caring about X" not a statement regarding ones personal attitudes and opinions regarding X? Get, as it were, your comprehension up.
posted by Bugbread at 3:54 PM on September 18, 2005


Do you think women are superior to men at interpreting laws?

no, I think that they're equally good, goddamnit, and mysteriously there have been only two women on the court as of now.
that's the point. and white boys who still think it cool to slam affirmative action are, well, so 1994 at this point.
posted by matteo at 4:18 PM on September 18, 2005


and I won't even comment on dhoyt's usual slam against black people, it's gotten tiresome, too. what, no Jesse Jackson this time?
posted by matteo at 4:21 PM on September 18, 2005


matteo writes "I won't even comment on dhoyt's usual slam against black people, it's gotten tiresome, too."

When did he slam black people? I saw a slap against hip-hop artists, but I don't remember the memo saying that all, most, or even many blacks are hip-hop artists. (Not to say that dhoyt isn't tiresome, but I think this is an example of judging someone on what they've said in the past, and not what they're actually saying here)
posted by Bugbread at 4:30 PM on September 18, 2005


Well...does George Bush care about black people?

For example...If I were to argue that "George Bush doesn't care about black people", I can point to the abandonment of the black community during Katrina, and studied ignorance of long lines to vote in minority areas in Ohio, and refusing to meet with the NAACP, and dodging the Congressional Black Caucus as examples of the multitidinous ways in which George Bush does not care about black people.

I see a lot of people making this "controversy" all about Kanye West -- calling him a loon and so on -- but I'd like to hear why these people think Kanye's simple statement is so ridiculous. A refutation, if they could be bothered to answer the question. Please, someone tell me about how George Bush shows an iota of concern for the everyday concerns of black people. Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention to the photo-ops and lip service to notice how that translates to real caring.

I see people in this thread pointing to gangster rappers as so-called leaders to be dismissed (a strawman), but Bush didn't even answer requests to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus for over two and a half years in his first term. Bush refused to meet with bona-fide elected leaders from the black community in America. Explain that to me.

Then you can tell me why Kanye West is so wrong. Until I see George Bush showing any concern for black people, as far as I'm concerned Kanye's right.

In fact, I'll see Kanye's "George Bush doesn't care about black people" and raise him a "George Bush hardly cares about the value of human life." It ain't just black folks. To Bush, you're a fundraiser or a photo-op -- or you're likely nothing at all. Witness his war on a pack of lies, his cavalier attitude towards executions, his nuclear proliferation, his lack of regard for the planet, his "Robin Hood in reverse" policy of stealing from the poor and working class to give to the rich, his deriliction of duty and depraved indifference during Katrina.

Look at his (promising) policies regarding Africa -- among them, providing money and support to stem the epidemic of AIDS so long as condoms aren't distributed. Even his good acts (which I'd like to applaud) come with idiotic, unrealistic, self-defeating ideological strings attached. Fighting AIDS without condoms is like fighting fires without water. It's just dumb.

It amounts to a politician for whom everything is politics. Mayberry Machiavellians. Nothing is exempt, every policy is polluted with ideological dogma and implemented by incompetent cronies. Even when their spin kills, they still spin shamelessly. Even when their cronyism makes a farce of their stated objectives, they press on with it -- in Iraq, in education, in disaster management, you name the agency -- to the detriment of the people of the United States and the world.

Everything he offers is a solution in search of a problem, one which serves his narrow party interests and their wallets. They don't want to govern, they want to rule.

Just look at who he surrounds himself with -- PNAC and Ken Lay and Saudi princes. Look at who he avoids at all costs: the NAACP, mothers of dead soldiers, people who won't sign a loyalty oath.

Ultimately this won't be a debate between me and anyone in this thread -- I believe it'll be a debate between George Bush and his maker.

So yeah, I know I've strayed quite a way to make a point, but in summation -- George Bush doesn't care about black people.
posted by edverb at 5:31 PM on September 18, 2005


What edverb said.
posted by elwoodwiles at 6:29 PM on September 18, 2005


Awesome post, edverb. As for you, five fresh fish:

You have got to be kidding. There's a "east" culture and a "west" culture within the USA itself. Sure as hell you're going to find a "black" and "white" culture.

For starters, if there weren't cultural differences, you'd see a homogenous culture. That's patently not what you see, ergo...
posted by five fresh fish at 2:46 PM PST on September 18


If it's so fucking simple, define "black culture" to me. Does the race of a work - a song, book, TV show, painting, t-shirt slogan - depend on the person who produces the art or the person who consumes it? What about the person who funds it? If a black man records an album financed by white people and purchased by white people, it that part of the "black culture" or "white culture"? What about a American Indian who listens to NWA and Tchaikovsky? Whose culture is he participating in, and does his participation somehow change the very culture he consumes?

