It could be that white people just aren’t aware of this, so I’m gonna go ahead and point it out for them: When you criticize other white people on race, it only serves to make you look like a douche.
Recent cases in point would include white music writers getting on some perfectly nice-looking white woman for comparing Jay-Z to chocolate in Esquire; Republicans ordering Harry Reid to resign from the Senate for pointing out the fact that Barack Obama wouldn’t be president, if he wasn’t light skinted and if he didn’t speak plain English; and white music writers (again…) raising the question of whether Vampire Weekend should be allowed to rip off African music (as if this was 2007), in reviews of the excellent new Contra.
I don’t know if this is Political Correctness Week, or what. As recently as a few days ago, I wouldn’t have had fodder for a post like this. Now I’m wondering if I’ve got the space here (or really, the time and effort) to cover it all. As a fellow named Mike Damone once put it, I woke up in a good mood, and I don’t know what the hell happened! Could this be what Barack Obama meant when he said we live in a post-race America?
Let’s start with the part that interests me most: By show of hands, how many black guys reading this would be upset if a white woman compared you to chocolate? See, not a single one of you. Even if it was a white woman I didn’t want to have sex with (I know), I’d be willing to let that shit slide. Her heart was in the right place, it’s just that the rest of her body wasn’t in order.
I’m actually less concerned with any metaphors she used to describe how black Jay-Z is than I am with her overall argument that Jay-Z is blacker than Oprah Winfrey. There’s a strong case to be made that Oprah, what with her crack habit, her back alley abortion, her inability to get married, and her weight issues (all of which I’m sure are related), is more authentically black than Jay-Z. (I might have to expand on this in a subsequent post.)
As far as white people’s problem with this article, I’m assuming it’s mostly just a matter of jealousy. A lot of white writers who used to write for magazines Vibe and Blender are out of a job and having to scrounge for assignments from sites like the Village Voice and Slate, for hardly any money at all (but probably still more than I make), and they’re just pissed that the woman who got to do the big Jay-Z story in Esquire probably didn’t know anything about him, other than that she’d like a piece of that, before she set about writing it. I checked her contributor page on the Esquire website, and she’s listed as the author of a profile on Lebron James. Let me guess: Any time a story on a black guy is mentioned in the boardroom at Esquire, hers is the first hand to shoot up. Not that I’m complaining. I’m just saying.
At least the Republicans had the sense to send a black guy out to do their bidding. In case you don’t watch cable news as if it was pr0nography, like I do (honestly, Campbell Brown’s face > most women’s tits), Michael Steele had the sheer balls to compare Harry Reid praising Barack Obama, for being so clean-looking and speaking so well, to Trent Lott giving a toast at Strom Thurmond’s 115th birthday party, talking about how it’s too bad Thurmond didn’t win when he ran for president in 1948(!), as a segregationist. Then they had literally every black pundit there ever was, other than myself, explain that Harry Reid wasn’t saying that only light skinted black men who speak plain English should be president, he was saying that we live in a country where only light skinted black men who speak plain English could be president. Note the difference.
But I’m gonna come right out and say it: Black people who can’t speak plain English should only be the president of the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull Fan Club on Facebook. Hell, anyone who can’t speak plain English shouldn’t be the president of shit. It’s just that the problem is a lot more prevalent in the black community, because the TIs use institutional racism to keep black people cordoned off in areas where no one can properly conjugate the verb be, thus ensuring they’ll never be taken seriously. Anyone who’s ever worked with otherwise idiotic black people from the sticks who talk like white people (and hence have jobs) knows what I’m talking about. Granted, the fact that many borderline retarded people speak plain English proves that it doesn’t make you any more qualified to be president, but still. Some people argue that you shouldn’t wear deodorant, because it’s made out of poison and there’s nothing inherently wrong with a human being’s natural scent. If you want to think like that, you can fuck off to Africa or somewhere.
Which brings me to Vampire Weekend. (See what I did there?) The debate over whether Jews from Columbia with a U should be allowed to rip off African music might seem relatively minor compared to the likes of Negro Dialectgate, but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while now. It’s something I’ve been meaning to post on since back when I began to rock out to the Dirty Projectors’ excellent Bitte Orca. Not because I’m pissed off that white people are doing to African music the same thing they did to Africa’s supposedly abundant natural resources, but because I’m wondering how come black people don’t make African music. When’s the last time you heard a black group put out an album that sounds anything like Bitte Orca – or Contra, for that matter? A black group from the US, mind you. I’m not listening to any music from foreign countries.
I know Beyonce’s sister Solange did that cover of “Stillness Is the Move,” but I’m pretty sure that’s just because Beyonce’s father completely and utterly failed to sell her on the black community, so now he’s trying to see if he can get any traction in the white community. I guess he figured she’s light skinted and well spoken enough. (Sound familiar?) I heard she’s gonna be on the next Of Montreal album. If they can get her to go onstage in one of those athletic supporter things Kevin Barnes wears, I might have to show up to one of their concerts, even if there’s a lot of teh ghey guys there. My peripheral vision is all fucked the fuck up anyway, from years of looking at Internets pr0n. Not because it’s true what it says in the bible, but because the light isn’t very good in my mother’s basement. If white people want to do black people a favor, they should see about getting me a lamp.