For that matter, how the fuck do you even define "white person"? Because the Irish and the Italians used to not count as proper white Volk, and now they do. What changed? The people or our perceptions of them? What about a musical artist who is half-black and half-Semitic? If he records a "violent" album is it fair to kind of blame Jews and to kind of blame blacks?

And what the fuck is a "black person," anyway? Are Australian aborigines black despite them having very little in common with African blacks? Is a West African more black than an East African? Are rich black people more like rich white people or poor black people?

East culture, West culture, black culture, white culture, male culture, female culture, gyztlbu culture: these are broad, usually uninformed and inaccurate generalizations that have no predictive or social value. So fuck that.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:39 PM on September 18, 2005


I don't know what you people have been arguing about, but three weeks in and I'm still listening to this song every day.

The lyrics are just perfect. The Legendary KO should make this their thing, copping beats, writing incredibly timely lyrics and releasing it on the internet.
posted by fungible at 6:48 PM on September 18, 2005


How is "not caring about X" not a statement regarding ones personal attitudes and opinions regarding X? Get, as it were, your comprehension up.

He could be disinterested e.g. midget porn I don't hate it, I don't like it, I'm just disinterested. unconcern is a direct antonym of care in the noun form . By the by "as it were" only makes you sound smart to pretentious people.
posted by Rubbstone at 7:27 PM on September 18, 2005


Mrs. Edverb says: "I want to make this my ringtone."
posted by edverb at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2005


If it's so fucking simple, define "black culture" to me.

Define country music to me.

Does it have to have a steel guitar? Is it just Garth Brooks and company? What about Steve Earle? (Copperhead Road was hard to find... because it was in country sections of music stores) What about a country guitar with a hard rock beat? How about country lyrics and delivery but put to Irish folk?

Cause if you can't define it to my satisfaction, it certainly isn't its own genre.
posted by dreamsign at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2005


(Since we're just double posting I'll double comment)

[this is good]

They've released the song to everyone to host as they please. Mirror. Mirror.

If anyone else is interested, I couldn't find the lyrics so I transcribed them. (self link of course)

And a bonus new comment!

I'm still waiting for a working citation, j.p. Thanks.
posted by ?! at 8:13 PM on September 18, 2005


Cause if you can't define it to my satisfaction, it certainly isn't its own genre.

The function of genre isn't as a definition, but as a form of communication. That is, the tropes of country music exist not because they're required parts whose sum makes a predictible whole, but because with enough of those parts in place, the listener knows to expect any number of other parts associated with them.
This means that the defintion of country music is somewhat dependent on local culture and personal taste and somewhat dependent on traditon and more "global" culture so that it's fluid, and therefore useless as a prescriptive, useful definition.

Which was Optimus Chyme's point with regard to "culture" -- there is no homogenous black* "culture" and little use can be had of flattening the many cultures of black folks in America into one fits-all definition, espeically since the whole categroy of "race" is largely a culturally fabricated one. My great grandfather would not have been considered white (the Irish were seen as just one step "up" the ladder from blacks back then) but there is no question that I am white, even though ethnically, there's little difference between my great grandfather and myself.
So if the "race" category isn't a mirror to a natural category, then using it to predict or classify uman behavior is often going to be counterproductive. TGhe onyl time it's not counterproductive tend to be when we're discussing the effects of racism, that is, when it's necessary to discuss the results fo people bahving based on the concept of race. But even then, it's not very helpful to seperate discussions of racism from discussions of economics and politics.

*Or white or American, whatever.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:25 PM on September 18, 2005


(I agree with your entire statement, BTW. Newsletter info?)

I'm flattered, thank you! I don't know if I'm consistent enough for anything like that. I will take it under advisement.
posted by nervousfritz at 9:14 PM on September 18, 2005


I don't want to leave ol' j.p. "hung" to dry, so I'll provide an alternate (and authoritative) link for his citation:

> The Republican Party was not so badly split as the Democrats by the civil rights issue. Only one Republican senator participated in the filibuster against the bill. In fact, since 1933, Republicans had a more positive record on civil rights than the Democrats. In the twenty-six major civil rights votes since 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 % of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 % of the votes.

The Democrats were not fighting the Republicans over civil rights. The Republicans, and the Democrats from the rest of the country, were fighting Southern Democrats. Much of the leadership, nevertheless, came from black politicians who after World War II were increasingly allied with the Democratic party, and Republican presidents have failed, somehow, to become well-known for appropriate leadership. Well, there was that fellow Lincoln -- I guess that still counts.

It's worth noting, of course, that most of those Southern Democrats have since become Republicans.
posted by dhartung at 9:47 PM on September 18, 2005


Does it have to have a steel guitar? Is it just Garth Brooks and company? What about Steve Earle? (Copperhead Road was hard to find... because it was in country sections of music stores) What about a country guitar with a hard rock beat? How about country lyrics and delivery but put to Irish folk?

Cause if you can't define it to my satisfaction, it certainly isn't its own genre.
posted by dreamsign at 7:54 PM PST on September 18


Country music is a subset of music with generally well-definied boundaries, none of which I am qualified to explain; I'm certain new MeFi superstar realcountrymusic could give you a couple of hints.

If you want to be the guy who defines the boundaries of "black culture," that is just super and I encourage you do to so, in this very thread if need be. I am waiting, ears a-twitter, for you to tell me how 34 million people from poor to rich, Juneau to Key West, light-skinned to dark-skinned, have a common "black" culture.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:05 PM on September 18, 2005


Look to Usher for inspiration and wisdom
posted by shoos at 10:56 PM on September 18, 2005 [1 favorite]


Look to shoos for awesome posts
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:54 PM on September 18, 2005


chyme, you win again. oh, and edverb, too.

it lifts my sails to know that some people get it.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:54 AM on September 19, 2005


Mos Def is a prophet. Heed what he says or reap the whirlwind.
posted by shoos at 1:19 AM on September 19, 2005


Yeah, we got it, shoos. If it was a weak post two hours and twenty minutes ago, what made you think it would be funny if you just rehashed it?

Oh, also I got in my time machine and brought back a really funny and fresh post from the future.

Jay-Z is clairvoyant. Listen to him or be ruined.
posted by shoos at 7:58 AM PST on September 19

posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:59 AM on September 19, 2005


Truth is makes itself known through mashups.
posted by shoos at 6:12 AM on September 19, 2005


I miss dios. :(
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:18 AM on September 19, 2005


ok, now that was gay.
posted by shoos at 6:25 AM on September 19, 2005


Buncha fuckin' terrible arguments here too. I think that I can leave you folks alone for a thread and have it come out OK?
First off, we have the giant strawman of general versus individual. Optimus, Techno and JP have all come to this through different routes, but they all seem to be denying the fact that while a generalization may not be true for every member of the group, it's usually effective for the whole. You can look at polling data correlated with demography and get an idea of what the black community thinks about different issues. There is a black culture, though not a homogenous one. It includes a large, but waning, importance of the church, a linguistic dialect that comes primarily from the south, primarily listening to blues, soul and jazz for black people of the baby boomer age (shifting into rap as they get younger), and generally a view that the society dominated by whites is, at the very least, rigging the rules of success to favor white people over black people. Not every black person believes this, and the higher their socioeconic class, the less likely they are to believe it. Because of this country's abhorent record of race relations, black people are more likely to attribute classist attitudes to racism, something that tends to chafe poor whites.
The comparisons to the Irish (which, honestly, I thought came from jonmc again until I saw the poster's name) are specious. If the Irish were only one step above blacks, that step was fucking huge. Even with, you know, all the Irish people who got lynched whistling at white women.
And George Bush doesn't care about black people. While that is generally a subset of George Bush doesn't care about anyone unlikely to vote for him/donate to him, because of the history of racism in the country, that is perceived by many black people as evidence of his racism.
posted by klangklangston at 7:06 AM on September 19, 2005


The comparisons to the Irish (which, honestly, I thought came from jonmc again until I saw the poster's name) are specious. If the Irish were only one step above blacks, that step was fucking huge. Even with, you know, all the Irish people who got lynched whistling at white women.

It wasn't a comparison. Maybe the arguments would make more sense if you bothered to read them. The point was that race is socially constructed; the Irish (who were brought up by more than one person) were not considered "white" at the end of the 19th century. Here's a nice primer on racism as it applies to the Irish, or "White Negroes" as they were called.
But now, the Irish have "passed" and are now "white", suggesting not that the experiences of Irish and Black folks are analagous, but rather that the categroy of "race" is not a mirror to nature, and is therefore not so useful as a category, since it's bound to be defined subjectively.

And I know enough black folks who don't fit into your definition of "black" culture that it's hard to imagine it being useful either.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:08 AM on September 19, 2005


"Here's a nice primer on racism as it applies to the Irish, or "White Negroes" as they were called."
That's your retort? A biased bit of school fluff? Might as well include images of "The Hun" to prove that there was "racism" against German people.
Hey, here's a quick quiz for you: what outward signifier of difference might black people have had at the time that Irish people didn't?
This revisionism is as silly as the claims that indentured servants were just as bad off as slaves during the early 1800s.
And as for the black people you know, why don't you ask them if there's such a thing as "black culture."
posted by klangklangston at 9:29 AM on September 19, 2005


That's your retort? A biased bit of school fluff?

At least he had a source, which is more than I can say for you.

And as for the black people you know, why don't you ask them if there's such a thing as "black culture."

I just asked my white friends if there were such a thing as "white culture" and they said no; hope that helps.

I'm still waiting to hear what "black culture" is, though. You said it was this:

It includes a large, but waning, importance of the church, a linguistic dialect that comes primarily from the south, primarily listening to blues, soul and jazz for black people of the baby boomer age (shifting into rap as they get younger), and generally a view that the society dominated by whites is, at the very least, rigging the rules of success to favor white people over black people.

White people like rock and roll and accounting and being President and sitting really close to the steering wheel.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:53 AM on September 19, 2005


Optimus: You want a source for the fact that black people experienced racism an order of magnitude greater than that of Irish people?
Here you go.
There you go. Write back when you find Irish people lynched as a social ritual.

Oh, and white culture is the "normal" culture of America. "Black culture" is a wide subculture based mostly on self-identified racial characteristics.
But hey, maybe you'd like to masturbate about how there aren't any black people, just brown people of varying shades.
posted by klangklangston at 10:06 AM on September 19, 2005


Optimus: You want a source for the fact that black people experienced racism an order of magnitude greater than that of Irish people?

I never claimed otherwise. Check it out. What I said, and what eustacescrubb supported, is that race is more a social construct than a physical one, as evidenced by the fact that the Irish were once not considered "white."

Oh, and white culture is the "normal" culture of America.

Which is what? Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner or Susan Sontag and Richard Feynman?

But hey, maybe you'd like to masturbate about how there aren't any black people, just brown people of varying shades.

That is broadly true, although you seem a bit hysterical about it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:33 AM on September 19, 2005


White people like rock and roll and accounting and being President and sitting really close to the steering wheel.

Ha Ha! Oh man... my first bellylaugh of the thread. Bravo, Optimus!
posted by BobFrapples at 10:48 AM on September 19, 2005


Optimus: And nowhere in the link that he provided was there any evidence for the Irish being considered "not white," just that they were considered inferior to the WASPs of America.
Further, the arguments that race is a social construct don't detract from the idea of a "black culture." Or the idea of an Irish-American culture.
"Which is what? Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner or Susan Sontag and Richard Feynman?"
Yes. Do you not understand what "white priveledge" refers to?
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 AM on September 19, 2005


That's your retort? A biased bit of school fluff?

A. You didn't read it, and
B. I chose that source because it's a very good introduction to the topic, and since you seem unable to get through a 200-word comment, I doubted you'd bother reading the srious stuff, like, oh, this. Or this. Or this. Or this.

Write back when you find Irish people lynched as a social ritual.

Nobody's made that claim here. Again, actually reading our arguments would help.

Oh, and white culture is the "normal" culture of America.

Defining one generalization with another isn't such a great idea. Are the cultures of nonwhites then abnormal? Who decides what gets classified as "normal" and what doesn't?
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:14 AM on September 19, 2005


And nowhere in the link that he provided was there any evidence for the Irish being considered "not white," just that they were considered inferior to the WASPs of America.

Read this or this, then. You're splitting hairs.

Yes.

So basically "white culture" is the set of all works not produced by a non-white person? That's an impossibly huge set; what meaningful data can be extracted from it?

Do you not understand what "white priveledge" [sic] refers to?

What the fuck does that have to do with anything? You're the one claiming that "white culture" is normal, implying than non-white culture is not.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:20 AM on September 19, 2005


The boundary of black culture is in fact delineated by the perception that wearing ones trousers so low that your underpants show is cool.
posted by snoktruix at 11:52 AM on September 19, 2005


Yeah seriously I mean all those 80 year-old grandmas wearing baggy jeans what's the deal
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:13 PM on September 19, 2005


Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, and other semi-political/social commentary comedians certainly seem to think there is a "black culture."

I think I'll take their word over that of some middle-class whiteboy.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:24 PM on September 19, 2005


There seems to be too many people here trying to redefine terms, apparently so that they can retain their attitudes but claim to not be bigoted. It reminds me of this and Thtcher's moronic claim that there is no such thing as society.

If you want to destroy something then redefining it out of existence can be a strong starting point!
posted by daveg at 12:33 PM on September 19, 2005


'No Irish Need Apply'
posted by ericb at 12:44 PM on September 19, 2005


Maybe if someone could talk about "black culture" without fucking reducing it to baggy jeans and Snoop Dogg, I'd be a little more open-minded.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:52 PM on September 19, 2005


five fresh fish:

So you know these people personally? Or you have links for us that can demonstrate this? And do Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle agree on the definition of "black culture"? And is it fair to appoint Messrs Rock and Chappelle as spokespeople for all black folks without their consent? And is it possible that even if you did have their consent, and they did agree on a definition, that they might still be wrong? Or that, having defined it, we will have done little that is useful, since, being culture, it will have no dobut changed by the time we finished a definition?

No one is suggesting that there aren't cultural differences between many white people and many black people. But that's very different from the notion promoted above that there is one static "black culture"* which can be used to predict/evaluate the behaviors and opinions of all black people.


*In the case above it was gangsta rap -- whose largest consumer base is white middle class teenaged boys.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:52 PM on September 19, 2005


apparently so that they can retain their attitudes but claim to not be bigoted.

Yeah, eustacescrubb and I don't want to lump 34 million people into the same ridiculous category; we are huge bigots.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:14 PM on September 19, 2005


But that's very different from the notion promoted above that there is one static "black culture"* which can be used to predict/evaluate the behaviors and opinions of all black people.

Who said that? All people are saying I think is that there is a "black culture" in the same way there is a "gay culture", or maybe a "church culture" say.

It's a recognizable, real social phenomenon. It just means that Americans with black skin and African roots feel like they have some common heritage and traditions in all sorts of ways: slang, music, dress, cooking, etc. And some of these things are strengthened and propagated, enough of them anyway to keep the "black culture" alive and visible. There's nothing remotely racist or bigoted about recognizing its existence and talking about it.

It's not a clear cut thing, not completely crisp lines here, but nevertheless real. I don't see why you feel the need to deny it.
posted by snoktruix at 1:31 PM on September 19, 2005


"gay culture"

I'm still trying to figure out "the gay agenda."
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2005


edverb - well said!
posted by TrinityB5 at 2:50 PM on September 19, 2005


All people are saying I think is that there is a "black culture" in the same way there is a "gay culture", or maybe a "church culture" say.

Tell me about the gay culture. I'm especially interested in how closeted homosexuals fit into it.

Tell me about the "church culture." Christians? Which ones, Protestants or Catholics? Or maybe you meant Christian Scientists or Seventh-Day Adventists. Or Mormons. What? They all believe in Jesus; they must have the same culture.

This point is that the larger the group, the broader the generalizations must be; ergo, those generalizations approach worthlessness.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:53 PM on September 19, 2005


Who said that?

j.Hung didnt just say it, he was actively doing it.

All people are saying I think is that there is a "black culture" in the same way there is a "gay culture", or maybe a "church culture" say.

I can see that you seem to mean that sometimes "x culture" is a useful category, but I can't for the life of me think of an example of it being useful or accurate. Further, several folks in this thread have been contending more than that -- scan back up for comments by klangklangston and j.Hung to see what I mean.
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:55 PM on September 19, 2005


Jesus Christ. J.P., you should be should be forced to wear a shirt with the words Bangin' bitches, burning blunts, bustin' caps on it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:05 PM on September 19, 2005


Goodness. You are so gosh-darn right.

There is no identifiable "black culture" or "white culture" in the USA. That is because the USA is entirely uncultured.

Meanwhile, over here in Canada, there is most certainly a "BC culture" and a "Newfie culture" and a "Québécois culture."

Yah, it is true that not every BC resident is a laidback hippie... but as a province we are a lot more socially liberal and laid back than, say, Alberta.

I won't bother talking about "Fark culture" and "MeFi culture" and "Japanese culture" and "French culture," because that would belabour the point.

You just go ahead and run about telling all your black friends that there's no such thing as "black culture." I'm sure it'll really go over well.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:35 PM on September 19, 2005


You just go ahead and run about telling all your black friends that there's no such thing as "black culture." I'm sure it'll really go over well.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:35 PM PST on September 19


FFF, I like you, but this is just an unbelievably stupid post, and it's intellectually dishonest. Rather than explain to us what you think "black culture" actually is, you demand we ask our friends about it, which, hey: some of us have discussed this with real live black people! And I'm sorry, if you want to think that two stand-up comedians are the final arbiters of what constitutes a culture, that is aces, but just saying it doesn't make it so.

I won't bother talking about "Fark culture" and "MeFi culture"

People who join Fark and people who join MeFi do so as a free choice; they already have something in common. No one chooses to be born white or black or brown or whatever.

Japan and France are countries. When you talk about Japanese culture or French culture, you're talking about the food, the art, the architecture, the system of government. Is there such a thing as black architecture? Black government? Black food? Black art? In order: no, no, sort of, maybe bordering on yes. So already it's clear that these parallels are not equal.

Man, I should have hung out in the goddamn beedogs thread today.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:54 PM on September 19, 2005


Yeesh... Optimus, I usually agree with you, but you're dead wrong in this case. "Black Culture" or more accurately for the purposes of this discussion, American Black Culture, is or are the sum shared experiences of each and every black person in America since the first to survive the Middle Passage arrived.

This is fundamentally undeniable, in my opinion. There's maybe such a thing as American Black art? Uh, I think most people would disagree. Culture is a nebulous thing, it's not up to one person to define it.
posted by SweetJesus at 4:28 PM on September 19, 2005


There is no identifiable "black culture" or "white culture" in the USA. That is because the USA is entirely uncultured.

*chuckles*

I was thinking of the Thatcher comment too.

We'll have no more racism when we'll all be one big indistinct anglo-middle-class-wannabe blob of individuals with no accent. You know it makes sense!
posted by funambulist at 4:52 PM on September 19, 2005


"Black Culture" or more accurately for the purposes of this discussion, American Black Culture, is or are the sum shared experiences of each and every black person in America since the first to survive the Middle Passage arrived.

Well, since you're the first person to attempt to define "black culture" other than "um they like church and jazz" since this thread started, I will happily accept your definition. Now let's go here to the first instance of "black culture" in thread.

Bangin' bitches, burning blunts, bustin' caps...this is the message far too often in popular black music and black culture.

There are like forty-eight reasons why this is dumb, but if we define black culture the SweetJesus way, that makes forty-nine.

Culture is a nebulous thing, it's not up to one person to define it.

Nor is it up to one person or a group of like-minded people to condemn for an infintesimal subset of its artists. If someone says "hey, this culture is dumb because of a couple musicians," then I think that maybe we've been gauging the whole concept of culture incorrectly.

We'll have no more racism when we'll all be one big indistinct anglo-middle-class-wannabe blob of individuals with no accent. You know it makes sense!

I think we'll have no more racism when everyone makes an effort to understand each other instead of slagging 34 million Americans because some guy said "bitch."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:08 PM on September 19, 2005


How would I explain what American Black culture is? For chrissakes, I'm a Canadian whiteboy.

What I do know is this: when Dave Chappelle talks about how his whiteboy stoner friend does the unimaginable and walks up to a cop to ask for directions 'cause he's too stoned to know where he is, I recognize the truth of what he says: being black in America is a damn sight different than being a middle-class whiteboy.

Slavery was made illegal so recently that only in the past decade have the very last living ex-slaves kick the bucket. Blacks got the vote in 19-fucking-65, two years before my birth. Blacks are still victims of voting disenfranchisement, hate crimes, and general racism.

And you expect me to believe for an instant that blacks in America are all just chillin' to the same culture that you are?

Pull the other one. It's got bells on.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:08 PM on September 19, 2005


Tell me about the gay culture. I'm especially interested in how closeted homosexuals fit into it.

What the hell is this supposed to mean? Is this some kind of argument that there is no gay culture? Do people all live in a cultural void as pure individuals with no group associations on your planet? Are you possibly just ranting some crap despite having no coherent argument?
posted by snoktruix at 5:18 PM on September 19, 2005


Bangin' bitches, burning blunts, bustin' caps...this is the message far too often in popular black music and black culture.

Optimus: Anyone who thinks as such is clearly a moron, and why would you attempt to discuss culture with a moron?

I wouldn't attempt to discuss Football with a moron, never mind the murky question of "Black" culture.
posted by SweetJesus at 5:25 PM on September 19, 2005


And you expect me to believe for an instant that blacks in America are all just chillin' to the same culture that you are?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:08 PM PST on September 19


I never said that. But I don't think that black culture as it has been described in this thread is an accurate representation of "the sum shared experiences of each and every black person in America since the first to survive the Middle Passage arrived."

Is this some kind of argument that there is no gay culture?

I'm arguing that using "gay culture" or "black culture" as a explanatory or predictive model of people's actions is inaccurate and dumb. You know, if you two actually read my posts instead of recognizing keywords, we might be having a real discussion.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:29 PM on September 19, 2005


I am reading your posts. I'm not suggesting it is a great "model" of anything, it is really almost an empirical observation. Of course there is a gay culture. Is it easy to define? No. But does it certainly exist in some form, is it worthy of discussion? Yes. We could try to discuss how we might begin to try to define it and study it, were we calm enough (I suspect people have already done a good job of such study in the sociological arena, but I know little about the field. If what you were saying were completely correct, sociology would be a nonsensical field almost).

Consider someone researching the transmission of HIV in the 1980s. Do you think they would have much success at this if they were not aware of a distinct gay community/subculture which has certain empirically discoverable generalized trends, behaviours and demographics?

I fear now we are just blowing off steam since we both clearly have entrenched opinions based on anecdotal evidence. However note that now I am not going to say that what you are saying is dumb. I mean I don't understand it, I think it is in some sense wrong, but you clearly aren't "dumb" (i.e. obviously spouting nonsense). You might be right, but you haven't convinced me, a reasonably smart person with a phd in physics, and you are mostly attacking me and not defending your position. So calm down with the ad hominem before we get angry.
posted by snoktruix at 5:41 PM on September 19, 2005


OC, your exact words were I don't believe that there is such a thing as "white culture" or "black culture." So.

Don't blame me for reading what you actually said.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:12 PM on September 19, 2005


Amended, then: I don't believe that there is such a thing as black culture or white culture, in the sense that the culture in question is homogeneous among blacks or whites respectively, and further, I submit that the terms "black" and "white" cannot help but be hideously inaccurate given the changing notions of race over the last hundred years; however, if you must define black culture, SweetJesus's is as good as any, and finally: if you want to talk about black culture in any meaningful way, it's probably best to have a more cogent view of race than J.P. Hung's ignorant "Git-R-Dun!" attitude towards blacks in general and young male black recording artists in particular.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:36 PM on September 19, 2005


"Black Culture" or more accurately for the purposes of this discussion, American Black Culture, is or are the sum shared experiences of each and every black person in America since the first to survive the Middle Passage arrived.

So basically, you're defining "black culture" as "being victims of systematic racism."

Interestingly, five frsh fish is doing the same thing:

What I do know is this: when Dave Chappelle talks about how his whiteboy stoner friend does the unimaginable and walks up to a cop to ask for directions 'cause he's too stoned to know where he is, I recognize the truth of what he says: being black in America is a damn sight different than being a middle-class whiteboy.

Slavery was made illegal so recently that only in the past decade have the very last living ex-slaves kick the bucket. Blacks got the vote in 19-fucking-65, two years before my birth. Blacks are still victims of voting disenfranchisement, hate crimes, and general racism.


See, I agree with all of that; on average, black folks' experience of America is vastly different than that of white folks. Black folks tend to be the victims of racism while white folks tend to benefit from it, even if they don't realize it.
But does that mean that there is One Black Culture? I'd certainly agree that racism has shaped the way both black and white people live in ways we still don't fully comprehend, but I don't know if that's culture, or if it is, if it's the totality of culture.
See, for example, I have grown up with hip-hop. I was 5 when the first big hip-hop single hit the radio. I learned to breakdance as a kid. I still listen to hip-hop. It is undeniably part of my cultural experience.
But do I experience hip-hop the same way my black friends do? No. I'm reminded of that scene in White Men Can't Jump when Wesley Snipes' character tells Woody Harrelson's character he can listen to Jimi but he'll never be able to hear Jimi. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that racism overshadows everything so much that it's a fair bet that my black friends hear things in Jimi's music or in hip-hop that I can't/won't.
But I see that not as two cultures, but two different ways of being within the same culture. Being white, I benefit, without trying, from the legacyh of white supremacy and white privilege, and as with Dave Chappelle's example of the stoned white guy asking a cop for directions, it gives me a different understanding of and relationship to the world than that of my black friends.


And you expect me to believe for an instant that blacks in America are all just chillin' to the same culture that you are?

Who said that? You seem to be assuming that if there is no clearly-demarked thing we can call "black culture" that this automatically means that everyone's experience is the same. I don't understand why you're making that leap.

Most importantly, I should like to point out how now that people are actively trying to define terms instead of spouting off, the discussion is finally becoming fruitful.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:56 PM on September 19, 2005


Rubbstone : "He could be disinterested e.g. midget porn I don't hate it, I don't like it, I'm just disinterested. unconcern is a direct antonym of care in the noun form."

True, but you need to see the issue in context. First, the level of "not caring" here is in reference to multiple people being killed or having their lives destroyed. That is, it isn't Bush not caring about black people stubbing their toes, but dying, etc. Second, the person being accused of not caring (Bush) is a person who is generally held to be "supposed to" care about issues when they become as grave as concerning people dying, etc. And third, the person making the accusation is a person who is part of the group not being cared about, and who has made statements that indicate the government is racist in the past. Contextually, it's very clear that it was an accusation of racism, just as if Chris Rock said "Bugbread looks at me and thinks 'just another porch monkey'" it would be an accusation of racism, even though it's technically possible that Chris Rock was just stating that I had some neurological disorder that made me hallucinate house porches and orangutangs whenever I looked at humans of any color.

Rubbstone : "By the by 'as it were' only makes you sound smart to pretentious people."

Fine by me, I wasn't saying it in order to sound smart.
posted by Bugbread at 8:03 PM on September 19, 2005


So basically, you're defining "black culture" as "being victims of systematic racism."

Who said anything about racism, there? When did the first black people get here? When they we're stolen from Africa, and enslaved. There's nothing racist about saying that, and I'm not sure why you think there is? It's a fact, albeit an uncomfortable one. Once you arrive in America, your culture is the sum experiences off all your people - Black, Irish, Chinese - whatever.

And please, for the love of god, don't try and reflect "Black" culture through the lens of radio, TV and Hollywood movies and somehow claim it's an authentic reflection. White Men Can't Jump? Are you serious? From the lilly-white writer of such crap as Hollywood Homicide and Bad Boys 2? Gimme a fucking break. Commercial hip-hop and stupid movies are sold to white America as some fantasy of black America, and some romantic gangster ideal. Blunts and bitchs are not black culture - It's white America's fantasy.

The fact that it sells is more complex that outright racism, so don't try and claim that's what I'm saying.
posted by SweetJesus at 8:09 PM on September 19, 2005


If someone says "hey, this culture is dumb because of a couple musicians," then I think that maybe we've been gauging the whole concept of culture incorrectly.

You're saying racism is the reason why culture cannot be defined or does not exist at all? Come on Optimus Chyme you have to realise how crazy that is.

You're also attacking some kind of straw man where the culture of group x means "every single little person who is born in that group is part of a monocellular organism that thinks, does, likes the exact same things". Not even the racists are that literally stupid to think such a thing. So you're arguing with the wind there.

You also are attacking the straw man that race is all about what colour you are, or what appearance, or what biological origins. And paradoxically, you seem to believe that saying that "race is more a social construct than a physical one" supports your idea that there's no different cultures for different racial/ethnic groups. That's self-contradictory! Culture is a matter of communities, communities are a matter of shared history and experiences and traditions. You get all sorts of local and individual differences but there is such a thing as different communities within the US, with both things in common and things that differ at cultural level.
You're trying to deny the obvious by reading into it something absolutist. Anything can be taken in absolutist manner, or in the wrongest way, but that doesn't mean it doesn't (or shouldn't) exist.
posted by funambulist at 12:01 AM on September 20, 2005


Yarrr! I don't like Bush family...
posted by snark9 at 4:23 AM on September 20, 2005




Who said anything about racism, there? When did the first black people get here? When they we're stolen from Africa, and enslaved. There's nothing racist about saying that, and I'm not sure why you think there is? It's a fact, albeit an uncomfortable one. Once you arrive in America, your culture is the sum experiences off all your people - Black, Irish, Chinese - whatever.

I think you misunderstand me. I wasn't acusing you of being racist, I was pointing out that the one thing all black people in American can truly be said to have in common is that they're victims of systematic racism.

And please, for the love of god, don't try and reflect "Black" culture through the lens of radio, TV and Hollywood movies and somehow claim it's an authentic reflection.

I'm lost here. It was an analogy, nothing more. I wasn't trying to "reflect" anything -- I was using a well-known movie to illustrate a point. The first thing that popped into my head as an anlogy was actually a bit from Paradise Lost but since one of the characters involved was Satan, I didn't want anyone to misunderstand my point. So I picked a popular movie instead. I made no claims to the movie's "authenticity" and, further, I expressed doubts as to whether what the characters were saying was even really true. The point still stands -- I think that racism has affected society to the point that if a black person and I experience the same phenomenon, we're likely to make different meanings out of it because of racism.
If all you're saying is that the analogy to White Men Can't Jump isn't a good one, I can accept that. I didn't even like the movie.

Commercial hip-hop and stupid movies are sold to white America as some fantasy of black America, and some romantic gangster ideal. Blunts and bitchs are not black culture - It's white America's fantasy.

I completely agree. Again, I wasn't trying to hold the movie up as an example of "authentic" black culture; I was just using that scene as an analogy.

You're trying to deny the obvious by reading into it something absolutist. Anything can be taken in absolutist manner, or in the wrongest way, but that doesn't mean it doesn't (or shouldn't) exist.

I can't speak for Optimus, but that hasn't been my point. Read the beginning of the discussion -- we were responding to people who were claiming that there is A Black Culture that can be used to define and predict the behavior of all black people. The absolutist position wasn't a straw man; that really was j.p.Hung's position above.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:17 AM on September 20, 2005


we were responding to people who were claiming that there is A Black Culture that can be used to define and predict the behavior of all black people. The absolutist position wasn't a straw man; that really was j.p.Hung's position above.

This is true.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:35 AM on September 20, 2005


Opti: agreed, re: your 6:36 post.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:22 AM on September 20, 2005


The absolutist position wasn't a straw man; that really was j.p.Hung's position above.

Ok then, eustacescrubb and Optimus, you're right, I hadn't paid attention to who started referring to a "black culture" and in which terms in this thread.

Yeah that'd be the perfect example of the idiotic categorical generalisation. The non-idiotic non-categorical-generalisation being what five fresh fish was saying in arguing with Optimus.
posted by funambulist at 12:29 PM on September 20, 2005


Hooray, everyone is buddies again!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:14 PM on September 20, 2005


[hugs all around, pats Opti on the ass.]
posted by five fresh fish at 4:53 PM on September 20, 2005


« Older No flux capacitor needed   |   Warren Ellis starts up The Engine Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post